How to Protect a Global VMware Environment

Most enterprises have not virtualized their data center; they have virtualized their data centers (plural). The software most organizations choose as their virtual foundation is VMware. Protecting a multi-site VMware environment has unique challenges that IT needs to address.

Three Considerations for Global VMware Backup

The first consideration in a multi-site VMware data protection strategy is where the protected data should be stored. In most cases, the organization will want a local copy for recovery from day-to-day failures, but there is also a need to have a second off-site copy in case a disaster strikes one of the data centers. A primary concern is whether the off-site design should be a hub and spoke architecture, which sends backup data from all data centers and remote offices to a single data center or will it spread the load out with a mesh architecture where each data center is assigned a peer data center to which it sends its data?

The second decision is one of management, how will management of backup and recovery jobs take place in each data center? Most organizations will try to centralize data protection management to a single group of people at one location. While some data protection tools have a centralized view of multiple sites, there is only a minimal amount of interaction available at each site. Eventually, the backup administrator has to remotely log into the remote data center to manage the jobs there.

The third consideration is recovery. A remote data center is different from a remote office in that the remote data center has higher CPU and storage requirements. If the organization is counting on copying backups between sites, it needs to be sure that in the event of a failure, the secondary data center has enough excess compute to be able to support the applications from the other data center as well as the applications it supports on a day-to-day basis.

Using the Cloud to Solve Global VMware Backup

A potential solution to protecting a VMware environment that spans across multiple data centers is the cloud. While adoption of the cloud for data protection is popular among smaller businesses, it has been slow in the enterprise. The cloud, with the right software, might be the ideal way to manage the global VMware data center.

With cloud data protection architecture, the cloud becomes the hub, instead of another data center within the organization. All data centers backup to the cloud and it drives recoveries. Administrators manage the data protection software centrally from the cloud, removing the need to manage each site independently. The software, assuming it can leverage cloud compute as well as cloud storage, can initiate recoveries directly in the cloud. Cloud recovery means that no single data center has to play double duty during a disaster. The impacted data center can have its applications started in the cloud, and the other data centers can operate normally.

StorageSwiss Take

The challenges with Global VMware backup makes centralized data protection and data protection management almost impossible. It requires each data center within an organization operate almost independently of each other, which adds cost and doesn’t leverage the organization’s scale. In fact, that scale works against it. By leveraging the cloud, for both storage and compute, the organization can centralize data protection, data protection management, and disaster recovery from a single installation. The result should be reduced data protection costs, and increased data protection and disaster recovery quality.

Even though many vendors claim to provide cloud-based VMware data protection, not every solution qualifies for TRUE VMware cloud backup and recovery. To learn the requirements for reliable cloud-based backup and disaster recovery, watch our on demand webinar, “5 Requirements for True Cloud Based VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery,” and learn why…

  • No hardware, no software, or deployment hassle
  • Improved Business Agility
  • Dynamic DR and Workload Mobility
  • Simplified Management
  • Significantly Lower TCO

…are critical for True cloud based VMware data protection.

Watch On Demand

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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