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True 15-Minute RTO for Mission-Critical VM Systems with Vembu VMBackup Replication
Vembu Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) provides IT with a Disaster Recovery Management (DRM) system capable of meeting even more aggressive RTO and RPO goals than the previous release. For highly active database-driven systems, Vembu VMBackup leverages VMtools and VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) to perform incremental backups in 15-minute intervals with minimal impact on query processing. As a result, IT can limit data loss to 15 minutes of processing on active mission critical VMs.

The only way to recover a VM with full functionality and full performance without performing an explicit restore operation is through VM replication. Maintaining a replica VM, however, requires frequent and potentially expensive update processes that involve both explicit backup and implicit restore operations. To enable the extensive use of replication by IT, VMBackup adds critical optimizations to both restore and replication operations that dramatically minimize overhead on ESXi hosts and production VMs to just VM snapshot processing. Specifically, a BDR Backup server running on a VM is able to leverage hot-add SCSI transfer mode to write logical disk and logical disk snapshot files directly to a vSphere datastore, without involving the ESXi host for anything more than creating a VM snapshot.

A key a value proposition for Vembu VMBackup is its ability to directly read and write all backup and restore data directly to and from a datastore snapshot. As a result, Vembu VMBackup offloads all I/O overhead from production VMs and ESXi hosts, which is critical for maintaining an aggressive DRM strategy in a highly active virtual environment. What’s more, the performance of Vembu VMBackup in openBench lab's test environment made it possible to enhance support for a mission-critical OLTP application running on a VM using a combination of incremental backups for backup and replication. As a result, they were able to comply with a 30-minute RPO, restore the VM to a production environment in 5 minutes, and return to full-production level processing of business transactions—850 cTPS—in under 15 minutes.

VMBackup adds a new replica management module that enables an IT administrator to fully manage an initial failover and later finalize failover or failback with consolidation. In addition, BDR backup server simplifies all management functions by eliminating the need to run a separate client module on a BDR backup server, which becomes its own client within the BDR reporting hierarchy.

Vembu OffsiteDR Server: Optimize RPO & RTO While Enhancing DR Resilience
Vembu BDR’s data protection solution enhances DRM operations by eliminating all potential single points of failure for restore functions. Using Vembu BDR Suite, IT is able to replicate backup data from multiple BDR Backup servers to a system running OffsiteDR Server within their own data center. As a result, IT garners an alternate system from which to recover protected VMs and physical servers using the same procedures that IT administrators employ on a BDR Backup server.

The ability to configure and deploy high-performance VMs within a vSphere virtual environment continues to put CIO’s under increasing pressure to deal with the rampant bête noire of IT: business continuity. What started with Line of Business (LoB) driven Service Level Agreements (SLAs) requiring IT to meet rigorous Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives (RTO and RPO) has grown into an auditable ISO standard (ISO22301) and an emerging software niche for Disaster Recovery Management (DRM) systems.

For this analysis, openBench Labs assessed the performance and functionality of the Vembu OffsiteDR Server, a DRM device that increases the resilience of recovery processes. Their initial intent was to examine the ability to restore data in the event of a catastrophic failure in vSphere environment, including:

  • A VM running BDR Backup server,
  • an ESXi host, and
  • a SAN device.

The full capabilities of Vembu OffsiteDR Server, however, quickly revealed that the device had a much broader operational impact. With the installation of OffsiteDR Server on an external physical server, they were free to configure end-to-end backup and restore operations in a way that optimized RTO and RPO for all business-critical application scenarios running in vSphere test environment.

In openBench lab's test environment, the combination of Vembu OffsiteDR Server deployed on a physical server with a Vembu BDR Backup server deployed on a VM provided a value proposition that extended far beyond the enhancement of DRM recovery resilience. With OffsiteDR Server installed on a physical server, they were able to optimally leverage VM and physical server platforms to easily implement all of the data protection functionality provided by Vembu BDR Suite, leverage all of the performance optimizations available to VMs in a vSphere environment, and do so in the most cost-effective system configuration.