Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

DR in the SDDC, Part 4: Clearpath’s Disaster Recovery as a Service with Zerto

Posted by Sean Senior on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 01:26 PM

Our final solution in the Disaster Recovery in the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) is Clearpath’s own Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). There are some truly unique aspects of Clearpath’s DRaaS that help customers meet aggressive Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). Clearpath assists our customers meet these aggressive objectives by using a virtual-aware, software-only, tier one, enterprise-class replication solution that is also purpose-built for virtual environments. This solution is called Zerto.

In the event you’re new to Zerto, here's a quick overview of why we entrust our services with this particular technology solution. Until recently the most common replication technologies and methods essential to mission-critical disaster recovery initiatives have been tied to the physical environment. Although these solutions do work in the virtual environment, they aren’t optimized for it, leading to significant operational challenges. Clearpath’s DRaaS is able to overcome such challenges by providing a solution that offers hypervisor-based replication that is fully agnostic to the storage source and destination. This allows native support to all storage platforms and the full breadth of capabilities made possible by virtualization.

Let’s take a closer look. The virtual machines customers choose to protect with our service are replicated to Clearpath’s Select Hosting Infrastructure through Zerto’s virtual replication technology. Unlike some replication technologies that primarily offer data protection along with cumbersome snapshots and backup paradigms, this solution provides continuous replication with zero impact on application performance. Because Zerto’s innovative technology provides continuous replication, the data from our customer’s protected virtual machines is transmitted in near real time, allowing for quick recovery while minimizing data loss.

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Because each environment is unique the time varies to complete the initial replication seed (based on available bandwidth and storage requirements). But once all systems have completed their initial replication, only changes to each VM are sent to Clearpath’s Select Hosting Infrastructure. This helps minimize the network impact of the ongoing replication for synchronizing all the protected virtual machines in each customer location.

As we work with our customers, we have identified a trend in organizations looking for an all-in-one DR/Backup solution. With the most recent release of Zerto, Clearpath is now positioned to augment our DRaaS offering with the additional benefit of providing offsite backup to a public cloud. This gives our customers the option to manage two key data protection capabilities seamlessly and easily from one solution. By utilizing Zerto, we use information that is replicated for disaster recovery purposes and leverage it for a backup as well. Using this approach, our customers backup operations are offloaded from the production environment to the Clearpath datacenter, dramatically reducing the overheard on production workloads. So, instead of using a tool for disaster recovery, one for backup and another for archiving, we give our customers the capability to have daily, weekly and monthly copies of data to long-term, low cost, offsite storage.

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So, what do we add to help our customers sleep better at night with their DR choice? Unlike self-service DR options, our Network Operations Staff works closely with each of our customer’s IT staff to determine the order of recovery and assist in developing a customized disaster recovery run book. This run book serves as the process document for execution of a failover in the event that a customer experiences an expected system outage. This helps our customers establish peace of mind. In the event of an outage, our team has documented the failover process and is there to help in a time of crisis.

To sweeten the pot, we provide our customers with two validated DR tests a year with the option to add more. Why bold the word validated? Most often a DR test is an all or nothing shot. However, we work with our customers to perform each DR test to ensure it goes smoothly and more importantly that it works. If something goes wrong, the DR test does not count against our customer’s base test allotment until it works seamlessly. This helps our customers know that when the real event happens….it will work.

Over this blog series, we have acknowledged that every organization has different needs and tolerances for disaster recovery. Thus, you will find different options for disaster recovery within the software defined datacenter (SDDC), presented to you by Clearpath. Hopefully, we helped shed a little light on a topic that is near and dear to many businesses. With the average organization being 50% virtualized and more likely increase to 75% in the next 2 years; understanding the DR options available to them can be the starting point to a better night of sleep.

The Disaster Recovery in the Software Defined Datacenter 4 part blog series:

Give us a call at 1-866-892-3154 to learn even more.

Topics: Disaster Recovery, Software Defined Datacenter, Zerto

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