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Equallogic replication of entire virtual SQL-server and its data in vSphere

Hi.

We've recently installed a SQL server 2008R2 in our VMware vSphere 5.1 environment.

Some facts

All the data is stored in an Equallogic PS4100XV SAN array

The Windows 2008R2 OS is stored on a separate VMDK HD

The SQL data is stored on another VMDK HD

The SQL-server and its VMDKs is stored on a separate SAN volume

We've installed DELL Equallogic Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) into our vSphere environment

The SQL server contains approximently 450 databases, with relatively low-transcation rate

We have a secondary Equallogic PS4100E SAN array at a secondary site that we want to replicate the SQL-volume to for disaster recovery. We do not have any physical or virtual servers at the recovery site at the moment

Based on the facts above, I was wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge with Equallogic volume replication and/or the Smart Copy functionality in VSM.

1. Question 1

Will it be possible to restore the entire Windows Server with its installed SQL-server and its data at the recovery site by only replicating the Equallogic volume? The virtual SQL-server will be powered ON when the replication is being done.

2. Question 2

Is it best to use the VSM and its Smart Copy functionality combined with replication to preserve the state of the VM or isn't it nessecary?

3. Question 3

Any other thoughts/suggestions?
Feel free to ask for more information if you need.

Thanks, in advance!
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hyemar
Asked:
hyemar
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4 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Q1. Yes it is possible, however, you are replicating the LUN which includes the Virtual Machines.

Q2. Yes, it is best to use Equallogic tools to perform the replication.

Q3. Once you have the LUN replicated to the other Equallogic SAN, you will need to present this LUN to the ESXi servers, just like you have done at Site A.

When you have presented the LUN, (re-scan storage), you will be able to Add the VM to your Hosts Inventory and Power On.

If you want a more automated system, you will need to look at VMware Site Recovery Manager.
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hyemarAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply!

Is it OK if I ask you about your experience with this?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, no problems fire away.

We generally use it with VMware Site Recovery Manager, because clients prefer an automated solution!
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hyemarAuthor Commented:
I see.

Im reading about "Storage Recovery Replica" and "Smart Copy Replication" now.

Because we only have the secondary SAN group and no physical/virtual servers at the recovery site at the moment, I see that the "Storage Recovery Replica model" is the only option for us in VSM for now. Do you agree?

I'm also reading that "Storage Recovery Replica model" is saving the state of the virtual machine, thats sounds like good news. The doc says:

Performs restore  operations (selective  restore  and  rollback)

1. Q1

Do you understand what they mean by that phrase?

2. Q2

Do you think "Storage Recovery Replica model" is the model to use for now in our situation?
Thank you so much for good help so far.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, if you have NO Host Servers at the Secondary Site, you just want to use the Storage Recovery Replica model, to allow you to "rollback a LUN" from the DR site in case of VM failure.
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hyemarAuthor Commented:
I see. In case of disaster, will it also be possible to attach the volume to a (future) ESXi host at the secondary site with this model?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes. It's just a LUN.
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