Learning Guides

What you need to know about VMware disaster recovery and virtual DR

Virtual disaster recovery (DR) and VMware disaster recovery options are becoming more popular with organizations.

"Virtualization is a big enabler for DR/BC [business continuity] as it provides additional options and flexibility that are not available with traditional solutions," explained Eric Siebert, an IT industry veteran who focuses on VMware. "In addition, it can help reduce the implementation and ongoing costs of building a DR solution and help make DR more affordable to companies who previously may not have been able to afford to implement it due to cost limitations."

But according to Siebert, virtual disaster recovery can complicate things in your DR environment, especially if you are new to virtualization. However, he also emphasized that "the pros to using virtualization as part of a DR solution far outweigh the cons and it should be seriously considered in all cases."

Several vendors offer virtual disaster recovery products, but VMware is currently the market leader, offering DR products such as Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for virtualization environments. We have compiled a list of articles and tips to help you gain a more in-depth look at VMware disaster recovery and virtual disaster recovery. Learn how to use SRM for disaster recovery and how to create a disaster recovery plan for VMware View virtual desktops. Also, you'll learn about additional virtual disaster recovery options and VMware site recovery best practices.

VMWARE DISASTER RECOVERY: TABLE OF CONTENTS
Using VMware Site Recovery Manager for disaster recovery
Virtual disaster recovery options: using disk, tape and low-cost DR alternatives
Virtual machine backup plays prominent role at VMworld 2010
VMware to beef up disaster recovery offerings, support for Microsoft clustering in 2010?
Creating a disaster recovery plan for VMware View virtual desktops
VMware site recovery best practices
Quiz: VMware's disaster recovery tools

Using VMware Site Recovery Manager for disaster recovery

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager was designed to simplify the recovery process to a DR site, but in order to achieve virtual machine replication to a disaster recovery site, SRM must work with third-party tools. However, Site Recovery Manager cannot be integrated with just any storage array that supports data replication; the storage array must be supported and integrated with SRM. In this article, get a list of vendors whose arrays support SRM, read up on additional SRM requirements and find out exactly how to use VMware Site Recovery Manager for disaster recovery.

Virtual disaster recovery options: using disk, tape and low-cost DR alternatives

There are several different options for disaster recovery and data backups for virtual machines. Traditional agent based backup is still an option for virtual disaster recovery. However, image based backup is a more efficient approach which backs up the single large virtual disk file (image level) at the virtualization layer. Other virtual DR options include disk-to-disk backup recovery, built-in tools in VMware vSphere, and disaster recovery apps for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer. Find out more details about these virtual disaster recovery options in this article.

Virtual machine backup plays prominent role at VMworld 2010

There were several data protection and disaster recovery product announcements at VMworld 2010 this year. A big announcement for virtual disaster recovery was new product features in Veeam Software Backup and Replication 5: Instant VM recovery and SureBackup Recovery Verification. Read about other product announcements in this article on virtual machine backup at VMworld 2010.

VMware to beef up disaster recovery offerings, support for Microsoft clustering in 2010?

As of right now, VMware SRM has limited capabilities -- it only works with storage array-based replication from large storage vendors. Because of this, will VMware update and enhance its disaster recovery offerings in the near future? This two-part SearchVMware.com article dives into new predictions of the future of VMware DR offerings, including backup and availability options, the future of fault tolerance, high availability and snapshots, and possible software updates.

Creating a disaster recovery plan for VMware View virtual desktops

Backing up and protecting virtual desktops is a smart thing to do in order to avoid a catastrophic loss of data. But what steps should you take to create a disaster recovery plan for virtual desktops, in particular, VMware View virtual desktops? Should you replicate virtual desktops? What's the difference between a dedicated and floating virtual desktop? And Will VMware View and SRM integrate in the future? Find out the answers to these questions and how to create a DR plan for virtual desktops in this SearchVMware.com article.

VMware site recovery best practices

This tutorial covers the basics on what you need to know about VMware Site Recovery Manager. Find out the benefits of SRM for disaster recovery, look at the history of SRM, discover what you need to run Site Recovery Manager, familiarize yourself with SRM's components and learn how to test and execute recovery plans. Read the full tutorial on VMware site recovery best practices.

Quiz: VMware's disaster recovery tools

Test your VMware disaster recovery knowledge in this quiz. Answer questions on Site Recovery Manager, VMware Data Recovery and vStorage APIs. Take the VMware disaster recovery tool quiz now.

This was first published in September 2010