storage device and second site

Posted on 2009-04-22
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
hi there

i have  a main site with two esx servers that are in a cluster for DRS, HA etc. all works very nicely indeed.

i have a second site connected via fibre. i want to put one / two older servers out there running esx foundation and attach a large and VERY cheap storage device. the purpose of the site is soley for server backup in case of a disaster. they wont be used or booted on a daily basis, only if a virtual server in the main site blue screens etc.

i want to use vizioncore to send incremental backups of the vm's out to the storage device in the second site. will this work and if so should i use NAS or iscsi, san is out of hte question for the second site. will NAS do the trick for me i.e. store the incremental backups of the vms and let me start them up out there to an ok speed if the main site dies.....

thanks in advance
Question by:mikeleahy
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    vReplicator works fine so I think your have chosen well there.
    As far as the storage at your secondary DR site goes. NFS will often out perform iSCSI but it does depend to some degree on the storage type you use.
    As you have mentioned this is for DR purposes. Are you expecting your DR site to maintain production performance levels or is it intended to run production at a degraded rate?
    Just consider that most cheap storage solutions are just that and often the maintanance/Administration requirement may occupy more time than you have.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    You can use Openfiler for your NAS (NFS v3)/SAN (iSCSI target) on your DR site:

    Set your DR ESX servers to connect with Openfiler's NFS store and access the incremental backups of your VMs.

    With iSCSI you'd have to upload/import your VMs' files into your VMFS datastore.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Have you already bought vReplicator ?
    If not, I suggest you look at VM Explorer -

    Author Comment

    i havent bought anything yet . cost here is the MOST critical factor. it has to be low. any recommendations on a storage device. the function of the DR site is only to

    1. have a recent copy of the production servers
    2. if our main site burnt down we would have a copy of our servers out there, not to run in a fast state, just to have them for transferring back to the main site when its ready
    3. be able to copy a vm from the dr site back into the live site in case of a blue screen thats not fixable etc


    Author Comment

    ok guys

    say i have vreplicator working away every day etc and incremental backups of the vms are being sent to the DR site. i will have esx foundation out there in the dr site. how will esx see the backups out there? will they appear in vi client? are they the same kind of files as in the main site , how will the esx start them up/??
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    The guests you are replicating will appear in the VI Client in your DR site datacentre as OriginalHostName_vreplicator or something similar, you can configure the Name Mask as you'd like.
    The important thing to remember with vReplicator is ensure you have more than adequate disk space in your source site to compile the delta info and more than adequate disk in the DR site to ensure you can get the data replicated into the destination.
    If the DR site does run out of space you will have to reinitialise your replication jobs again which means completing a full replication of the guests again before the delta only changes can come into effect.  

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