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Netapp and VMware - high availability/redundancy

Posted on 2014-01-10
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Hello experts - I'm looking for some opinions on how to go about making my infrastructure more resilient.  I'm going to be upgrading my SAN next month from a Netapp FAS 2020 to the new 2240.  In addition I'll be replacing an older Dell SAN at my DR site with a 2240 as well.  My primary site is currently running vSphere 5.1 Enterprise licensed for the 3 physical hosts used there while the DR site is running vSphere 5.1 Essentials.

I'm looking for the best way to improve the availability of my infrastructure using the new SANs.  I also have funds allocated for additional VMware licensing if called for but I am unsure about what direction to take.  The Netapp will include replication software (SnapRestore, SnapMirror, SnapValut, FlexClone, SnapManager) but I'm not clear on how it compares to VMware's offerings.  I know Site Recovery Manager is a popular choice but don't really know how it integrates with the SAN and exactly what role it plays.  I believe I also may have the option of adding the hardware at my DR site to my existing enterprise license then using VMware's fault tolerance feature but I'm not sure how well that would work over a WAN with approximately 15ms average latency.

I'd very much appreciate opinions or suggestions on ways to approach this project, thanks!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39772522
You've got a few options:-

NetApp SnapMirror will allow you to Mirror LUNs between SANs at your DR site. These remain Read Only, and Unavailable, until you Break the Mirror, then you can manually present these LUNs to your ESXi servers at your DR site.

Browse the datastores, add the VMs to Inventory, and start the VMs. (all manual).

You could purchase and use Site Recovery Manager, which will integrate with vCenters at both sites, however, you would have to REPLACE, Essentials Licensing at DR Site, with vCenter Standard, and correct host Licensing, as SRM is not compatible with Essentials.

SRM, will interface with SAN/vCenter - NetApp will complete the SnapMirror using integrated software connectors, the benefit, you will be able to Failover and Fallback, easily using SRM, with no manual intervention.

If you have a vSphere Enterprise License, you can already use VMware vSphere Replication to relicate VMs from Production to DR site.

So options:-

1. Spend no more money, and use Snapmirror, and manually complete, presentation of datastrores/VMs to Essential servers at DR Site.

2. Use VMware vSphere Replicator to replicate VMs to DR site.

3. Purchase SRM, and New VMware vSphere Licenses for DR site.

3 is the Best way to improve, but requires more investment in VMware Licensing, and is the most costly. But in return gives you correct Failover and Fallback, using your equipment fully. e.g. NetApp SnapMirror.
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ID: 39772542
Perfect, thank you Andrew.  I was allocated a budget for SRM and VMware licensing at the DR site and I really like the idea of using it to do option 3.
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ID: 39772568
I would highly recommend spending the budget on SRM and new licensing, talk to your account manager and see if they will do you a deal "upgrading essentials"
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