University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College protects data and enables 15-minute disaster recovery.

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1 TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College protects data and enables 15-minute disaster recovery.

2 Table of Contents Executive Summary 1 SECTION 1: CHALLENGE 2 Being prepared for all eventualities Minimizing disruption and risk Cost-effective and fast disaster recovery SECTION 2: OPPORTUNITY 3 Maximizing availability and IT investment Real-time replication Safeguarding the disaster recovery processes SECTION 3: BENEFITS 5 Providing reliable education services SECTION 4: CONCLUSIONS 6 ABOUT CA Back Cover Copyright 2007 CA. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. This document is for your informational purposes only. To the extent permitted by applicable law, CA provides this document As Is without warranty of any kind, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. In no event will CA be liable for any loss or damage, direct or indirect, from the use of this document including, without limitation, lost profits, business interruption, goodwill or lost data, even if CA is expressly advised of such damages.

3 Executive Summary Challenge has become critical to the day-to-day operations of the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). It is the principal means for staff and faculty to stay in contact with each other and to communicate with students. Coursework is submitted, timetables distributed and new admissions handled via . Further, the university s messaging environment becomes essential in emergencies, providing a vital communication link between 16,000 staff, students, and faculty. Situated in the Gulf of Mexico, UTB needs to be prepared for the devastation and disruption that can be caused by extreme weather, especially hurricanes. To ensure its messaging systems will function in the event of an emergency or campus closure, UTB needed to establish a reliable and cost-effective disaster recovery plan. Opportunity Using virtualization technology, the university has minimized the set-up and operating costs of a disaster recovery environment at a hotsite. Messaging data from 24,000 mailboxes is continuously replicated to the failover infrastructure using a CA Recovery Management and VMware virtualization solution. At the same time as replicating the data, the solution also monitors UTB s production servers and application, so it can identify any risks to the infrastructure. To safeguard the integrity of the replicated data, the solution allows UTB to carry out automated tests with minimum disruption to staff, faculty and students. Benefits UTB can now recover its data and services within just 15 minutes instead of months as was the case prior to the implementation of the combined CA and VMware solution. This means it is able to offer a highly available service to students, staff and faculty no matter what the circumstances. As a result, the university can: Minimize the disruption to courses and core administrative processes Keep in touch with staff, faculty and students in an emergency situation Maintain its reputation for educational excellence The disaster recovery solution has also helped to reduce operating costs, simplify IT management, increase agility and enhance efficiency. TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 1

4 SECTION 1: CHALLENGE If the campus had to be evacuated, would not only be our main tool for communications concerning the event, but would also be critical to business continuity. Ubaldo Martine Assistant Director of User Support Services at University of Texas at Brownsville Being prepared for all eventualities Following tragic events, such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech shooting, business continuity has become a major concern for educational and corporate institutions alike. The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) is no exception. Based near the Gulf of Mexico, the university needs to be alert and prepared for hurricane threats. Such is the magnitude of this danger, that the university s home page on the Internet includes a link to local weather systems to help staff, faculty and students remain up-to-date on weather conditions and potential threats. The university is currently undergoing massive expansion and in 2006 experienced an increase in student enrolments of 18.3 percent compared to the previous academic year. With this level of growth set to continue, the university needs to ensure it has a disaster recovery plan that can cope not only with today s 16,000 students and 2,000 staff and faculty but also the future academic community. Educational establishments like UTB face the same business continuity risks as their corporate counterparts, with any disruption quickly impacting reputation, efficiency and costs. With business continuity being heavily reliant on the availability of its core IT systems, UTB must be able to minimize downtime of important applications, such as . In the event of a disaster and campus evacuation, is the main channel through which UTB could continue to operate. is used not only to perform administrative tasks but also for circulating study materials and timetable information, submitting coursework and remote tutoring. In an emergency situation, the university s Exchange environment would also be critical for issuing health and safety alerts, relaying news, offering advice and confirming when the campus had reopened. An occurrence such as Hurricane Katrina which claimed the lives of 1,800-plus people in August 2005 could leave the university campus inaccessible for weeks or even months at a time. Ubaldo Martinez, Assistant Director of User Support Services at UTB, comments, If the campus had to be evacuated, would not only be our main tool for communications concerning the event but would also be critical to business continuity. Minimizing disruption and risk UTB s disaster recovery strategy includes the creation of a fully equipped Emergency Operations Center and a team of specially-trained staff to manage the university s response to an incident. The university s existing recovery solution, however, was reliant on the campus being operational and was therefore not able to provide the level of business continuity protection required. To cope with a growing number of students, mailboxes and messages, UTB also needed to ensure that its disaster recovery provision was highly scalable. The university already has 24,000 mailboxes and plans to expand its student community by 25 percent over the next three years. This and the growing reliance on for learning and administrative tasks means that the university will have to replicate an ever-expanding volume of messages. Although the university had an onsite back-up solution, in the event of a hardware failure, recovery would involve purchasing new equipment, configuring the devices and retrieving data from tape a process that could take months. Recognizing that this delay would 2 TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

