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November 29, 2010


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Another brilliantly informative post Chad giving great explanations, i have seen a huge increase in Business Continuity solutions against Disaster Recovery over the last 12-18 months as clients realize the flexibilty virtualisation brings to the datacentre. VPlex GEO will be the next "sexy" option as you say and the term "Disaster Avoidance" will sit well with the enterprise.

Vince Westin

Chad, I thank you for taking the time to drill into the detail on these options. You are right that a lot of the customers I talk to get these options confused, and start thinking they can mix vMotion and SRM for the same VMs between the same sites. I look forward to the 2 follow-on posts on this subject. (Disclosure - I work for EMC)

Doug B

Excellent article, sir! I appreciate the depth of your analysis and the vendor neutrality. You provide information and call out where the technology is still a bit ugly. :)


Hi Chad,

you said and I agree : "VM HA will take care of restart” is only true if you accept running at <50% utilization on your hosts. "
but when using SRM, correct me if I'am wrong, you also need to keep enough ressources (cpu, ram etc...) available in order to power up all your vm on your secondary site ? So you need with SRM to run in an active-active site with <50% utilization on your hosts in both side ? thanks


Good article. pretty much what I'm finding within the community.
People confusing what Disaster Recovery (DR) really means, what are the relevant and correct technologies, what really needs to happen when a disaster occurs ( bearing in mind your state of mind during a real disaster, you don't want to be doing too many manual steps here). The ability for a DR team to easily test this is also very important.
Then technologies Which can give you Disaster Avoidance (DA), and again which technologies and configurations work, and then the implications.
And a lot of the time, all the technologies you mentioned within your post are jumbled and confused, and people assume if you get DA, you also automatically get DR, and it's all automated, and no implications for their RPOs and RTOs.

Ian Sutton

Good work Chad, am very much looking forward to part two.
I know that this is already an ambitious content-fest in three parts, but...

While you are talking about DR/DA/SRM/VPLEX and explaining the important "this with this yes, but this with that not a chance." relationships which exist between these products, Is there any chance you might be persuaded to throw vCD into the mix too?

It's a big ask, and you might risk wedging in so much content that the posts start to leak slightly at the sides, but I can't be the only one in reader land wondering if SRM and vCD are mutually exclusive and where VPLEX might sit in a cloud DR/DA stretchy clustered type thing.


First off, great post. This topic really deserves some discussion and will certainly be more and more of a focus over the next few years for the industry, customers, etc.

I know this could only fit certain use cases, but what about using VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) across sites (assuming L2 adjacency, extremely low latency, etc.)? There are obvious limitations today with FT such as single vCPU, no thin disks, etc. but I anticipate those will lessen with time as the technology matures in vSphere and Intel processor architecture. There are obvious pros/cons to what FT provides vs the other solutions but it sure seems like a good fit (if and when supported) for certain uses cases that would possibly be much less complex than others if willing to live with some trade offs.

Rob Nourse

The requirement for SRM to have equal capacity available at the recovery side isn't a hard and fast necessity. It's common for many organizations to have a BC plan that accepts non-critical application as either running in a degraded state or having a delayed recovery. When I say delayed, I mean weeks or even months. Planning to acquire hardware after a disaster for tier three apps can be an acceptable strategy... remember there's a huge difference between recovering the HR Benefits -> Discounted Movie Tickets30 days after the disaster versus losing the application entirely. I've even had clients who plan to "cycles" their lower tier apps on and off until additional capacity can be implemented.

And yes... I work for EMC as well.


Chad - thanks for this whole series. I, and my peers, have referred to this about 20 times in the past two months for various customers. It has become one of our standard customer collateral posts as we enter into D/R and H/A discussions to set the framework. Personally I've reread the posts about 15 times, making sure I catch all the nuances.
I posted a related blog today around trends and customer requests I am seeing in this space. Thanks for helping make my customer conversations more fruitful. That post is at http://bit.ly/dPEGd1
(Disclaimer: I work for a EMC, VMware and Cisco partner, and formerly worked at EMC).


Chad, what's new about Disaster Recovery for vSphere 5 with SRM 5, VPLEX and so on?

Nicolas Solop

Saved my night

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