Business Resiliency

Business Resiliency and the Hybrid Cloud

By Scott Burgess August 26, 2014

VMworld 2014 starts this week in San Francisco, so timing is right to address a key concern facing organizations looking at hybrid cloud implementations leveraging vCloud Air (previously vCHS or “vCheese”).  As you are well aware vCAir (pronounce “v-care”… you heard it hear first) is an industry-leading solution from VMware allowing current on premise VMware environments to be extended to the cloud.  This is accomplished through an architectural connector that allows portions of VMware corporation managed (IaaS from VMware) compute and storage (either dedicated or shared) to be used as if they were part of the current on premise resource pools (creating a hybrid on premise/off premise solution).

So if you’re saying to yourself “that sounds a lot like Amazon except easier”, you’re right.  Not only is it easier, it’s designed with corporate IT in mind allowing the significant investment in large test, development, and production vSphere environments to take advantage of elastic resource pools on the drip.

Primary Data Center & vCloud Air

Alright, now that we are done with the level set on vCAir let’s focus on the Business Resiliency side of the equation.

Reported average annual financial loss per event

Enterprise IT’s efforts to date around ensuring a resilient foundation for business activities, though admirable, has fallen short of the mark.  The staggering financial losses paint a very painful picture of the reality that exists today in corporate America.  The vCAir offering provides part of the solution to mitigate the data loss and application availability risk.  Once you have the vCAir connector in place, you have an additional option to use the VMware Corporation’s managed storage as a backup for current VDCs.  Again, this is a pay-on-the-drip service that allows corporate IT to forgo the painful act of capital expense and management of the infrastructure required to execute backup and restore of the applications (A DR subscription is required to enable this function).  Give the need for a DR subscription, you can see that VMware is providing this as a mechanism not only for backup but also for easy operational disaster recovery.  Once the subscription is in place the act of configuration is pretty simple.

VMware has put forth a great solution for a good portion of our virtualized workloads…I believe this will become a cornerstone of corporate ITs backup and DR strategy.

Disaster Recovery Automation Options

So is this the do-all end-all for virtualized disaster recovery?  Unfortunately not.  Why not?

  • Not all workloads are virtualized. You will still need your existing DR solutions to complete the picture.
  • For compliance and regulatory reasons, not all workloads can leave the corporate walls.  (No one looks good in orange jump suits).
  • Most CSOs will be conservative around applications with stringent / unique security requirements.
  • Some application RTO/RPO will require significant investment in networking infrastructure to be met.  In some cases, the investments required will make the solution cost prohibitive.

VMware has put forth a great solution for a good portion of our virtualized workloads and as the solution matures (deeper automation and richer APIs) I believe this will become a cornerstone of corporate ITs backup and DR strategy.

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