We are very excited to announce that VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery is now available. This is a new VMware on-demand disaster recovery (DR) offering that will be delivered as a simple easy-to-use SaaS solution leveraging the benefits of cloud economics. Based on technology from VMware’s recent acquisition of Datrium, it will enable IT and business continuity teams to easily and cost-effectively resume critical business operations into the cloud (VMware Cloud on AWS) after a disaster event in their on-premises environment.
Extending the current VMware Disaster Recovery solutions, building on the VMware Cloud on AWS platform, and leveraging your existing VMware vSphere on-premises capabilities, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (or VMware Cloud DR for short) provides a simple to set up and easy to operate DRaaS solution. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.
What’s included in VMware Cloud DR?
The solution is broken down into two main parts – the cloud-based services and the on-premises components. For the cloud-based services, we have two new components:
- SaaS Orchestrator – provides a centralized management dashboard for connecting your on-premises Protected Sites to the cloud-based DR resources, manages the scheduled Protection Groups operations securing your data to cloud-based storage, and orchestrates your DR plans for testing or actual failover. The SaaS-based management console will simplify DR maintenance operations, eliminating the burden of lifecycle managing the DR software. The Orchestrator also provides a direct path into creating and managing the VMC SDDC further simplifying cloud site management when needed.
- Scale-out Cloud File System – provides a sophisticated cloud-based file system datastore for holding multiple point-in-time copies of your protected VMs in native VM format and enabling the quick recovery from a Live Mount connection to the SDDC when needed for DR. The ability to power on VMs without waiting to fully rehydrate data from cloud storage to VMware Cloud on AWS, via a live mount NFS volume to the ESX hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS provides even faster recovery.
For the on-premises components, we have:
- DRaaS Connector – this simple to deploy OVA provides the basic vSphere snapshot and change block tracking mechanisms to transport on-premises VM data to the Scale-out Cloud File System for subsequent DR use.
What do these (3) new VMware Cloud DR components enable?
Once the VMware Cloud DR cloud-based services are registered, you can login to the SaaS Orchestrator UI and easily begin to construct the elements required to establish your DR solution. The dashboard shown here provides the overall details of the systems and simple navigation points to protect your on-premises Sites, with Protection group policies and DR plans to automate the recovery tasks:
Looking a little closer at these 3 key DR solution constructs, we have:
- Protected Sites – basically any on-premises vCenter environment can deploy one or more of the DRaaS Connector appliance VMs and connect that site to a VMware Cloud DR instance in VMC – this enables the protection of VMs in that site to the Scale-out Cloud File System.
- Protection Groups – provide the policy-based definitions for determining which VMs are selected, when they are protected (snapshot), and how long (retention) their recovery point is kept in the cloud for potential DR use. Flexible schedules and retention rules allow for near-term DR scenarios (4-hr RPO) as well as long term retention (days, weeks, months) for other scenarios like faster recovery point validation for ransomware attacks.
- DR Plans – provide a comprehensive site to site plans that capture the organizational details of the VMs that need to failover, the order of events, and any special handling (e.g., IP address changes), and notifications. Once defined, DR health checks will occur every 30 minutes, increasing the confidence that the DR plan will work when needed. Whenever DR plans are executed – either for test or actual failover or failback – audit-ready automated audit reports are generated that will help meet internal company policies and regulatory compliance requirements.
How it all fits together:
The diagram below ties the (3) new components of the VMware Cloud DR product to the (3) key constructs used to manage the overall DR solution.
One thing to notice is that you are using a familiar VMware infrastructure on both sides of the DR setup – vCenter for the on-premises site and SDDC vCenter for VMC on AWS cloud site. This is valuable both during DR testing or failover since you won’t need to learn new operational processes and tools of a different cloud infrastructure. With VMware Cloud DR, you 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.
It is also important to note that the DR cloud site compute resource setup (the SDDC) is only needed when DR strikes or when testing your DR plans. Leveraging the elasticity of cloud computing, you use VMware Cloud DR to spin up VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC infrastructure when needed so you won’t need to pay for cloud compute capacity for the vast majority of the time – i.e., during non-DR situations.
For a simple to set up, easy to operate, on-demand DR solution from your on-premises VMware sites to VMware Cloud on AWS locations, the new VMware Cloud DR solution might be just the right fit for your business and budget.
Here is a list of additional resources to help get familiarized with the features and functionality of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery:
- Announcing VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery videos
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery FAQ
- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Release Notes