Fancy having fully-automated site Disaster Recovery?

A critical application…
…nearly as much $$$ spent on your DR site as your Production site…
…hours of time spent on defining & refining your disaster recovery procedure…
…never mind the training & updates from testing…
…varying bandwidth between sites, sometimes not enough…
…want to be able to recovery your SQL server back to 10:22:16…
…and that was 2 days ago…
…need that data back within minutes…

Well you can…

EMC RecoverPoint, EMC’s CDP (Continous Data Protection) product provides near instantanous roll-back capability.

 The majority of Operating Systems and applications are supported.  Data reduction* and WAN bandwidth compression – native.  Non EMC storage arrays – supported.  Long distances – how about 2000km? – supported.

Combine RecoverPoint and EMC Cluster Enabler together (called RP/CE for short) and the solution gives you just this.

RP/CE is what is called a geographically dispersed clustering solution, but alot more…
…RP/CE allows one or many clustered applications or Hyper-V VMs to be failed over in a minimal amount of time to a disaster recovery cluster node(s)   – in my Proven Solution – try 3 production / 3 DR nodes. 

I could even run some VMs on the DR cluster nodes (if your network supports this of course) and some on Production.  RecoverPoint/CE doesn’t mind, it supports bi-directional replication. 
EMC understands nowadays DR sites are too costly to just leave idle. 
RecoverPoint natively supports bi-directional replication in the same RecoverPoint installation.

The slick part of RecoverPoint/CE is that once operational, all the user needs to know is how to use normal Microsoft clustering and cluster administrator console.  RP/CE adheres to all Microsoft failover clustering requirements.  It is installed as a clustered resource and is added to each cluster group which needs RP/CE’s protection.

Say, you have a 2-node (1 active / 1 passive) Hyper-V server running your virtualized SharePoint farm.  Down goes your production site.  Within a few minutes, all your SharePoint virtual machines are up and running on the DR side again, with the latest image of your data.  It’s that simple.

I was at the EMC booth as SharePoint Conference 2009 ( SPC09 ) in Las Vegas in October showcasing this and I must say…visitors were very impressed…most especially the folk who have been through the pain of recent DR planning..

* as a classic example, in something like an OLTP environment, if an 8k SQL data page is changed by say 200 bytes, the entire 64k block is written back down to filesystem.  Without RecoverPoint’s data reduction, all 64k of data is shipped across the wire to the DR site.  With data reduction, only the 200 bytes plus some checksum data is sent across the wire – AND compressed! clever.

For a recorded demonstration of the Proven Solution I am working on please see below;

In this demo, I would like to show you the power of EMC RecoverPoint and Cluster Enabler (RP/CE) in providing fully automated Disaster Recovery in your environment. In this use case, a busy enterprise SharePoint farm hosting 240,000+ busy users will expect a full site disaster and RP/CE automates disaster recovery of the farm in minutes.

The environment consists of a 6-node Hyper-V cluster, (3 Active/3 Passive) using iSCSI connectivity to an EMC CLARiiON CX4-240 storage array

I will share more information on this solution as it evolves.

Some more doc resources 

EMC RecoverPoint/Cluster Enabler – a detailed review
Disaster Recovery for Windows using EMC RecoverPoint/CE
EMC RecoverPoint/SE for CLARiiON Cx4
DR in a geographically dispersed cross-site virtual environment

I would love to get some feedback on what people think of something like this, not necessarily this EMC solution, but geo-clustering in general…
If anyone would like some serious detail into how RecoverPoint/CE works, I can gladly provide same as a blog post.

Thanks, James.


3 Responses to Fancy having fully-automated site Disaster Recovery?

  1. Aran Hoffmann says:

    Interesting blog subject. This is one area of our infrastructure that we have been avoiding: the DR plan for our sharepoint site. It is a daunting task. But we have had RecoverPoint and Replication Manager for years, so this solution is made for us.

    By the way, don’t abandon the Support Forums! Your contributions in the Replication Manager section have been very valuable for us all.

    Aran (support forums username AranH)

    • sustainablesharepoint says:

      Hello Aran

      Firstly, thank YOU for your support and commitment in the emc support forums (!
      Your answers are always spot-on and always speak in the context a customer/reader will understand.

      Today, there are some interesting “quirks” when integrating Replication Manager and RecoverPoint/CE, which we are working to help resolve.
      I would love to talk more about them to you if you are serious about RM and RP/CE integration.

      Best of luck!

  2. Aran Hoffmann says:

    I am actually more interested in RecoverPoint/CE in the context of implenting GeoClusters to enable the failover of SQL databases from our primary to our DR site. The applications that generate the revenue for my company (developed in house) have a web front end and massive Microsoft SQL database backends. We have lots of active/passive and active/active sql clusters on CLARiiONs and DMX-4 being replicated to the DR site using RecoverPoint. Due to the complexity of our application I have always thought that the most practical way we could enable failover of the application is through a Microsoft GeoCluster.

    While enabling this for SharePoint would be a nice to have, it is not a line of business application that contributes to revenue generation directly. So implementing GeoClusters for our SQL databases is more of a focus for me. I will read through the resources you linked, but I would be very interested in this subject and encourage you to pursue this on your blog if you have the time and resources.


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