Businesses today are leveraging the cloud in new and exciting ways to bolster their on-premises infrastructure. One of the very practical and valuable use cases of the cloud is disaster recovery. Having your data stored in more than one location and having at least one copy of your data stored offsite is one of the basic principles of good disaster recovery strategies. Cloud allows your business to have a way to satisfy both of those best practice recommendations.

VMware Cloud on AWS is allowing businesses who are already familiar with and comfortable with VMware vSphere solutions and tools to have a great way to extend this familiarity into the cloud with the same look and feel to their current enterprise datacenter virtualization technology.

Let’s take a look at VMware Cloud on AWS for Disaster Recovery and see how this new cloud-driven vSphere technology is a great fit for DR.

How Cloud Technology Bolsters Disaster Recovery

To take a bit closer look into why cloud technologies make sense for DR, we can examine the 3-2-1 backup best practice methodology. This best practice recommendation tells us that you need to have at least (3) copies of your data, stored on at least (2) different types of media, and with at least (1) copy stored offsite.

Cloud environments are arguably a type of “media” in their own right. We all know that your data is stored on hard disks in the cloud, however, the platform, abstraction, and redundancy features that are offered by the cloud transforms the environment into its own type of unique data storage type.

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Additionally, cloud environments allow you to satisfy the requirement to have at least (1) copy of your data stored offsite. The great thing about cloud environments is you can leverage the cloud to store your data in any number of world-class data centers spread around the world. Your data can be stored in an entirely different geographic region than your production data. This makes it extremely unlikely that your other copy of data, stored in the cloud, would be affected by the same disaster that may affect your production site.

Cloud environments tout extremely resilient, secure, and scalable infrastructure that you would be hard-pressed to replicate with a type of on-premises storage technology. Cloud environments are almost infinitely scalable and this means you can have as much storage as you need for your production data. Cloud storage is often referred to as “elastic” – This means it can scale both up and down with ease.

As your data requirements or storage needs change, grow, or even shrink, cloud environments offer a really easy and efficient way to make these types of scalability changes happen easily.

When thinking about cloud disaster recovery technologies or cloud environments like VMware Cloud on AWS as disaster recovery tools, it does not have to be an “all or nothing” proposition. Cloud disaster recovery technologies can do one of three things when it comes to disaster recovery:

  • Provide new DR
  • Replace existing DR
  • Complement existing DR

Let’s see how VMware Cloud on AWS helps with disaster recovery use cases.

VMware Cloud on AWS for Disaster Recovery

VMware Cloud on AWS helps to solve many of the challenges and complexities of deploying, maintaining, and operating a traditional DR solution. When you think about traditional DR solutions, these require purchasing hardware, installing software, leasing physical space or building out brick and mortar facilities to house your own datacenter for disaster recovery. In addition, there is networking to think about and other miscellaneous equipment to deploy and maintain. All of this results in often very complicated and expensive configurations solely for the purpose of disaster recovery.

Many businesses may choose a DR-as-a-Service offering that may fit the need of simply having a place to copy your data to, however, fall very short when it comes to actually failing over to them. Many DRaaS offerings may not include the seamless networking and automation tools needed to make failing over to their environment painless and easy. These challenges and lack of tools and automation provided by the DRaaS service can certainly delay critical RPO and RTO objectives.

VMware-Cloud-on-AWS-for-Disaster-Recovery

VMware Cloud on AWS provides a great tool for Disaster Recovery

VMware Cloud on AWS helps to solve many of these challenges by using tried and true VMware technologies that your business may already use and be familiar with. For current VMware customers using vSphere on-premises currently, this means the same processes and tooling that is used with on-premises vSphere can be adjusted only slightly and work for VMware Cloud on AWS environments. This also means there is no “replatforming” of your VMs that exist as vSphere VMs on-premises and will exist as vSphere VMs in the cloud.

With traditional DRaaS, there may not be a way to perform non-disruptive testing of your disaster recovery plan to ensure it is engineered and working correctly. This can provide challenges for actually running through disaster recovery playbooks.

VMware Cloud on AWS helps to solve all of these traditional challenges by using VMware technologies and solutions in software that allow performing disaster recovery in a way that was not possible many years ago.

Let’s take a look at VMware Cloud on AWS technologies and how they are able to provide cutting-edge disaster recovery capabilities that allow your business to continue operating, even in the worst of disasters.

VMware Cloud on AWS DR with Site Recovery Manager

VMware Site Recovery offers many great capabilities to your business when you use VMware Cloud on AWS for disaster recovery. Using vSphere Replication, you can replicate your business-critical VMs to AWS. Site Recovery Manager is that piece that helps to orchestrate all the moving parts that need to happen fluidly during a true disaster. Site Recovery Manager (SRM) plays a key role by automatically powering on VMs according to the right dependencies, running needed scripts, mapping IP networks automatically, and spinning up more compute nodes if needed.

It even allows you to run non-disruptive testing to verify your DR plan and ensure it meets the needs of your business and is engineered correctly. Site Recovery Manager allows you to “plug-in” VMware DR into your existing DR strategy, or implement an entirely new DR solution for your business. Either way, it can help meet your needs to protect your data.

VMware Cloud on AWS DR with VMware HCX

VMware HCX Disaster Recovery is a service intended to protect VMs managed by VMware vSphere that can be deployed in a private or public cloud. VMware HCX is the new and upcoming technology being used by VMware to solve very difficult challenges with migrating workloads and for DR purposes. This includes a hybrid pipeline that allows for seamless operations to do secure zero-downtime migration or low downtime bulk migrations.

Also, DR is a simple workflow that is enabled with HCX and allows partial or full failover capabilities. This provides many benefits including:

  • Simple management platform
  • Major efficiency gains
  • Lower TCO
  • Reverse failover of workflows to your source site
  • Multiple points in time recovery snapshots
  • Optimized replication traffic using WAN optimization

VMware HCX leverages technologies such as NSX-T Data Center to provide the necessary creative networking that is needed to extend Layer 2 boundaries and other networking constructs to allow workloads to live in different environments

Final Thoughts

Cloud is becoming increasingly important in the world of IT infrastructure in general but also, more specifically, in disaster recovery. Businesses are commonly using the cloud as a means of storing backups or housing additional DR resources for failing over in a disaster scenario.

VMware Cloud on AWS is a cloud-based solution from VMware that allows businesses to continue using familiar technologies and tooling to have a DR solution that is completely housed in AWS. Using Site Recovery Manager or the newer VMware HCX, VMware Cloud on AWS provides a powerful platform for taking your disaster recovery strategy to the next level.

Whatever the case, make sure to make DR an important part of your overall IT strategy. Using cloud environments and tools, you can ensure your business is protected from disaster and you can leverage the power of the cloud in doing so.

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