My week here at VMWorld 2011 has been quite hectic. With the recent release of vSphere 5, SRM 5, View 5, and all of the other Cloud offerings from VMware, it has been a whirlwind of activity. As I fly between breakout sessions and briefings, I try to keep things in order by tweeting. You can follow me at @timantz for more info. That being said, a colleague asked me “what is the most significant thing that I learned so far at the conference?” Even with all of the new information, it wasn’t a difficult choice. With the new SRM 5 release, VMware now offers vSphere Replication. This is a host-based replication service, installed as part of SRM, that uses a Linux vAppliance, the SRMC, to coordinate replication of VMs from existing datastores to a paired vCenter installation datastore. This process seeds the initial information to the datastore target, and then uses changed block tracking within the vKernel to pass only the changed blocks across to the DR site. Why is host-based replication an important feature? Because DR with SRM is now available to everyone by leveraging this feature. With host-based replication, there is no longer a need to rely on the storage vendor for replication. Users with different storage at two datacenters, say EqualLogic and EMC, can now protect their virtual environments through SRM. Heterogeneous storage infrastructure is no longer an obstacle. We can offer protection to every VM, regardless of what the underlying storage platform of choice. What is even more important… If SRM is storage agnostic now, why do you even need a datacenter as your DR site? With the addition of so many cloud providers in the virtualization space, you can now create a virtual datacenter in the cloud, provision tiered storage as needed, and replicate your VMs securely to your own public cloud. As long as you have the infrastructure in place, you can dial up the resources in event of an actual DR event. Today at VMWorld, Dell announced that they now can provide cloud virtualization resources. What could be better than ordering up a DR site from Dell, using host-based replication to protect your VMs with SRM, and in event of a disaster, a simple phone call can provide you with as much compute power as needed to run your infrastructure in the cloud. Can we say DR as a Service (DRaaS)?
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