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Disaster Recovery for CloudSystem 10 Enterprise with Zerto Virtual Replication

vguddad

Disaster recovery (DR) forms a big part of a company’s business continuity plan. IT services are critical to the smooth running of a company and this is why it is important to ensure these services and data are continuously available with no downtime, no lost data, no lost revenue, and no lost customers or reputation. A disaster may not be totally avoidable but its impact can be minimized on the business. In the event of a disaster, the continued operations of your company depend on the ability to replicate your IT systems and data.

HPE has partnered with Zerto (http://www.zerto.com) to create a DR offering for CloudSystem (CS) 10 Enterprise customers. Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) software enables rapid recovery from unplanned outages in times ranging from minutes and with minimal data loss measured in seconds.

Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) Overview

ZVR is a hypervisor based, storage independent disaster recovery solution that does continuous data replication from the source site to the recovery site, supports fully orchestrated and automated failover, failback and non-disruptive DR testing for production workloads and is the backbone of an always-on, continuously available deployment. ZVR does not use snapshots. Instead, ZVR continuously replicates the data from the source site to the target site. With continuous replication of VM block level changes from the hypervisor and requiring no agents in the protected virtual machines, ZVR delivers powerful data protection and recovery solution. Changed blocks are stored in compressed journals enabling the recovery of data on the recovery site in increments measured in the seconds up to two weeks in the past. ZVR maintains space efficiency and has no impact on the production environment. The block replication of the actual virtual machines is independent of the host’s backing storage.

ZVR installs transparently in a production environment and has virtually no impact to the production site. ZVR does continuous data replication thus helping you achieve your RPOs. Once a virtual machine is selected to be protected, all changes made on the machine are replicated in the remote site.

With this offering, CloudSystem 10 Enterprise customers can protect their CloudSystem control plane and workload virtual machines running on VMware ESXi.

Zerto integration with CSE10

CSE10 Zerto IntegrationCSE10 Zerto Integration

A CS 10 Enterprise only installation on VMware vCenter comprises of the CloudSystem control plane virtual appliances running on a 3 node ESXi cluster for High Availability. Another ESXi cluster with several ESXi hosts is created for running the application workloads.

The Zerto DR solution components are installed as virtual machines in the ESX environment.

  1. Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) is the management component that interfaces with vCenter. The ZVM initiates virtual machine operations such as shutdown or startup via the vCenter of the respective datacenter where the operation is being performed. One ZVM is installed at each site and paired to the Data center’s vCenter.
  2. Zerto Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA) is the component that ZVR uses in the continuous replication of data from source to target data centers. The VRAs can both send and receive replication so the workloads can be balanced across both data centers if desired. The VRAs are installed on each physical ESXi host in source and target cluster.
  3. Zerto Virtual Protection Group (VPG) is a set of virtual machines that are logically grouped together for consistent recovery point objectives.

VPG creation is normally done with two general design approaches:

By Application. Every VM that makes up an application is added to the VPG. The machines can be configured to boot in a specific order, with time delays if necessary. Re-IP addressing, pre and post boot scripts can be run as well.

By Service Tier: A tiered design where virtual machines are placed into specific levels based on service level agreements. An example tiered system is: Gold, Silver, Bronze or High, Medium and Low. VMs are then simply added to the corresponding tier level.

When a VPG is created, a replica of each virtual machine disk in the VPG is created under a VRA on the recovery site. These replica virtual disks must be populated with the data in the protected virtual machines which is done by synchronizing the protected virtual machines with the recovery site replicas. The synchronization between the protected site and remote site takes a period of time for the initial replication, depending on the size of the virtual machines. After the initial synchronization completes, only the writes to disk from the virtual machines in the protected site are sent to the remote site. This makes the recovery time quicker and recovery points very granular – they are measured in the seconds. These writes are stored by the VRA in the remote site in journals for a specified period, after which they are promoted to the replica virtual disks managed by the VRA. The replicated virtual machines in the remote site can be recovered to any point in time defined for the Virtual Protection Group (VPG).

In the second part of this blog post, we will look at a demo of DR with CSE10.

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About the Author

vguddad

Vinod is a Senior Architect in the Cloud Technical Marketing team. He has a breadth of experience in software development, pre-sales, enablement across various technology platforms.

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