Non-disruptive Testing with VMware Site Recovery

You wouldn’t fly a plane before rigorous testing, and you shouldn’t rely on a disaster recovery solution without first testing your applications will run properly. VMware Site Recovery offers non-disruptive testing so you can run DR tests as your system evolves to verify RTO.

Last night I was cooking dinner for myself and my wife. As I was cooking a dish, I tasted it periodically to see whether it needs more salt, more pepper, or to be heated a little longer. In other words, I was testing the dish to see if it’s ready. Of course, if I hadn’t tried it, and the dish would not have come out well, no harm would have been done. That’s not the case in more critical situations – before a new plane model is approved to fly, or before a new car model is offered to customers, many tests need to be run to make sure that the plane or the car works properly.

Similarly, when designing a disaster recovery solution, tests need to be conducted to make sure that your applications will properly run on the DR target site. However, unlike planes or cars, a datacenter environment constantly changes – organizations keep adding or updating applications, changing network configurations, refreshing hardware, and so forth. As a result, to have a reliable DR solution in place, frequent testing must be done.

For our extensive customer base of VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) non-disruptive DR testing is a built-in capability. This means they can run frequent DR tests as their systems evolve, to verify their RTO, the right application dependencies, and the existence of sufficient resources without affecting their production environment. Since SRM is a key component of VMware’s Site Recovery DRaaS offering, customers who use VMware Cloud on AWS for DR can also run frequent testing.

Diagram
VMware Site Recovery Built-in Testing vs. Traditional DR
 

This is a huge benefit compared to other services that simply backup data to the cloud. As their name suggests, cloud backup services simply copy data from on-prem to cloud, but they do not have built-in DR testing. As a result, customers using those services have no guarantee for how long it’ll take them to recover from an outage in their main datacenter, or whether they’ll be able to recover from it all.

Finally, Site Recovery’s built-in testing also generates extensive reports that show exactly each step taken in a DR test or failover, and how long each step took. These reports are especially useful for DR audits that many customers conduct in order to meet compliance requirements.

In conclusion, VMware Site Recovery provides extensive testing and reporting capabilities that are very important for our customers.

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