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VMware DR Site

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi I have at my main site the following Vmware setup
2 x Dell r610 servers running ESXi
have 4 VMs running so far - plan to add 10 more soon.
SAN is Dell MD3000i
have Dell NX3000 as the Backup Server that uses Symantec Backup Exec to backup the ESXs and the data of the Vms ( Exchange, SQL...)

I would like to have  DR Site - physical site a few kms away
I am planning on the same hardware for the DR Site ( 2 dell Servers, SAN MD3000i)
what software is needed?
I have been told I need Vmware Site recovery Manager and the same licenses at the main site need to be at the DR Site
any other software requred?
am I on the right path



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Question by:nutekconsultants
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by:paulsolov
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SRM is a nice product but is a fairly expensive and needs a SAN that's is compatible (check if a SRA is available for your SAN)

A less expensive option may be to use Veeam or Quest vReplicator products.  The cost is considerable less and they work on athe VM level vs block level.

SRM requires: 2 vCenters, Enterprise ESX licenses, etc.. so you may want to find what your budget and RPO/RTO before you proceed.
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by:danm66
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if you go with SRM, you also need any applicable licensing for your SAN-SAN replication.  SRM doesn't take care of that part.
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by:predragpetrovic
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Hi,

There are several other ways to avoid usage of SRM and Replication license from storage part. Try to take a look at DoubleTake software they have good products which can cover your DR plan.

But implementing DR mostly is dependent on how much money you are going to spend, what is the recovery time objective and etc... So please take a look at your budget first and then you can start thinking about planning the disaster recovery.
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by:coolsport00
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Concur with "predraqpetrovic"...budget comes into play first. Are you on the right path? Well, planning and moving forwrard in implementing a DR Plan is most certainly being on the right path. :)

My suggestion is to use Veeam Backup & Replication. For DR, you can replicate your most critical VMs offsite. In the event of a failure of the source VM, or lost main site, all you do is power up the replicated VMs and you're up. Pretty quick recovery. What you need is somewhat obvious -> an ESX/ESXi host or hosts, depending 1. on the amt of VMs you have/need replicated, and 2. the level of availability you need to have at your DR site, storage to house all your VMs and any data, software (Veeam Backup & Replication - this is about $500 per CPU socket), and host resources to maintain your VMs. Having a fairly sound WAN 'pipe' (bandwidth wise) would be nice as well.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:nutekconsultants
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thanks coolsport00 and predragpetrovic:

my budget is not an issue - $75k is alocated but if i need more then its not a problem :)

so let me get this right... for my DR site I should do the following
get 2 Dell r610 servers and the MD3000i SAN storage
then get the Veeam software Backup and replication
and do I need to get additional Vmware licenses? for the DR site?
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by:coolsport00
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You need as many licenses to cover your ESX/ESXi host CPU sockets. So, if you're licensed for say 6 sockets and you have 2 hosts with dual quad-core CPUs, you're ok (4 sockets used between main and DR site).

~coolsport00
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predragpetrovic earned 175 total points
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Ok,

So if you operate with that budget then you need to get some other things straight. In case of failure what is your recovery time objective and recovery point objective, and what is your acceptable data loss (10 minutes, 30 minutes etc...). It is not recommended to have real-time data replication, so you need to do some calculation here.

I would suggest to do the following:
- Measure the data which will be transferred (initial sync will be long since it will replicate everything and then measure the deltas).
- Try to contact several vendors which will support this (I personally have great experience with EMC Recover Point, VMware SRM and DoubleTake). There are also other vendors (VizionCore, FalconStor, IBM, Veeam etc...).

All of these can support replication over WAN. There are also some WAN optimization solutions for replicating these stuff (FalconStor has built-in, F5, BlueCoat etc...). I hope that this will give you some more insight about Disaster Recovery and the implementation process itself.

So now, regarding licensing, the licenses must be purchased same as they are on the original site. In order to have the most painful failover I suggest that you have the same versions of firmware/software/hardware on both ends (I have seen some issues where customers implemented Intel processors on the primary and AMD on the backup site, so we had to improvise a bit in the failover process as well).
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