5 have significant financial and operational implications, the university decided to establish a replica store of s at a disaster recovery site. Cost-effective and fast disaster recovery Creating a failover infrastructure, however, presented a number of challenges. The university s 24,000 mailboxes are hosted on a complex and costly Storage Area Network (SAN) environment which the IT department was reluctant to duplicate. With staff and faculty mailboxes based on a Microsoft Exchange Enterprise 2003 cluster and student on an additional four servers, the hardware costs for replicating this environment offsite were prohibitive. UTB also had to factor in the costs of hosting the disaster recovery environment at a dedicated facility operated by its Internet Service Provider and was therefore keen to minimize the associated energy bills for cooling and power supply and its server footprint. As a result, the university needed to develop an recovery management platform that met the following requirements: Cost-effective set-up Simple management Low operating costs Small footprint Resilient and robust technology Fast failover Minimal training requirements Support for local cluster Proven performance Maintain existing Microsoft local cluster and Exchange infrastructure environment SECTION 2: OPPORTUNITY Maximizing availability and IT investment Like many organizations, the university quickly recognized the advantages of creating a virtual server environment. This approach would not only enable UTB to maximize its investment in the disaster recovery hardware but also limit the number of servers that needed to be procured and maintained, thereby helping to reduce capex and opex spend. Although it was already familiar with VMware products, the IT department looked at a number of solutions. It conducted an extensive proof of concept project, including tests on the capacity, functionality and robustness of the software to confirm that the VMware solution would meet its requirements. The university looked at three leading disaster recovery solutions. While two of these solutions required significant changes to the current infrastructure and extensive scripting, the CA Recovery Management solution offered out-the-box functionality and needed minimal staff TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 3

6 training. The solution s intuitive graphical user interface and the maturity of the technology were also key factors in the university s selection. The failover process takes a matter of minutes and the university s entire service can be back up and running within just 15 minutes. A flexible virtual infrastructure UTB s virtual infrastructure is based on VMware Infrastructure running on two Dell 2850 servers at the university s ISP s site in Austin, Texas an area of the state that is less exposed to hurricanes. By creating separate partitions within the hardware, virtualization software enables the university to run multiple operating systems and applications simultaneously on the same physical device. One virtual machine is used to store staff and faculty data while another four virtual devices house replicated student mailboxes. A further four virtual servers host Active Directory, Outlook Web Access, a domain name system, and anti-virus and anti-spam applications to complete the infrastructure. All nine virtual machines are contained on just two physical servers compared to a production environment of 12 servers and two terabytes of data storage. Real-time replication Messaging data is replicated to the failover infrastructure via a virtual local area network, and to prevent communication issues arising from routing and firewall policies, both sites sit on the same network subnet. To help limit the volume of data being stored and copied, the CA solution only replicates changes to mailboxes rather than the entire dataset. The solution automatically identifies any application data changes and makes the copies in real-time, which means that the university always has a current copy of its messaging data. At the same time as data is replicated, the CA XOsoft Recovery Management solution continuously monitors the university s production environment. If it detects any change in the status of the servers or Microsoft Exchange, an alert is sent to the university s IT department where failover is initiated with the push of a single button. The failover process takes a matter of minutes and the university s entire service can be back up and running within just 15 minutes. As well as enhancing business continuity, the CA Recovery Management solution is also used by UTB to simplify system maintenance. 4 TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

