To sell the idea of using virtualization for disaster recovery (DR), Judkowitz listed benefits like hardware independence, encapsulation, partitioning and resource pooling, and said VMware Infrastructure is the safest place to run applications because of its failover capabilities, like VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM).
According to Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, 55% of their customers use virtualization for DR. Judkowitz described VMware's SRM software for automating DR, and Roland Wartenberg, chief virtualization strategist at Walldorf, Germany-based SAP AG performed a demonstration of VMware's product.
SAP created a disaster recovery plan with VMware's SRM and NetApp storage arrays at its main production data center.
VMware engineers simulated a disaster by pulling the cables off primary host servers. At the primary site where the server failure occurred, ESX servers and protected VMs on that host that had been replicated with SRM were then instantly flipped on at the recovery site. From what attendees could see, the failover process kicked on without causing any downtime; SAP's Wartenberg signed into his desktop VM delivered through Virtual Desktop Infrastructure without visible issues.
Burton Group senior analyst Chris Wolf reported that SRM is a good way to automate DR for virtualization. "With SRM, you can automate your disaster recovery plan with software, initiate that plan with a mouse click, and pre-program the sequence in which VMs are brought online at a disaster recovery site."
There are several avaialable third-party disaster recovery products for server virtualization, including Southborough, Mass.-based Double-Take Software's Double-Take, which addresses the use of Microsoft Hyper-V for DR. Wayne, Pa.-based SunGuard also offers SunGuard Availability Services DR software for VMware virtual servers.
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