RecoverPoint is EMC’s flagship replication product. It is a purpose-built combination of appliances and software that replicate block data between arrays. It boasts WAN-optimization and the ability to roll back and forward in time (think DVR) to present the replicated LUN as of almost the exact time that you wanted (invaluable in the case of corrupted data). It is a popular replication mechanism for users of VMware Site Recovery Manager. Fully integrated as a Storage Replication Adapter, RecoverPoint replicas can be controlled and mounted via SRM.
EMC VPLEX is a one of a kind solution that provides site resiliency and high availability for those that can’t afford any downtime. VPLEX itself installs in the network, in between hosts and storage, and can extend data over distance, within and between data centers. EMC refers to this technology as Federated Access Anywhere.
In the ‘Metro’ version, VPLEX front-ends an existing array (EMC/non-EMC) at two locations and provides the ability for both to have an active copy of a single set of data. This active-active model is facilitated by a something called cache coherency and provides a distributed virtual volume to which servers at both sites can connect. Stretched clusters anyone?
While both RecoverPoint and VPLEX are great technologies with specific advantages, storage admins have had to choose which one they wanted on a per LUN basis: For this dataset, do I want the high resiliency of VPLEX that allows me to vMotion over distance in the event of a site issue? Or, is the ability to roll that data back to a point in time more important? Up until now, it has been one or the other because these two technologies didn’t easy fit together. Thankfully that is now changing with the latest software versions of both VPLEX and RecoverPoint.
The combination of RecoverPoint 3.5 and GeoSynchrony 5.1 (VPLEX’s OS) now allows you to replicate a VPLEX volume the same way that we have been using RecoverPoint to replicate a LUN from a standalone array. The difference is the inclusion of a RecoverPoint write-splitter inside VPLEX - something that had been missing up until now.