VMware Automates Disaster Recovery

disaster recovery

VMware's new VMware Site Recovery Manager, unveiled in September but officially released on Monday, works with existing VMware products to manage and automate the disaster recover process, said Jon Bock, senior product marketing manager for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor.

Disaster recovery is typically a manual process, Bock said. "Site Recovery Manager lets users set up a disaster recovery plan and put in all the steps," he said. "Traditionally, this requires disaster recovery run books which sit on a desk to tell administrators what to do with this machine, what to do with that one. They're hard to keep up-to-date. Open a run book, and you will see a lots of 'Post-It' notes everywhere."

Site Recovery Manager integrates with VMware's VirtualCenter and with third-party storage array management software via a series of storage replication adapters, eliminating the need to manually handle the various steps in the disaster recovery process, Bock said.

"You can tell Site Recovery Manager, here are the servers to bring up, here is the order, here is what storage is needed," he said. "So if a system goes down, the IT manager can just watch how everything comes back up."

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When there is a failure, the backup site becomes the primary site, Bock said. Once the original data center site comes back up, Site Recovery Manager handles the failback process as well, he said.

VMware Site Recovery Manager also allows the automated non-disruptive testing of disaster recovery plans using an isolated test environment and the actual disaster recovery plan, Bock said.

Site Recovery Manager currently has interfaces to let it work with the management software of nine storage vendors' arrays.

One storage replication adapter lets Site Recovery Manager work with thin provisioning technology and iSCSI arrays from LeftHand Networks, of Boulder, Colo., to do fast and easy failover and failback of data, officials of that company said.

Another storage replication adapter enables the Network Storage Server appliances from FalconStor Software to integrate with the Melville, N.Y.-based company's snapshot and replication software for disaster recovery, FalconStor officials said.

Another provides a similar function for EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., and its SRDF, Celerra Replication, MirrorView, and RecoverPoint applications, EMC officials said.

Dell, Round Rock, Texas, said VMware Site Recovery Manager 's seamlessly integrates with the company's Dell EqualLogic storage arrays to automate disaster recovery.

Site Recovery Manager is available to any VMware solution provider, and is especially suited for the channel because of the need to work with storage products from multiple vendors, Bock said.

"Automated disaster recovery is such a strong attraction for customers, it can pull the demand for storage software for solution providers," he said.

VMware Site Recovery Manager is available as a stand-alone product with a list price of $1,750 per processor for servers running protected virtual machines.

It can also be purchased as part of a management and automation promotional bundle for with VMware Lab Manager, VMware Stage Manager, and VMware Lifecycle Manager at a list price of $3,995 for two processors. Another bundle, the Site Recovery Manager Acceleration Kit, is priced at $27,833 for VirtualCenter, VMware Infrastructure for six processors, and Site Recovery Manager for 6 processors.

It is available for pre-ordering next week, with delivery scheduled for later this quarter, Bock said.