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By Sergey Malakhov, R&D Manager, VMware

VMware’s internal developers and site reliability engineers (SREs) use a variety of tools to maintain our private cloud. One of them is JIRA, a software development tool used to plan, track and release software. Up until recently, the primary instance of JIRA was deployed in a data center, and the disaster recovery (DR) instance was located in a second data center.

This DR plan protects JIRA workloads in the event of an outage in the application or  internal network, a factor that was important for this particular application. An outage could delay releases into the cloud environment, negatively affecting product releases and our ability to support VMware’s customers.

VMware’s adoption of a hybrid cloud strategy added the public cloud to our DR strategy. We decided to move the DR instance of JIRA from a data center to VMware Cloud™ on AWS. The application would be independently failed over to VMware Cloud on AWS during a disaster scenario. The need for IT to maintain redundant on-premises infrastructure in its production environment was eliminated, and our team could easily increase or decrease capacity as needed.

DR testing & implementation

Leveraging VMware IT infrastructure, along with a well-designed and approved architecture, has enabled a setup in VMware Cloud on AWS as a replica of the on-premises private cloud. This enables seamless failover/failback to achieve target Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) metrics, two crucial parameters of any DR implementation plan. The primary instance would reside in our private cloud, while the DR instance would reside in VMware Cloud on AWS.

Setting up the DR process was simple:

  1. For the initial test, we migrated the stage environment into VMware Cloud on AWS.
  2. We performed functional, resiliency, and performance testing.
  3. We initiated the production deployment following a similar process. During the production cutover, we ensured that the data was in sync between the on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS instances. The DR was automatically routed to VMware Cloud on AWS using global server load balancing (GSLB).
  4. We conduct quarterly DR testing on Jira to further validate the solution is working as expected.

JIRA is secured via a built-in firewall, along with Next-Gen firewalls, to enable Layer 7 inspection and threat prevention services. In addition, all data transferred between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS is secured using a site-to-site VPN. Moving to the DR instance does not impact either the RTO or RPO metrics.

Today, VMware Cloud on AWS is a viable DR option for internal applications such as JIRA. By moving the DR instance to VMware Cloud on AWS, we are able to achieve a new level of redundancy and fault isolation. The need to maintain a duplicate infrastructure is eliminated, and the infrastructure compatibility issues that can occur over time in traditional data centers have been greatly reduced.

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