How hard is it to do DR for VMware/Hyper-V?

You would think that with a modern software defined infrastructure like VMware or Hyper-V, the product would include disaster recovery. It technically is, but each product comes with limitations that can sometimes limit your choices. At the very least, your DR plans need to come into play when designing the infrastructure upon which your hypervisor is going to run, because that will absolutely determine the limitations that you will experience.

Many of the limitations are found when using the replication and snapshot capabilities of VMware and Hyper-V for local storage. For example, VMware can only recover to the last snapshot, and Hyper-V is limited to only 24 snapshots and 24 hours of history. VMware also wipes out any previous snapshots during a recovery, making it very difficult to go back in time after a failed recovery.

Some people see these limitations and decide to use a third-party array. Of course, that comes with its own limitations. For example, you must use the exact same arrays on both sides if you are using the built-in replication in VMware. There are limitations around snapshot location and linked clones, as well as the location of virtual disks, VMX files, and RDM devices. The most significant issue for those considering a hypercoverged infrastructure (HCI) approach is that many HCI vendors do not support third-party arrays. It’s somewhat against the concept of HCI. Therefore, you would be stuck with the limitations of VMware and Hyper-V capabilities when using local storage.

These limitations are what is giving rise to the products designed specifically for backup and DR of virtual machines. While there are many fine products in that space, the question is what if you had a hypervisor that had better built-in DVR capabilities? VMware and Hyper-V aren’t the only games in town. Is it possible that an HCI vendor built on a different hypervisor could give you everything you need, including integrated disaster recovery without the limitations mentioned above? If this topic is interesting to you, feel free to join Storage Switzerland and Scale Computing in our upcoming live webinar on October 26 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET.

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W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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