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VMware Site Recovery brings VMware enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) Disaster Recovery as a Service to the AWS Cloud. It enables customers to protect and recover applications without the requirement for a dedicated secondary site. It is delivered, sold, supported, maintained and managed by VMware as an on-demand service. IT teams manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools—without the difficulties of learning new skills or utilizing new tools.

VMware Site Recovery is an add-on feature to VMware Cloud on AWS, powered by VMware Cloud Foundation.  VMware Cloud on AWS integrates VMware’s flagship compute, storage, and network virtualization products—VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX—along with VMware vCenter Server management. It optimizes them to run on elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. With the same architecture and operational experience on-premises and in the cloud, IT teams can now get instant business value via the AWS and VMware hybrid cloud experience.

The VMware Cloud on AWS solution enables customers to have the flexibility to treat their private cloud and public cloud as equal partners and to easily transfer workloads between them—for example, to move applications from DevTest to production or burst capacity. Users can leverage the global AWS footprint while getting the benefits of elastically scalable SDDC clusters, a single bill from VMware for its tightly integrated software plus AWS infrastructure, and on-demand or subscription services like VMware Site Recovery Service.

VMware Site Recovery extends VMware Cloud on AWS to provide a managed disaster recovery, disaster avoidance and non-disruptive testing capabilities to VMware customers without the need for a secondary site, or complex configuration.

This solution works in conjunction with VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.0 and VMware vSphere Replication 8.0 to automate the process of migrating, recovering, testing, re-protecting, and failing-back virtual machine workloads.

VMware Site Recovery utilizes VMware Site Recovery Manager servers to coordinate the operations of the VMware SDDC. This is so that as virtual machines at the protected site are shut down, copies of these virtual machines at the recovery site startup. By using the data replicated from the protected site these virtual machines assume responsibility for providing the same services.

Deployment Options

VMware Site Recovery can be used between a customer’s datacenter and an SDDC deployed on VMware Cloud on AWS or it can be used between two SDDCs deployed to different AWS availability zones or regions. The second option allows VMware Site Recovery to provide a fully VMware managed and maintained Disaster Recovery solution.

Automated Runbooks

Migration of protected inventory and services from one site to the other is controlled by a recovery plan that specifies the order in which virtual machines are shut down and started up, the resource pools to which they are allocated, and the networks they can access. VMware Site Recovery enables the testing of recovery plans, using a temporary copy of the replicated data, and isolated networks in a way that does not disrupt ongoing operations at either site. Multiple recovery plans can be configured to migrate individual applications or entire sites providing finer control over what virtual machines are failed over and failed back. This also enables flexible testing schedules.

VMware Site Recovery extends the feature set of the virtual infrastructure platform to provide for rapid business continuity through partial or complete site failures.

Features and Benefits of VMware Site Recovery

  • Provides familiar features and functionality with enhanced workflows to reduce time to protection and risk
  • An easy to use disaster recovery/secondary site that is supported and maintained by VMware. This lowers capital costs and makes it easier to protect more virtual machines faster.
  • Application-agnostic protection eliminates the need for app-specific point solutions
  • Automated orchestration of site failover and failback with a single-click reduces recovery times
  • Frequent, non-disruptive testing of recovery plans ensures highly predictable recovery objectives
  • Enhanced, easy to use, consolidated protection workflow simplifies replicating and protecting virtual machines
  • Centralized management of recovery plans from the vSphere Web Client replaces manual runbooks
  • Planned migration workflow enables disaster avoidance and data center mobility
  • vSphere Replication integration delivers VM-centric, replication that eliminates dependence on a particular type of storage
  • Flexible versioning allows for easier upgrades and ongoing management

VMware Site Recovery is deployed in a paired configuration, for example, protected/customer site and recovery/VMware Cloud on AWS site. These can be used interchangeably because either the customer site or VMware Cloud on AWS site can be either the protected or recovery sites.

Built on Proven Solutions

VMware Site Recovery utilizes VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication. For the VMware Cloud on AWS instance, this software is automatically installed and configured by VMware when the add-on is enabled. For the customer site, VMware Site Recovery Manager is installed on a Microsoft Windows server and vSphere Replication is deployed as an appliance, both by the customer. VMware Site Recovery requires a VMware vCenter Server at the customer site as well. The customer site vCenter can be running either VMware vCenter Server version 6.0 U3 or 6.5. There must be one or more vSphere hosts running version 5.0 or higher at the customer site. VMware Site Recovery utilizes vSphere Replication for transferring data between sites.

VMware Site Recovery and VMware vCenter Server as well as the workloads they are protecting require infrastructure services like DNS, DHCP and Active Directory. These must be in place at both the protected and recovery sites.

VMware Site Recovery is managed using the new HTML5 based web interface. During the installation of Site Recovery Manager, a plugin labeled “Site Recovery” is installed in the vSphere Web Client and an icon labeled “Site Recovery” is displayed.

VMware Site Recovery supports protection for up to 500 virtual machines and is able to simultaneously run up to 10 recovery plans. Up to 500 virtual machines can be included in a single protection group and VMware Site Recovery provides support for up to 250 protection groups.

For more technical details of this new service see the VMware Site Recovery Technical Overview Whitepaper.

To learn more about the recent VMware Cloud on AWS announcement, read the blog here.