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6 new features in VMware vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on April 30, 2015

On April 15, 2014, VMware announced vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery is an excellent solution that allows organizations of all sizes to recover from a disaster, power outage or loss of connectivity and continue to operate. I wrote a blog on this last year which covers the core service offering for vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery.

Over the past year VMware has added many additional features to vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery. In this post I share what I feel are the top six new features of vCloud Air Disaster Recovery.

1. Native Failback

When VMware first introduced vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery, failback felt manual and time consuming. Now, vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery allows the administrator to reverse vSphere replication and replicate Virtual Machines (VMs) back to the primary datacenter easily and quickly.

vSphere Replication

2. Custom Recovery Point Objectives

The recovery point objective (RPO) dictates how often the data is replicated to vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery. VMware now allows administrators granular control to set the recovery point objective (RPO) on a per virtual machine basis from fifteen minutes to twenty-four hours.

3. Multiple Point-in-Time Recovery

Whenever change-log data replication to vCloud Air is completed, it creates a recovery point. Administrators can now recover from any of the past 24 recovery points. If an administrator tries to recover a VM, and the latest recovery point doesn’t have the required data or the virtual machine data is corrupt, the administrator can now revert back to a previous recovery point. vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery gives administrators control over how often the data is replicated to the cloud and this can range from fifteen minutes to twenty-four hours. If fifteen minutes is selected then change-log data is replicated every fifteen minutes and twenty-four recovery points would be completed in six hours, this would mean the administrator could recover as far back as six hours ago. If however the RPO is set for twenty-four hours, then the furthest back an administrator could recover is twenty-four days from the time of the last recovery point.

4. vRrealize Orchestrator Plugin

When VMware announced vCloud Air people were hoping VMware would allow clients to leverage Site Recovery Manager to automate the recovery in the cloud datacenter. Unfortunately, at release the recovery was a manual process. VMware has since enabled the vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for vCloud Air allowing administrators the ability to create orchestration workflows to help automate migrations to the cloud or setup test recovery plans. vRealize Orchestrator helps deliver automated workflows inside of vCloud Air.

5. Unlimited Failover Testing

When vCloud Air –Disaster Recovery was first introduced, VMware allowed for three free failover tests per year with the option to purchase more failover tests. With unlimited failover testing, VMware allows administrators to test failover plans as often as they like during the service period. This allows organizations to test more often, without accruing fees, to make sure their environment is recoverable after an event.

6. Continuent

VMware recently acquired Continuent, who specializes in database replication, multi-master, multi-site, geo-clustering and disaster recovery of databases; currently supporting MySQL and Oracle for replication. They are expanding this technology to other leading database publishers. This allows administrators a database centric disaster recovery solution that can be turned on within vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery and switch to a hot-standby disaster recovery site using VMware Continuent cluster -with a single command- without losing application connectivity.

With the addition of orchestration through the vRO Plugin, database specific replication and recovery, additional granularity with custom RPO and multiple point-in-time recovery, vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery is a fully capable, enterprise ready solution available for all sizes big and small.

To learn more about vCloud Air please visit or speak with your Softchoice Account Manager.

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