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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)

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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jjoz
Asked:
jjoz
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
the WAN speed is 10 MB/s between them.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
ok, so now my management has approved to use the 1 GB dark fibre to the link between sites :-)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
"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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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
many thanks !
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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jjozAuthor Commented:
sure, glad to hear that Mr. Hancock
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