1 EMC VMAX: A Platinum-Level Solution White Paper July, 2013
2 EMC VMAX: A Platinum-Level Solution EMC VMAX customers are typically large organizations with substantial IT budgets. They choose the VMAX for Platinum-Level application requirements. During tight budget times, organizations prefer investments supporting growth over investments that reduce risk, but they are increasingly dependent upon IT to operate. They can t afford to increase their ITinfrastructure risk. With that in mind, disaster recovery professionals need technologies that both reduce cost and increase the resiliency of the data center. Axxana, with its recently announced support for EMC VMAX on the Phoenix System RP, offers both substantial cost savings and dramatically reduced risk at a price that will surprise most organizations. Platinum-Level Disaster Recovery for All EMC Customers Distance is both the ally and the enemy of disaster recovery. Distance is the ally, because, with two geographically separated data centers, in the event of a disaster, one of the data centers will be outside the disaster zone. Distance is the enemy, because, given the lag inherent in long-distance data replication, the data sets at the disaster recovery data center will almost always be inconsistent with the data in the primary data center at the time the disaster strikes. Since 2009, Axxana has been delivering the Phoenix System RP to customers of EMC CLARiiON and VNX arrays. In 2011, Axxana extended support to include entry and midranged VCE Vblock systems, and in 2013 added support for EMC VMAX. The Phoenix System RP overcomes the limitations of all other forms of long-distance replication, enabling zero-data loss, long-distance replication. The Phoenix System RP works in conjunction with EMC RecoverPoint, protecting all lag data in a disaster-proof black box,
3 much like an airplane s flight data recorder. The Phoenix System RP provides four (4) methods of data retrieval from the black box, enabling data retrieval (img1), data transport, and recovery-site data reintegration. Axxana covers the full range of disaster scenarios fire, flood, smoke, heat, and events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, bombings, chemical and gas explosions, and terrorist attacks that can cause building collapse or power-grid failure. The Phoenix System RP can often begin the data transfer before an organization declares a disaster, thus substantially reducing the time to recover. Img1. The Phoenix System RP provides four (4) methods of data retrieval from the black box; WAN, WiFi,, Cellular and BBX Disc directly.
4 Lowering Bandwidth Cost While Achieving Faster, More-Complete Recovery One way to transport data between distant sites is to leverage a dedicated, point-to-point connection. This can be substantially faster than routable protocols. Unfortunately, single point-to-point connections are especially vulnerable to disruption from natural disasters and accidents at any point along the connection. Therefore, most who use dedicated links will use two separate connections, often from two different carriers. In addition, because bandwidth requirements are inconsistent, with peaks and valleys throughout the day, they will over-provision the links to account for peak periods. Otherwise, they risk substantially increasing the risk profile during periods of peak production. And finally, the connections are extraordinarily expensive, and like a light that can t be turned off, organizations are spending money whether they are in the room or not. IP networks represent a substantially more affordable option for long-distance replication. While they are much slower than dedicated links, they are less vulnerable to a catastrophic failure of a single, isolated event. Should one of the hops fail, the packets are simply rerouted. This introduces additional delay, but ultimately, barring a disaster at the primary site, the data will arrive at the remote site. Regardless of whether customers choose dedicated links or IP networks for asynchronous replication, Axxana s Phoenix System RP eliminates the risk of data loss, by protecting all lag data in the Axxana black box. This means that customers can avoid the extra expense of over-provisioning networks to support periods of peak load and can safely leverage lowerperformance IP networks as the primary transport method for data replication. The bandwidth savings, over a period of months, can typically pay for the enhanced RPO- 0 protection that Axxana provides.
5 Enhanced Protection for VMAX 3-Data Center Configurations Many of EMC s largest and most highly-regulated customers leverage EMC VMAX arrays and a 3-data center configuration with short-distance, synchronous replication for business continuity, and long-distance, asynchronous replication for disaster recovery. This enables automated, rapid failover in the event of a component failure in the primary production data center and offers the potential for load-balancing between the two synchronous data centers. The remote site, because it uses asynchronous replication, does not have a complete copy of data, and therefore can t be used for business continuity. Until now, at the disaster recovery data center, there has always been the potential for data loss. By implementing Axxana s Phoenix System RP on the long haul, however, organizations using a three-data-center topology can eliminate the risk of data loss at the 3 rd, remote-recovery site (img2). Img2. Three data center typology.
6 In a three-data center scenario, EMC VMAX customers would place the Axxana Phoenix System RP in or near one of the two production data centers; whichever data center provides the source data for the asynchronous replication to the disaster recovery site. The Phoenix System s black box would store all transactions not yet committed at that disaster recovery site. In the event of a disaster, the Phoenix System will begin transmitting the lag data to the disaster recovery site. At the disaster recovery site, the Axxana Recoverer will integrate the updates with the most-recent asynchronous copy of data, ensuring that even the most recent data can be restored at the recovery site. Unprecedented Flexibility and Recovery Capabilities Some EMC customers leverage the full portfolio of EMC arrays to optimize price and performance. Some choose the high-end EMC VMAX in primary data centers for Tier-1 production applications, while using VNX for Tier-2 applications. With multiple array types and different architectures for each, customers cannot use controller-based replication. They are incompatible. By leveraging EMC RecoverPoint, rather than controller-based replication, however, customers have the option of tiering storage at both the primary and the recovery data center and using different array types in an asynchronous replication pair. With RecoverPoint, for example, they might replicate data between a VMAX at the production site and a VNX at the recovery data center. If, at a later date, the customer needs to replace a VNX with a VMAX, they do not have to change replication techniques. RecoverPoint provides the flexibility to asynchronously replicate between any of the EMC primary storage offerings. And now, thanks to the integration of RecoverPoint with the Phoenix System RP, EMC customers can also achieve RPO-0 for any of the supported arrays, VMAX, VNX, or Vblock, offering Platinum-level support at an affordable price.
7 Conclusion: A Better Alternative for VMAX Customers Let s face it, the future is hard to predict. Disasters are hard to predict. Growth is hard to predict. Peaks and valleys in network requirements are hard to predict. Budgets are hard to predict. The cost of losing data is hard to predict. But choosing to save money, while eliminating data loss and reducing risk, should be a simple decision. The beauty of the Phoenix System RP solution is that organizations can achieve Platinum-level, affordable, zero-data-loss disaster recovery for the entire enterprise, while saving a significant amount of money. Call Axxana today. You ll be surprised how affordable zero data loss can be.
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