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The cost benefits analysis of Data Replication technology for Shared Storage in DR site (SAN based vs. 3rd party VMware application)

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi All,

I am investigating the of which one is the most preferable choice for DR environment ?
###between SAN based replication technology or 3rd party application (Veeam Backup and replication or VMware Site Recovery mgr.)

my current situation is that I have running mostly virtual environment

production environment that is mixed of HP DL 380 and Blade servers with EMC Clariion CX4-500 FC-SAN
planning for DR environment that uses the same server model but still thinking of which SAN technology that we could use for the replication between the two sites ?

the DR site is not necessarily to be as fast as the current production and the SAN doesn't have to be EMC

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Question by:jjoz
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13 Comments
 
LVL 123
ID: 34896127
SAN based replication is easier, but more expensive, less involved technically.

You can use Veeam Backup and Replication, what is the speed of the WAN (data) link between the sites?

Do you have a 1Gbe circuit?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34896161
the WAN speed is 10 MB/s between them.
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LVL 123
ID: 34896177
That's very slow. Does anything else go over that link or can you use all 10 MB/s for DR?
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34896189
yes that is dedicated only for DR replication from my production, initially all data can / must be seeded (copied) using the local speed and then the hardware is moved out to the DR site over the weekend period.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34902110
Actually after doing some research around,

with the HP left hand VSA - http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storage/software/vsa/trial/index.html I can deploy that on top of other SAN hardware between prod - DR and then implement software replication (sounds complex to troubleshoot later on).

with the same brand of SAN from EMC, maybe just get the smaller Clariion CX4-200 to replicate it between the 10 MB WAN link after the initial in site copy is a good idea at least.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34939486
ok, so now my management has approved to use the 1 GB dark fibre to the link between sites :-)
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LVL 123

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 34939501
SAN Based Replication then between sites, using Snaps.

If you use Veeam be warned, some users are experiencing issues with slight service outages, whilst the Snapshot process pauses the server whilst the replication/backup of "busy" servers is completed.

If you perform SAN based replication, you've got no service issues affecting VM servers.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34939539
"SAN based replication, you've got no service issues affecting VM servers."
hm.. i thought that by implementing the SAN based replication the VM state is in "crash consistent" since the SAN based replication doesn't quiesce the VM gracefully ?
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LVL 123

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 34939583
That's very true. The VM state is crash consistent.

I would always advocate testing to see what works for your business, and Management, against service outages with Replication running on VMs directly. For correctly replicated VMs.

Many major organisations we have worked with the UK, are happy with crash consistent VMs. After testing. Because normal replication takes too long with the numbers of VMs they have in production. (even with incrementals), between their DR sites, and they would much rather work with Snapshot's of LUNs. (which works seamlessly in the background).

"it works for them".
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34939617
ah.. so yes, I was thinking to use VSS aware application/hypervisor layer replication using Veeam for my need,
thanks for your thought and comments mate,

i'll discuss it with my management.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34939621
many thanks !
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LVL 123
ID: 34939631
No problems, good luck. Be careful with the VSS.....Speak to EMC about a demo license for 30 days, and test SAN to replicatication against Veeam Replication.

any issues, I'm around here....
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34939663
sure, glad to hear that Mr. Hancock
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