As I’m flying back to North Carolina from my one whole day at EMC World I was thinking a bit about the announcements that EMC has made this week. VPLEX is a very interesting product and I was going over possible use cases in my head. If money was no object, or if you needed VPLEX anyway, where does that leave VMware’s Site Recovery Manager?
With SRM you can do DR testing and failover, but with VPLEX and active/active data centers you can do seamless vMotions to another site. Should an unscheduled outage happen and given a geo-aware vSphere cluster couldn’t you almost just rely on the cluster handling it like a normal HA event? Of course this assumes you have the capacity in the cluster, but you’d need that for SRM as well. Do you need to do a formal DR test if you can just hot-move your systems over at will without disruption? Understanding that you would need to test any non-virutalized systems, but it would greatly reduce the number. You would need to test rebuilding a system from backup since VPLEX doesn’t offer any type of journal roll-back right now, but for standard failover it should work fine.
I realize that many people won’t have the resources or budget for a full VPLEX enabled environment but for those that do it may be an interesting option. In a lot of scenarios I’d also assume organizations would want an asynchronous replication capable VPLEX offering for longer distances and out-of-region recovery. But, to me, this yet again adds more reasons to virtualize all the applications that you can. Virtualizing the tier 1 apps reduces your DR plan by a large amount with SRM and this would make it even simpler.
But it’s something to consider.