VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery

Top Use Cases with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery

Resiliency. Recovery. Business Continuity. These terms have become top of mind for every IT professional—but what do they actually mean? What is needed to drive positive change in these areas, and most importantly, how can organizations do it?

The answer to those questions is too complex to cover in a single blog—especially since Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) technologies, encompassing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), continue to evolve by the minute. But what we can say, is that by optimizing certain parameters in your DR infrastructure through simple (but impactful) choices, you’re able to be more strategic about how you allocate your resources, without having to spend the weekend away from your family fixing an outage, paying an astronomical compliance breach fine, or even worse, losing your data.

Here are a few choices that VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery brings to the table, which can help drive a successful BC/DR strategy for your organization while maximizing your ROI and reducing the burden on your IT teams. If you identify with one of these use cases, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery might be for you. You customize it, we manage it. Let’s dive in.

Modernize: Replacing or Retiring an Existing DR Solution

Your current solution is too expensive and complex to manage. You have a co-lo lease that’s expiring. Your data volume is growing, and you need more storage for DR. You’re adopting cloud as part of your businesses’ digital transformation strategy. All these (and many more) are valid reasons to start looking for alternatives. Here’s how VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery can help you modernize your DR infrastructure, smartly:

  • Being a SaaS-based managed offering, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery removes the need for a secondary data center—just provision failover capacity on-demand with VMware Cloud on AWS and you’re good to go. If you want to get faster recovery times, you can do so by activating Pilot Light Mode, which allows you to have pre-provisioned hosts set up, giving you the instant capacity to scale your DR environment in the need of a failover.
  • By leveraging the elasticity of VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery allows you to scale on-demand to meet your evolving DR needs—with a pay-as-you-go model for the DR infrastructure capacity.
  • Familiar VMware operations make it easier to operate your DR environment and support cloud adoption, dramatically reducing the need to re-train your IT teams, so they can focus on what matters—driving results for your business.
  • With a unique Scale Out File System as a core component, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery removes the need for customers to choose between low TCO and fast recovery times while providing a modernized approach to DR testing through continuous checks every 30 minutes and non-disruptive rehearsals.

Optimize: Driving DR Cost Optimization

Optimizing doesn’t necessarily imply a dramatic drop in your overall IT costs—there’s a reason why IT budgets are growing worldwide [1]. It’s actually about smarter allocation of resources. What do we mean by this? Basically, putting your lunch money where you’ll get the most value (ROI) out of it. And ROI is impacted by a number of factors, including compliance fines, CapEx-intensive infrastructure with high upfront investments, outage costs, and ransomware attacks, just to name a few—but there’s one key driver of cost optimization that’s often overlooked: a tiered approach to DR.  

As harsh as this may sound, not all apps are created equal, which means that your SLA requirements for Tier 0 or 1 applications won’t be the same as those for your Tier 2 or 3. The question then is: could you optimize DR costs by tuning SLAs and costs to match application requirements?

The answer is yes. VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery brings a unique approach to DR by allowing you to do just that, since:

  • It requires no up-front application compute cost as it leverages cloud economics to deliver on-demand failover capacity to meet your DR needs. No need to invest in data center infrastructure or maintain a secondary DR site—you can optimize.
  • For more sensitive workloads with stringent SLAs, Pilot Light Mode and Live Mount allow you instantly power-on your VMs and scale your DR site, delivering faster recovery times.
  • It empowers Audit-Ready DR by having automated health checks and workflows along with integrated reporting of testing, failover, and failback operations. This will drive compliance risk mitigation and provide your business with proof that your DR plans are being tested and executed correctly.
  • It eliminates brittle VM format conversions, providing a reliable layer of protection to all vSphere-based workloads, preventing disruptions during DR operations which could compromise the integrity of the data being recovered.

Last, but certainly not least: let’s talk ransomware.

Restore: Rapid Ransomware Recovery

The impact these attacks have on organizations has grown to the point where some have gone out of business [2], and, in the case of healthcare, lives have been put at risk [3].

Ransomware protection should be a company-wide effort, ranging from best practices training for all employees to having a reliable, tested plan to recover your data in case you do get hit. Unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor: by the end of 2021, it is estimated that one organization will fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds [4]. If that prediction holds true through 2022, there would be over 2,827,636 attacks in one year. Food for thought.

Risk always exists, but VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery can help you mitigate it. Here’s how:

  • Immutable cloud-based recovery points ranging from hours to months old are stored in VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Scale Out File System and undergo continuous DR health checks, driving ease of use and confidence in recovery in case of an attack, as they can’t be altered by malware.
  • Non-disruptive testing simplifies operations and drives DR readiness
  • Rapid recovery point validations can be run non-disruptively by leveraging Live Mount, a feature that allows you to instantly power-on your VMs in the cloud. Since no data rehydration is needed, you can quickly check many recovery points in a short amount of time.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that using the past as a map of the future is not necessarily the key to success. Regardless of where you are in your journey, it’s a good time to rethink your disaster recovery approach by modernizing your DR plan, optimizing costs associated with inefficient DR resource allocation, and driving confidence in restoring your critical applications if ransomware strikes. Regaining control of IT time and idle resources could be the highest dividend your strategy pays.

Threats are growing, but so is our solution. This is only the beginning. If you want to know more about our VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery use cases and other details on the DRaaS offering, check out the following resources:

[1] Gartner Press Release

[2] NBC News

[3] ZDNet

[4] Cybersecurity Ventures