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Technology Comparison: Disaster Recovery Solutions
Deep-dive comparison of disaster recovery solutions - differences between Zerto's hypervisor-based replication and array-based replication (with VMWare SRM)

Zerto’s innovative, hypervisor-based replication is a technology developed to provide a true enterprise class, yet fully virtual-aware disaster recovery solution, to protect virtualized, mission-critical applications. This document outlines the fundamental differences between Zerto’s hypervisor-based replication and other current and legacy technologies.

Compared Technologies

The current and legacy disaster recovery solutions compared in this document include:

• Zerto Hypervisor-based Replication

• Array-based Replication with and without SRM

• Host / Guest-based Replication

• Snapshot-based Replication

• VMware Site Recovery Manager with vSphere Replication

Vembu Changes the Dynamics of Data Protection for  Business Applications in a vSphere Environment
This paper examines how to use Vembu BDR to implement distributed backup and disaster recovery (DR) operations in a centrally managed data protection environment with an ingenious twist. Rather than store image backups of VMs and block-level backups of physical and VM guest host systems as a collection of backup files, Vembu BDR utilizes a document-oriented database as a backup repository, dubbed VembuHIVE, which Vembu virtualizes as a file system.
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE In this analysis, openBench Labs assesses the performance and functionality of the Vembu Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) host-level (a.k.a. agentless) data protection solution in a VMware vSphere 5.5 HA Cluster. For this test they utilized a vSphere VM configured with three logical disks located on separate datastores to support an Exchange server with two mailbox databases. Each of the mailbox databases was configured to support 1,000 user accounts.

This paper provides technically savvy IT decision makers with the detailed performance and resource configuration information needed to analyze the trade-offs involved in setting up an optimal data protection and business continuity plan to support a service level agreement (SLA) with line of business (LoB) executives.

To test backup performance, they created 2,000 AD users and utilized LoadGen to generate email traffic. Each user received 120 messages and sent 20 messages over an 8-hour workday. Using this load level, we established performance baselines for a data protection using direct SAN-based agentless VM backups.

In this scenario they were able to :

  • Finish crash-consistent incremental agent-less backups in 18 minutes, while processing our base transaction load of 12 Outlook TPS.
  • Restore a fully functional VM in less than 5 minutes as a Hyper-V VM capable of sustaining an indefinite load of 4 Outlook TPS
  • Recover all user mailboxes as .pst files from a host-level agentless VM backup with no need to schedule a Windows Client backup initiated within the VM’s guest Windows OS.
In a DR scenario, Vembu leverages the ability to restore a VM in any format, to provide an Instant-boot function, When Vembu Backup Server is installed on a server that is concurrently running Hyper-V, Vembu exports the datastores associated with a VM backup as Hyper-V disks and configures a VM to boot from the datastores.
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.

High Availability Clusters in VMware vSphere without Sacrificing Features or Flexibility
This paper explains the challenges of moving important applications from traditional physical servers to virtualized environments, such as VMware vSphere in order to take advantage of key benefits such as configuration flexibility, data and application mobility, and efficient use of IT resources and highlights six key facts you should know about HA protection in VMware vSphere environments that can save you money.

Many large enterprises are moving important applications from traditional physical servers to virtualized environments, such as VMware vSphere in order to take advantage of key benefits such as configuration flexibility, data and application mobility, and efficient use of IT resources.

Realizing these benefits with business critical applications, such as SQL Server or SAP can pose several challenges. Because these applications need high availability and disaster recovery protection, the move to a virtual environment can mean adding cost and complexity and limiting the use of important VMware features. This paper explains these challenges and highlights six key facts you should know about HA protection in VMware vSphere environments that can save you money.