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We are very excited to announce VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery – a new VMware on-demand disaster recovery (DR) offering that will be delivered as a simple easy-to-use SaaS solution with the benefits of cloud economics. Based on technology from VMware’s recent acquisition of Datrium, it will enable IT and business continuity teams to resume critical business operations after a disaster event.
 

Disaster Recovery is Critical for Every Business, and DRaaS Adoption is on the Rise

 
In a recent analyst survey, 76 percent of respondents reported an incident during the past two years that required an IT DR plan, while more than 50 percent reported at least two incidents (1). At the same time, cyberattacks are on the rise, increasing business risk. In 2019, 52 percent of global enterprise network security decision-makers had experienced at least one sensitive data breach in the past 12 months (2). And just this month, security researchers reported a seven-fold year-on-year increase in ransomware reports (3). Therefore, it’s no wonder that CxOs and board members increasingly care about DR.

Although organizations realize the importance of implementing a robust DR solution for business continuity, compliance with industry regulations, protection against disasters, ransomware and security breaches, traditional DR solutions can be complex, expensive, and unreliable, leaving many teams less than confident that their DR plan will work when needed. Hence, many are turning to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) because of its simplified operations and low total cost of ownership (TCO). In other words, many are seeing DR as an ultimate rentable IT service, and hence why DRaaS adoption is on the rise.
 

On-demand, Easy-to-Use, Cloud Economics

 
Here’s where VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will come into the picture. As an easy- to-use cloud-based solution, it will combine efficient cloud storage with simple SaaS-based management for IT resiliency at scale. Customers will benefit from consistent, familiar VMware operations across production and DR sites, a pay-when-you-need-failover capacity model for DR resources, and instant power-on capabilities for fast recovery. Let’s dig in some more.
 

 
On-Demand
 
Fast recovery is important for DR. A powerful aspect of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will be its ability to power on VMs without waiting to fully rehydrate data from cloud storage to VMware Cloud on AWS, via a live mount of NFS volumes to the ESX hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS. For even faster recovery, there will be the Pilot Light option, which pre-provisions and pre-configures a small initial footprint of hosts. Also, throughout the entire end-to-end workflow, from steady state replication to testing to failover to failback, VMs stay in their native vSphere VM format, eliminating the need for brittle and time-consuming VM disk format conversions. This instant power-on of VMs is important for key use cases such as the rapid testing of multiple recovery points during ransomware recovery.
 
Easy-to-Use
 
During transient events, such as DR testing or failover, customers should not need to learn new operational processes and tools of cloud infrastructure. With VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, they will be able to manage both the cloud DR and production sites with VMware vCenter and retain access to familiar vSphere constructs—such as clusters, resource pools, datastores, virtual switches and port groups—following a failover. The SaaS-based management console will simplify DR maintenance operations, eliminating the customer burden of lifecycle managing the DR software, and it will scale up to 1,500 VMs across multiple SDDC clusters. DR health checks will occur every 30 minutes, increasing the confidence that the DR plan will work when needed. Finally, audit-ready automated audit reports will help to meet internal company policies and regulatory compliance requirements.
 
Cloud Economics
 
Leveraging the elasticity of cloud computing, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will spin up VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure only during a DR test or failover event. Customers therefore won’t need to pay for compute capacity for the vast majority of the time (note: they can choose the Pilot Light option for faster recovery times). In steady state, it will utilize a highly efficient cloud storage layer for storing backups, including the designated number of recovery points and its retention schedule. Even the failbacks will be optimized for the cloud. Only the data deltas are transferred back to the production site, thereby minimizing the network egress charges. All of these design considerations combined take advantage of cloud economics to deliver a low TCO solution, especially when compared to the cost of owning and maintaining a secondary datacenter for DR failover.
 

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
 

VMware’s DR Portfolio – Protecting Your Business Critical Services

 
We are excited to announce this new DRaaS addition to VMware’s DR portfolio. With VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, VMware Site Recovery, and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM), there will be multiple offerings to meet your organization’s DR needs. Use one, or several concurrently, to confidently recover from disaster events.
 
Learn More
 
Please attend one of our VMworld sessions to hear more from the product team and ask questions. Session recordings will also be available post VMworld. To get an even closer look at the solution, take the VMworld Hands-on Lab. Or check out our product page. Thank you!
• VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Product Page
VMworld 2020 Sessions: HCI2876, HCI2886, HCI2865
VMworld Hands-on Lab: HOL-2193
 
References
 
(1) Gartner, Inc. “Survey Analysis: IT Disaster Recovery Trends and Benchmarks.” Jerry Rozeman, Ron Blair. April 30, 2020.
(2) Forrester. “Top Cybersecurity Threats In 2020.” Josh Zelonis, Sandy Carielli, Joseph Blankenship, Elsa Pikulik, Benjamin Corey, Madison Bakalar. January 24, 2020.
(3) Bitdefender. “Mid-year Threat Landscape Report 2020”. September 2020.