SAN replication vs Veeam replication

When we purchased the SAN's we use we also purchased the licensing to snapshot, replicate, and copy.  Of course we haven't used any of those features yet because we don't know how but are at the point where we would like to.  My question is around the replication use.  We would like to replicate our VMware environment to a second location for DR reasons.  We have a SAN in each location.  We use the SAN as storage for the ESX hosts at the home site. We use Veeam to backup the vm's and then copy these backups to a SAN in a remote site.   My SAN has 2 virtual disks.  One with a volume for the vm's and another with a volume for backup storage for Veeam.   How could the SAN's replication feature help us?  We are not familiar with what SAN replication does at all.  If we ere to replicate the volume with the vm's how could that help us in the event the SAN failed?
NytroZAsked:
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
SAN replication will be faster as it seeds the data once and then it will only replicate changed blocks.  As long as your ESXi licenses are Essential Plus or higher, you have another option and that is VMware Replication Appliance/Servers.  What you do is deploy the appliance and then start replicating your VMs to the remote site.  Once the replication is completed, you could lower the RPO time to as low as 15 minutes.  This will keep your VMs in sync up to 15 minutes.  One thing to remember about VMware Replication is that it is written to replicate numerous VMs at the same time and replicating a single VM will never use the full bandwidth available (you might get 8 to 12 mbps as the best throughput per VM):

http://www.vmware.com/ca/en/products/vsphere/features/replication.html
Kaiser AnwarCommented:
Also note that SAN replication is better since it has its own mechanism to control the replication and slow down the process  when it is reaching the IHOPS versus external application which will keep reading the SAN regardless of the SAN performance and much easier o manage since you are replication on the Volume or LUN level
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
What Kaiser is saying is correct, however, it is a double edged sword.  If you have some production VMs at both sides and VMs on both side need to communicate to each other, replicating via SAN could potentially kill your WAN as some SANs do not allow throttling.  My best advise to you is test it for your environment and validate functionality.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
Well, san replication is better.
But in case your IT room fail, or even only your production san fail, you need to have ESXi on the DR site too. And yes, as Veeam replication (or vmware) is on a VM basis, with san it is on a LUN basis.

I advise you to have a dedicated bandwidth for replication, physical or logical, as you can, or at least to be carefull with that : I see a lot of customer wanting to replicate TB and TB of data with small bandwidth and small RPO, and this is not possible as each of these parameters depends on each other.

Generally san replication is more expensive, if you already have all the licenses this is a good thing.
NytroZAuthor Commented:
Would it be best to use Veeam to backup the vm's locally then use SAN replication to replicate the LUN's that are used for the data stores used by the vm's? What is the difference between creating a secondary backup of a vm and replication in Veeam?  Do the SAN's need to be configured identically or do I simply need to provide a disk with enough storage to replicate to.  The 2 SANs do not have the same amount of disks or the same type of disks.  The second SAN has mostly SATA drives for storage while the first is all SAS drives.
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
My suggestion would be to enable VMware Replication and set the RPO time to something suitable for your business need.  This way, you could always recover server if needed be and don't have to fight with backups, etc.

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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Well, by replicating your VM backup with Veeam you will have veeam backup files on the DR site..
If you go with San replication you will have a copy of your VM stored in the DR site San, ready to execute.

Also with Veeam you have the option to Run your VM backup, it is slower than rsimply un the VM, also as you say you will already have less performance on DR site because on hard drive type, so you'd better not add more and more difficulties to your performance rate.

We assume generally that a DR site has less performance than Prod site, but if it is too awfull, the DR will be useless.
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