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Backup and disaster recovery software and services
GOLD: VMware Site Recovery Manager 1.0
It didn't take long for the server virtualization juggernaut to roar through data centers, forever altering the server landscape and even the meaning of the word "server." Led by VMware, virtualization applications have proven to be the most effective consolidation tool yet. But despite all of the benefits server virtualization brought, it's also responsible for causing a few headaches along the way. Just ask any storage administrator.
Virtualization has had a profound effect on the storage side of the shop, posing new challenges related to capacity allocation and data protection. Traditional methods can be used to back up virtualized servers for business continuity, but while the old methods work, they lack the efficiency and resiliency required in virtual environments.
There's no shortage of vendors addressing this problem, but it has taken the company most responsible for the storage shakeup -- VMware Inc. -- to come up with some truly elegant solutions, like VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 1.0.
VMware SRM ranked high in all of our evaluating categories and topped all backup and disaster recovery (DR) software and services for value. "Increasing use of VMware makes this software incredibly
| valuable to every organization," notes one judge. While other judges point out that implementing SRM takes some planning, all agree that the effort is worth it.
With VMware SRM you can automate much of the DR process. You use it to create a DR plan that defines how virtual servers will failover based on the apps they host and their criticality (essentially documenting your DR process and creating a runbook). SRM then lets you test the automated failover scenarios without disrupting the production environment.
The automated recovery plans you build with SRM can be as sophisticated as necessary; you can control which servers are recovered first, the recovery sequence and which servers don't need to be recovered.
VMware SRM runs on a server at each site involved in the DR plan. It works hand in hand with replication apps from other vendors that tap into VMware "adapters" to integrate with SRM. EMC Corp.'s SDRF, FalconStor Software Inc.'s Continuous Data Protector and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co.'s StorageWorks Continuous Access are just a few of the popular replication products that have been certified by VMware for SRM. VMware vCenter Server is required to run SRM.
Pricing for VMware Site Recovery Manager starts at a little more than $2,000 for a single-processor physical server and includes one year of support.
This was first published in February 2009