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Demonstration of Site Recovery Solutions from DataCore

DataCore Software : 11 November, 2009  (Company News)
The Tech-Ed Europe event includes a joint Microsoft and DataCore demonstration of Site Recovery making use of Microsoft's Hyper-V
DataCore Software is being featured within the Microsoft Tech-Ed Virtualisation pavilion. DataCore will showcase its ground-breaking Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) solution for virtual and physical IT infrastructures. Unlike other site recovery approaches that are limited to a specific vendor's virtual machine recovery, DataCore ASR enables both physical and virtual servers to be protected across multiple sites. The combination of DataCore ASR and Microsoft Hyper-V/ Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover and Clustering features enables businesses to embrace "real-world" Distributed Disaster Recovery (D-DR) - allowing organizations to cost-effectively spread disaster recovery (DR) responsibilities across several smaller sites.

Despite the tough economic times, Microsoft has noted recent studies which have reported that over 30% of businesses surveyed this year indicated DR will be their main driver for virtualisation. These reports show a continued shift, as IT professionals look at addressing new challenges beyond test/dev and basic server consolidation scenarios in deploying Virtualisation technologies.

Microsoft has clearly recognized the importance of site recovery solutions in terms of addressing real-world user scenarios and the benefit of partnering to provide end-to-end solutions that together overcome the limitations of single-vendor, specific site recovery solutions such as VMware's SRM.

Taking machines from one site and replicating them to another site before a calamity unfolds is not new. But buyer beware. Many other disaster recovery products are limiting in that they assume recovery, from one environment to an identical or very similar environment or they support only a subset of the infrastructure. Often physical servers are not supported or require a separate solution from applications and virtual servers. DataCore ASR enables users to execute site recovery operations in a way that is fundamentally different from existing solutions in the marketplace today by bringing the data centre together into a single solution.

'The industry is conditioned to think of DR as a one-to-one proposition. This places unreasonable demands on a single recovery site that mirrors the main site,' argues Augie Gonzalez, product marketing director at DataCore Software.

'But most organizations aren't structured that way. They look more like a hub and spoke, with smaller branches emanating from the central data centre. For this reason, DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery distributes the disaster recovery workloads among these smaller entities, allowing each of them to accept a more manageable role in keeping the business going.'

The combination provides a cost-effective way to have IT assets at remote office and branch offices (ROBOs) take over for the main datacenter when the central machines are unable to meet processing obligations. Whether this is during planned facility outage or an unexpected disaster makes no difference.

'We recognize that economic pressures preclude all but the most affluent organizations from dedicating another mirror site to back up their main data centre. So we've chosen to tap the horsepower available at the ROBOs during emergencies,' adds Gonzalez. 'Given a choice, customers will opt to run their business on systems in a remote office or branch office machine versus not doing business at all.'

The combination of DataCore's storage virtualization, ASR software and Microsoft supports site configurations where different physical servers and storage devices are used at ROBOs from those found at the central site, as is commonplace in most distributed organizations.

DataCore ASR performs its work in the background, continuously replicating disk updates between the main datacenter and each participating branch office. Only the subset of information appropriate to a branch's back-up role is transmitted.

When an emergency ensues, the push of a button triggers ASR to use the last known good state from the central site to quickly restart the workloads at the back-up locations. From this point on, the designated remote machines carry on their portion of the workload in place of the main datacenter servers. The switchover process is reversed when the main site is once again ready.

Beyond the clear cost savings of repurposing ROBO IT assets and personnel for business continuity, DataCore's innovative distributed approach yields several other benefits. For example, regular disaster recovery tests and refresher training can be performed at each branch during periods of slow activity while the main datacenter processing continues undisturbed.
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