VMware Infrastructure 3

Site Recovery Manager: it’s going to be big

As you may have heard, VMware recently announced the availability of Site Recovery Manager, our new product for disaster recovery management and automation. Here’s a nice overview from TechTarget: VMware ships Site Recovery Manager DR software. (VMware SRM should not to be confused with Storage Resource Management.)

Here’s a nice SRM presentation that goes into more detail. [via NTPRO.NL]

The reviews coming in are great. Now you’d expect EMC VP Chuck Hollis to be a fan, both because of the EMC-VMware connection and also because EMC has products integrated with SRM. But he’s absolutely right: DR is hard and expensive, and at many places, the DR plan is worth the paper it’s written on. SRM can change that paper plan to a real-world, testable process that doesn’t break the bank. Or as he puts it here: Chuck’s Blog: VMware’s SRM Changes The Game For Remote Recovery.

Let’s face it — when you’re considering remote recovery, you’re usually signing up for an expensive proposition:

  • additional servers and storage (plus a data center to put them in!)
  • network bandwidth to replicate data from source to target as it changes
  • and a ton of continuing effort to to ensure that your environment can recover gracefully

Sure, there are other costs involved, but — just for the sake of discussion — let’s keep it to these three biggies.

Simply put, SRM is a management package for VMware that understands
what you’re trying to do with remote recovery, and leverages ESX’s
properties to do all of this far better than we could ever do in the
physical world.

And in a rare alignment of the storage planets, Mark Farley of Dell EqualLogic agrees. Link: What Chuck Hollis said, but shorter – Inside IT. Mark gives a great "reading" of Chuck’s blog and manages to stick in lots of context — don’t forget to click on all those links. Recommended. Mark also posted a nice video about scripting non-VMware tasks via SRM from Kiran Ranabhor, Technical Product Manager for DR, VMware, at a BOF during last year’s VMworld. Link: Scripting external elements with Site Recovery Manager.

How are customers looking at this? For an early glance, here’s a blog post over at VMware Communities from Jerry Wilkin. Link: The Big Plan: Business Continuity.

For my employer, this is the year of disaster recovery. Almost all
of our major projects tie-in to the goal of performing a successful DR
test by the end of the year. Besides the standard IT things that have
to get done on a regular basis (asset management, corporate application
TLC, etc.), this goal is really driving the work we’re doing. …

I first saw VMware Site Recovery Manager at a VMworld 2007
presentation. If it works, it will be impressive. Automating the steps
to configure and power on VMs and a central place to store the DR “run
book” will be sweet, to say the least.

(I do want to point out that most major storage vendors — the press release mentions 3PAR, Dell, EMC, FalconStor, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, LeftHand Networks and NetApp — are working with us on SRM, so although it gives Jerry a warm fuzzy to be working with EMC, you’re likely in good hands working with your current vendors.)

And we’ll finish with a few more blog entries on SRM:


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