7 ENABLING HIGHLY AVAILABLE SYSTEMS Virtualization technology from VMware has enabled the university to create a failover system based on just two physical servers rather than the nine needed for its production environment. Using CA XOsoft WANSyncHA, the university can replicate data to its disaster recovery infrastructure in real-time and also monitor business continuity risks to its production messaging platform. FIGURE A Safeguarding the disaster recovery processes With the replication solution playing such a key role in the university s business continuity strategy, IT staff must be confident that data is being accurately and continuously copied. All too often, organizations business continuity plans fail to include regular testing of their recovery management processes, which can result in prolonged downtime should an emergency or systems failure arise. This lack of testing is no surprise, given that such procedures can lead to significant disruption and user downtime as well as leaving the production environment unprotected. CA s solution, however, is not only capable of automatic testing, but also fully protects replicated data TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 5

8 throughout the operation thereby preventing any disruption to users or business as usual. As a result, organizations can carry out regular tests to validate the integrity of their replicated data and recovery management processes. To increase resilience and availability, UTB plans to expand its use of CA XOsoft to include both testing and continuous data protection in the future. Using sophisticated rewind technology, the CA solution enables organizations to escape the limitations of weekly backups or snapshots. Instead, data can be recovered to the exact point prior to any corruption. In addition to extending its use of the CA Recovery Management solution, the university will be putting VMware Infrastructure at the heart of its future strategy. As part of its migration from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to 2007, UTB will be rolling out a new production environment based on VMware Infrastructure. Ninety percent of the university s servers are already virtualized and this latest implementation will help to further reduce operating costs and increase agility. SECTION 3: BENEFITS Providing reliable education services By combining the flexibility of a virtual server infrastructure with a real-time data replication solution, the university has been able to create a robust and cost-effective disaster recovery provision for its messaging environment. Key advantages of this Recovery Management environment include: Simplified IT management due to smaller number of servers and automated processes within the CA XOsoft and VMware Infrastructure solution Reduced costs thanks to lower energy and ISP hosting bills Rapid recovery times for data, which aids overall business continuity Reduced risk through increased uptime By limiting the impact of a potential disaster on our Exchange environment, we can deliver uninterrupted learning and administrative services to students, which helps to maintain our reputation for providing educational excellence Ubaldo Martinez Assistant Director of User Support Services at University of Texas at Brownsville The principal advantage of the new solution is simple: UTB can remain operational in the event of a disaster even if the campus is closed for several weeks. This step-change in business continuity means the university can ensure: SEAMLESS EDUCATION Disruption to courses is minimized as studies can be continued remotely, with being used to distribute reading lists and essay briefs and submit coursework. CONSTANT COMMUNICATION The university is able to alert, inform and advise staff, faculty and students in the event of a disaster. Hurricane warnings, news updates and health and safety instructions can be distributed easily and cost-effectively via . OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY Productivity of staff is not hampered by a lack of availability. In the event of a campus closure, key administrative processes can be carried out remotely. SIMPLIFIED IT MANAGEMENT IT staff are able to failover to the replica environment for planned maintenance windows, which reduces disruption for users. The virtual servers are easier and cheaper to manage as there are less physical devices. INCREASED AGILITY The new solution is extremely scalable to meet the demands of the growing university community. Additional virtual machines can be created on the existing 6 TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

9 servers in the disaster recovery environment as necessary, enabling a larger number of mailboxes to be replicated at minimal cost. By limiting the impact of a potential disaster on our Exchange environment, we can deliver uninterrupted learning and administrative services to students, which helps maintain our reputation for providing educational excellence, comments Martinez. SECTION 4: CONCLUSIONS Business continuity is essential for maintaining productivity, profitability and a good reputation with customers. Yet the pressure on IT departments to deliver more for less means that traditional disaster recovery solutions can prove prohibitively expensive especially for organizations in the academic or government sector. By implementing virtualization technologies combined with data replication, organizations can reduce the hardware spend associated with setting-up failover environments while still enjoying maximum protection and ensuring high levels of availability for key applications, such as . By safeguarding the one application that binds corporate and public sector communities together, organizations can ensure that communication links and core processes remain operational even in the most extreme circumstances. TECHNOLOGY BRIEF: REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 7

10 CA, one of the world s largest information technology (IT) management software companies, unifies and simplifies the management of enterprise-wide IT for greater business results. Our vision, tools and expertise help customers manage risk, improve service, manage costs and align their IT investments with their business needs. MP Learn more about how CA can help you transform your business at ca.com

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