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san replication infrastructure hints

Discussion in 'Virtual Computing' started by dales, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Hullo,

    I'm looking into installing a brand new vmware infrastructure in my current workplace. and am looking for some hints on how you guys do site to site replication.

    With the replication we are looking to buy either the vnxe 3300 for vnx 5x00 series (depending whether management want async or sync replication), and find somewhere offsite for the DR equipment to go.

    We currently use watchguard firewalls as the protection product of choice so I was thinking something along the lines of installing another watchguard at the dr site and setting up a bovpn and just point the san's at each other through the vpn.

    I'm not sure if this is "the done thing" so was looking to see if there were any other ways of doing it?

    We are also going to get vmware SRM in to assist in the event of a disaster. I've really got to set up a lab to play with srm to see how it works.
     
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  2. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    We have done this before using MS Technologies to replicate File using DFS R, Exchange 2010 DAG and SQL Database Mirrors and then using Quest vReplicator for non core servers.

    You can also use the HP P4500 using the inbuilt VSA licenses to replicate the SAN either Synchronously or A Synchronously so then in a site failure you would need access to your ESX Servers to bring them online and make the SAN the primary in the hosting centre.

    Falconstor do some pretty sweet products, but I haven't been involved with those that much mate.
     
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  3. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Your plan is sound Dale although I've not really got experience in doing it over VPN(only using extended circuits) but your EMC+SRM is a winner, why piss about if you've got the cash :)
     
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  4. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    thanks guys, I was pretty sure that it is the way to go and would be the easiest way for my little brain to cope with it. just gotta make sure both ends have a nice big fat pipe to support the replication.

    the EMC's have sync and async built in the vnxe has async and the vnx range have sync, I'd be quite happy with async in our environment but will see how wide the company want to open up their wallets! I dont want to outsource any of this as its great experience and I'm sure would look quite nice on a cv (provided I do it right). :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
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  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    you don't plan on doing sync replication over a VPN do you? what sort of latency is that adding to the process?

    sync replication doesn't just mean its a real time copy, it means the server in question doesn't get a confirmation that the data is committed until it has been committed on both sides, this is why infrastructure latency is key
    if you are using a standard internet pipe on both ends with the need for a VPN, sync is not the way

    if you have a dedicated pipe, why the vpn?

    The other option is obviously VM level replication with SRM, Veeam Replicator etc, these also work very well and i hve them in numerous environments

    but for SAN level stuff, you will likely want to check your capabilities for synchronous
    Remember, bandwidth is not king here, latency is!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
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  6. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I was wondering about that, the pipe is not dedicated by any means and the end point is unknown at the moment, we are in talks with an offsite dr location so I dont really know what the performance of each end of the pipe will be like until its working.

    If you think that async would be best I could get away with a vnxe in that case a shave a few grand off bill.
    with sync then it waits for a confirmation that the data has been received before it commits and I guess async just sends a chunk of data and gets a confirmation when its completed so it knows to send the next!?
     
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  7. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    The trick is

    with Sync, the device (server, vm, whatever made the write op) wont get confirmation until both arrays confirm write
    with ASync, the local device will confirm write, the device will carry on, and the array will replicate on its own schedule
    the trick with Async is consistency for the application

    as you are not tied in at the application level, the app itself may end up not liking the remote copy
    lets say Exchange things XYZ have been comittted, then it crashes.. if replication has not occured, the remote array may only have XY and no Z!
    what does Exchange do? a lengthy database check

    i believe the VNX has tools that can integrate at the application level to do things like put services into hot standby and VSS integration to help reduce some of this problem though
     
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  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Personally I would never replicate any significant volume of time-critical data (SAN LUNs, VMs etc) over a VPN, the latency is too great and they're just not reliable enough. If you have a LES/fibre/MPLS link then that's a different story. We don't replicate where I work, but will be looking at it next year when we get F5s in to load-balance between sites. In the past I've used replication for EqualLogic and NetApp, but it was over an outrageously fast and meaty LES. I gather EMC's storage is renowned for being superb at WAN replication, so you're onto a winner there!
     
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  9. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    thanks guys, should have read a bit further into my ISM book I bought a while ago. I think I will push for async replication because of the latency issues that sync provides (I cannot see work paying for a dedicated les/mpls circuit so over vpn its gotta be).

    Thinking about it if I set up the vpn right I could get away without SRM and should disaster occur just provide mobile vpn links for bods to work from home with and then update internal/external dns dependant on scope of panic button pressing.
     
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  10. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Just looking to deploy Veeam now, looks like a pretty kick arse product.
     
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  11. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Veeam is great, the SureBackup and Instant Recovery are awesome.

    @Dale you could do it without SRM and mess about with other products to do test/management of the DR plan, just out of interest how much are your SANs coming in at? How many spindle are you going with in each?
     
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  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I was put off using any veeam products after their so-called 'fast scp' proved to be anything but when trying to copy from ESXi to ESXi. the marketing bull**** stated it was '6 times faster' than scp - when in reality it was slower than SCP. They then tried to get round this by saying there was a 'workaround' to get it up to speed by modifying root access, leaving ESXi in an unsupported state. Fail.
     
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  13. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    We put Veeam and Falconstor head to head, Veeam came out at 50% off the cost, so it was a no brainer really.
     
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  14. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Isn't that a limitation imposed by the design of ESXi and not Veeam itself though? Most of the backup software seem to struggle doing full restores to ESXi because of this but with Veeam B&R you can Publish a VM from the backup store and use Storage vMotion to pop it back to where you want via the high speed data movers
     
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  15. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    That's not the point - the point is they lied about performance - flat-out lied about it. I tend to look at companies in a different light after they've lied to me.
     
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  16. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Point taken :)
     
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  17. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually I tend to find that there isn't great deal of difference between the datastore browser and FastSCP, I just prefer the interface with FastSCP.
     
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  18. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    RE: Using a VPN you could maybe look at using HyperIP, it boast reduction of latency and replication times over WAN.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
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  19. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    @thomasmc, we got a rough quote 2-3 months back that came out at 17k for 10 600GB with all the base software in.
     
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  20. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Cheer bud, it might be worth getting new quotes with different configurations i.e

    VNXe 3100(with dual SP, 4 port per SP) with Total Value Pack with 10 600GB disks
    VNXe 3300 with Total Protection with 10 600GB disks

    Might free up some more cash for other areas


    [Added]
    From the info I can find on the net the Remote Protection Suite(included in value/protection packs) should allow you to do sync and async but worth checking with EMC and this as well re; SRM

     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
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