Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is becoming an industry trend as it offers tremendous cost savings for customers. Establishing a second and/or third datacenter for disaster recovery, maintaining them, and the operational cost of extra sites are all expenses associated with traditional Disaster Recovery. DRaaS solutions such as vCloud Air Disaster Recovery eliminate and/or dramatically reduce these costs.
VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery has dramatically evolved since its initial offering, leaving you the customer with a great amount of options to choose from. Actually, there are many more available than most people recognize. I wanted to take some time and cover the different options out there just in case you have yet to discover the best one for you.
I will try to list the different vCloud Air Disaster Recovery options in the way they have evolved as much as possible, but there will be a few that are hard to put in the right order; this ordering is open to interpretation.
If you are familiar with VMware vSphere, then it is more than likely that you would be familiar with vSphere Replication, which is a hypervisor-based replication. vSphere Replication can be set up to replicate to vCloud Air in the same way that you would use it to replicate between your vSphere and datacenters. It is easy to set up and hardware independent, which makes it ideal for DR to the Cloud.
While vSphere Replication is great for replicating to vCloud Air, it does not offer the failover orchestration that you might require on its own. It’s still worth mentioning that it’s the base for most of the vCloud Air Disaster Recovery options discussed here– except for third party solutions that might offer their own replication method.
vRealize Orchestrator Managed vSphere Replication
You have found out that vSphere Replication itself does not meet your requirements, as you have too many VMs and failing them one by one in case of a disaster will not cut it for you. It is time to orchestrate your disaster recovery failover. vRealize Orchestrator comes with out of the box workflows that can help you automate the initiation of replication and failover of your VMs to vCloud Air, which can be easily customized to fit your most complex needs.
While vRealize Orchestrator does not have VM replication capabilities, when combined with vSphere Replication, it can do magic when it comes to DR to vCloud Air.
vRealize Automation + vRealize Orchestrator + vSphere Replication
This is my favorite available DR to vCloud Air Option. While vSphere Replication provides you with the replication and vRealize Orchestrator provides you with the orchestration, vRealize Automation is the icing on the cake and provides you with the self-service portal to front it all.
Imagine being able to provide a self-service portal where the user can request to deploy a VM on-premise or off-premise, then decide what kind of DR policy should apply to it– all self-service and without any IT interaction. This is exactly what vRealize Automation enables you to do in the mix. For more information on this, you might want to check my other blog post: DRaaS with vRA & vCloud Air DR
Third Party Solutions
While the VMware DR to Cloud offering is quite extensive, VMware partners’ diverse ecosystem enhances this even further. Vendors like Veeam, Rackware, and Double Take all offer solutions that target vCloud Air.
If you are looking to build your new disaster recovery site, you should not proceed without evaluating all of the DRaaS options available to you, as the cost savings can be quite substantial. The vCloud Air Disaster Recovery offering can help you save on both Opex and Capex, and also meet your Disaster Recovery goals. vCloud Air has no short of options when it comes to DR to Cloud adding flexibility to its cost saving advantage.
Eiad Al-Aqqad is a Consulting Architect within the SDDC Professional Services practice. He has been an active consultant using VMware technologies since 2006. He is a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX#89), as well as an expert in VMware vCloud, vSphere, and SRM. In addition, he serves as a CTO Ambassador. Read more from Eiad at his blog, VirtualizationTeam.com, and follow him on Twitter @VirtualizationT.