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VMblog Expert Interviews: JetStream DR for Microsoft Azure VMware Solution
interview jetstream

Last week, JetStream Software and Microsoft announced that JetStream DR for Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is now generally available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. We spoke with JetStream Software CTO Serge Shats and the company's president Rich Petersen about the technical and business implications of the news.

VMblog:  Why would a prospective AVS customer be interested in this news?

Rich Petersen:  Quite simply, JetStream DR can increase the value Microsoft customers get from their investment in Microsoft Azure VMware Solution.

VMblog:  How would JetStream DR increase the value that customers get from AVS?

Serge Shats:  First, the software provides continuous data protection, not just intermittent backup. So the RPO is as close to zero as possible. Additionally, the RTO can be managed down to near-zero as well. That alone should be compelling, but add the fact that the software uses Azure Blob Storage for the recovery data, and you're getting better quality DR at a lower operational cost. That enables AVS to present a better value proposition to Microsoft customers.

VMblog:  Let's talk about VMware.  Wouldn't they prefer you recommend their DR solutions?

Rich Petersen:  For AVS, offering third-party options for DR is all about giving the customer more choice. Some customers will prefer VMware's SRM technology for DR, and Microsoft supports that in AVS. For economic reasons, some customers will want the option to minimize the amount of idle resources reserved for DR AVS. To do this, they can leverage Azure Blob Storage by adopting JetStream DR instead. At the end of the day, it's about making Microsoft Azure the most versatile cloud platform for enterprises' VMware environments.

VMblog:  But is JetStream DR software approved by VMware?

Serge Shats:  Absolutely, yes. JetStream Software is a VMware development partner and has been working with VMware for years to support the development of the vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO). By using that VMware API to integrate with vSphere, JetStream DR is certified by VMware as "VMware Ready." The software is delivered in a VIB signed by VMware. Many third-party DR solutions in the VMware ecosystem have recently announced that they will use VAIO as well, but JetStream Software has been doing it for years.

VMblog:  I understand the near-zero RPO, but explain how you can deliver near-zero RTO with data in Azure Block Blobs.

Serge Shats:  Great question. On the one hand, Azure Blob Storage lets customers maintain their recovery data at a much lower cost than storing it in a recovery vSAN cluster. But you're correct - rehydrating the VMs and their data into the customer's recovery cluster in AVS won't be instantaneous. It would typically take at least a few hours. So, for critical workloads whose recovery time is very important, data can be continuously rehydrated during everyday operations from the Blob Store into the recovery vSAN cluster or into an attached file store. That way it's immediately available for a much lower RTO.

VMblog:  What if the customer has a lot of data that they want immediately accessible in a failover?

Rich Petersen:  Microsoft has partnered with NetApp to provide Azure NetApp Files (ANF). With Azure NetApp Files, any amount of data for immediate recovery can be accommodated. Compute nodes can be added to a recovery cluster dynamically, and all essential data is immediately accessible from Azure NetApp files. It's a great example of how both Microsoft AVS and JetStream Software partnerships can complement each other. It's an important differentiator for Microsoft Azure VMware Solution while also supporting NetApp's drive to increase cloud revenue.

VMblog:  Why not just replicate all data directly into the recovery cluster?

Serge Shats:  That's what we're trying to get away from - the expense of idle enterprise storage and a requirement for a one-to-one deployment of compute resources in the recovery environment. That might have been the norm when enterprises had to manage DR on their own, but it's different when providing DR using the cloud. Multitenant cloud providers like Azure can leverage enormous resource pools to dynamically deploy compute resources - and thereby reduce DR storage costs.

VMblog:  One last question.  Is JetStream DR used to protect on-prem workloads with AVS, or is it for protecting workloads already in AVS?

Rich Petersen:  It's for both. Organizations can protect their on-prem workloads with failover into AVS, and if they've moved their primary workloads into AVS, they can use JetStream DR to enable failover from one AVS environment to another AVS data center. In both cases, customers get greater DR capabilities at a lower operational cost.

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Published Tuesday, November 23, 2021 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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