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Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Disaster Recovery, Downtime Avoidance, and High Availability

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Map of Asia Pacific and JapanLast week in Asia Pacific and Japan we completed our annual presales conference roadshow (PSCR). At this PSCR I delivered a talk to the presales community on the intersection of three great solutions: disaster recovery (DR), downtime avoidance (DA), and high availability (HA). Each of these is easily understood by its own. But their combinations can introduce mind-bending complexity. I used my presentation to untangle some mental knots.

I believe that mixed DR/DA/HA environments are so complex that very few people in the world fully understand their complexities. Scott Lowe might be the only person I have worked with that appears to have a complete grasp of the situation. I know I do not. So, you might find it strange that I was called upon to lead this talk.

Well, I learned a lot in the talk.  Both from the research prior to its first delivery and from the hallway conversations that followed my sessions.  I documented, learned and created a few key concepts for this talk. Here they are.

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Disaster Avoidance and Disaster Recovery: At Last Together!

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For the years since its launch, EMC’s active/active fully-available VPLEX has been incredibly popular. Customers love what it does, technologists love talking about it. Similarly, Site Recovery Manager (SRM) has become one of VMware’s most popular products for the elegance, simplicity, testability and audit-ability. Until recently it was not possible to deploy both in one environment.

At EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas, EMC announced GeoSynchrony 5.1, the new operating environment for VPLEX. With this release we can now offer RecoverPoint replication, which enables a complete disaster recovery (DR) and disaster avoidance (DA) solution. We can finally deliver a SRM and VPLEX capabilities to the same applications in a single deployment.

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The Cost of Downtime

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A week ago I attended a customer briefing here at the Singapore Executive Briefing Center (EBC). One of my colleagues gave an overview on business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR). His presentation included a number that I posted on Twitter. David Manconi asked for supporting evidence of my claim so I thought I would post it here.

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SRM Survey Results

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About six weeks ago I announced a survey to measure the value of VMware’s Site Recovery Manager.  Thirty-seven respondents offered their thoughts on how SRM has changed their disaster recovery process.  The results are not surprising; I already knew customers love SRM.  But they are a stark reminder of the immeasurable value of this product.

The survey results are below with my own observations.  To the impatient I offer the following summary:

  • Only 40% of respondents ran DR tests at least once a year before SRM was installed. 95% of them run DR tests at least once a year with SRM.
  • 73% of respondents were not confident that their pre-SRM DR test would succeed. 95% are confident their DR test will succeed with SRM.
  • 54% of customers before SRM never tested their DR plan.
  • 97% of customers with SRM complete their DR tests in hours.
  • 76% of respondents claimed SRM decreased production downtime during DR tests.

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The Value of SRM

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Customers love VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM).  It automates, simplifies, and documents disaster recovery.  It can eliminate downtime during disaster recovery (DR) tests.  And it increases customer confidence in their DR plan.  SRM is great.

In my first year and a half in Asia I have seen that this region (Australia and New Zealand excepted!) adopts technology one or two years after America.  So, today in Asia our customers are starting to consider what SRM can do for them.

Today I want to ask your help.  If you are an SRM customer–happy or not!–please take two minutes to fill out the following survey, either below or directly on Survey Monkey.  I will later share the results of this survey on this blog.  If you leave your contact information in the survey I may email you to follow-up.  If you want to share positive or negative feedback I will connect you with the right people once you have given me permission to do so.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5

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I was recently re-watching the classic cultural assessment of our friends down under, Bart vs. Australia. Among the other completely accurate portrayals of our Aussie friends, you will see MPs slopping pigs, the Prime Minister drinking beer from an inner-tube on a lake, and of course The Boot. All of this got me thinking of the Melbourne stop in EMC’s five-city Pre-sales Conference Roadshow that finished a week ago. VMware partially sponsored this event and its fantastic SE and one of my good friends, Pete Marfatia, gave an electrifying presentation on the top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 5.

In this entry I want to share with you VMware’s top 10 list that Pete presented with Tim Hartman. I have provided a PDF version of their presentation on my blog in case you want more detail. Feel free to contact me, your local VMware SE, or a vSpecialist if you want more information. Now, on to the top 10!

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