I had gone through numbers of interesting discussions with the users I met in the past which talk about the disaster recovery plan in their current and future environment. DR is not a new topic for every enterprise environment, but it is always important for the enterprise environment to have DR in place due to business critical and compliance purposes.  While virtualization continue penetrate into enterprise environment by taking mission critical workload, Disaster Recovery solution become a must to be consider which may require users to redesign their DR solution.

Traditional legacy or standalone environment, we often realize there are many solutions perform replication from primary data center to DR center via host base, storage base or image base replication. All of them has the pros & cons depend what is the objective of the specified DR project users are looking at. DR consistency and usability during DR scenario & practices always the biggest challenge in every IT department today.

In virtual environment, hypervisor will encapsulate the entire virtual system in to multiple files. These files are usually located on the Shared storage environment & replicated across to DR center via storage replication. Of course, this solution are come with a cost, may not apply to every environment. Well, my intention is to compare the simplicity of DR in virtual compare to physical environment. Since everything are on SAN or NAS in virtual environment, everything could had just taken care by the storage and replicated over to DR center. With VMware Site Recovery Manager solution, extra management capability had built in allow users to predefine the DR policy to ensure VMs are ready to production in DR scenario. The entire state of the virtual machine include operating system, application data, and databases are fully replicated across to DR center in this case.

In physical environment, we always had challenges to maintain consistency on the operating system & application, which may not running on SAN, unless all systems are on SAN boot environment without local hard drive. Due to complexity and cost concerns, not many of the enterprise IT today will have SAN boot environment. For anything is not on SAN, may require 3rd party solution or customize solutions to ensure consistency over the DR.

A re-design or DR solution due to virtualization adoption, may bring more benefits to the IT and business unit by reducing the complexity compare to the physical environment.