Previously, we described how vCloud Air is a public cloud designed especially for IT, solving a unique set of problems that cannot be addressed by other public clouds. In situations like mergers and acquisitions or for data consolidation projects, we talked about how vCloud Air can replace traditional physical data centers. When data center capacity is stretched or a project needs access to quick capacity, we showed how Hybrid Cloud Manager drives unparalleled capabilities for extending the perimeter of your data center. In this blog, we will take a closer look at how vCloud Air can help improve the resiliency of your data center.

As part of the digital business transformation, companies are more reliant on their IT systems which power everything from backend ERP and inventory management to logistics and front end ordering systems. Customer data, relationship data, and websites and mobile apps all have become part of the business and an interruption to any of these aspects can be harmful and expensive for the company. As a result, companies are taking a more serious look at how they will respond to failures, both large and small.

Cloud computing introduces a new way to think about disaster recovery planning and backup as you are no longer limited to your own data centers. With vCloud Air, we bring a simple and cost effective portfolio of availability services, leveraging public cloud built on trusted and secure foundation of vSphere, to safeguard your on-premises virtualized and non-virtualized infrastructure and to keep your IT operations up and running in the event of a disaster.

Solving a Variety of DR and Backup Problems

In building an overall business continuity plan, customers often realize that they need a blend of different types of solutions at different cost points to protect their IT assets. Storage-based replication in a mirrored data center can provide a near synchronous recovery solution, but it also requires specialized equipment and maintaining two sets of hardware so it is often used with the most critical applications where the cost can be justified. For the least important workloads, some customers accept simple, low cost offsite backup solutions, with the acknowledgement that the recovery of these workloads may take a longer time. For others, they want to know that there is a “push button” execution of failover plans and that they have highly deterministic recovery plans. Others are looking for fast recovery times, but don’t have the budget and staffing to own and maintain a secondary site.

The key to these discussions is for customers to know what their Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for each workload is. By segmenting the workloads and prioritizing their protection, customers can achieve a disaster recovery plan using cloud resources that also meets their budget needs.

With vCloud Air, we have multiple ways to address a customer’s availability and resiliency needs; from an out-of-the-box solution like vCloud Air Disaster Recovery to solutions that leverage an existing backup solution like Commvault, or using our native Data Protection solution, vCloud Air can address a wide range of problems while still providing the one place to call for support.

Key Advantages for vCloud Air

Across the variety of RPO and RTO targets that our customers are designing for, the availability solutions for vCloud Air have some common traits that make it advantageous for companies who have standardized on vSphere on-premises:

  • Mirror On-Premises Workload Architecture in the Cloud – By being built on the same vSphere platform that our customers have on-premises, we can protect those vSphere-based workloads with a high level of compatibility. That means that these workloads do not require any changes to run in the cloud. There is no conversion process to operate the failed over workloads in vCloud Air, nor a need to force the workload into an instance type. We can support any sized virtual machine up to 16 vCPU and 240GB RAM. and maintain the network, security and access control policies configured on-premises.
  • Cost-Effective Cloud-Based Solutions – In comparison to operating a secondary data center which requires staffing, periodic hardware refreshes, software licensing, patching and upgrades, a cloud-based solution is much more cost-efficient. Many customers also look into fully managed DR services, but these proprietary services can also become quite expensive and have high upfront investment costs. A solution like vCloud Air Disaster Recovery can deliver tangible results within minutes, with many of our customers starting small and growing their footprint over time.
  • Full Suite of IT Resiliency Products – As mentioned previously, vCloud Air supports a few different DR and backup scenarios including protecting of both virtualized and non-virtualized workloads running on-premises into the cloud, protecting your vCloud Air workloads in another location, backup of both your on-premises workloads and cloud-based workloads within vCloud Air itself or into Object Storage. Developing a blended IT resiliency plan that meets your budget is what we aim to do.

vCloud Air in Action

The City of Avondale located outside of Phoenix, Arizona had a directive to reduce capital investments in their IT infrastructure.  They quickly identified Disaster Recovery as an area where moving to cloud could save them money.  Their top considerations for a cloud-based solution were cost savings, ease of use, replication to a different region, and reliability of the service.  With vCloud Air Disaster Recovery they were able to eliminate redundant infrastructure and replicate their data out of state, giving them piece of mind that a disaster in Arizona will not also impact their cloud location. They are able to use the same management tools they are accustomed to on-premises, meaning their staff did not need time to train on separate tools.  Lastly, they are able to test the failover and failback capabilities of the service an unlimited amount of times, proving the solution will work when they need it.

We encourage you to visit the blog over the next several weeks where we’ll share more about each of the vCloud Air use cases and how they apply to your business. In the meantime, you can learn more about VMware vCloud Air and how it helps organizations like yours extend private workloads into the cloud.

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