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Microsoft Disaster Recovery

Symantec (NSDQ:SYMC) and Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) are working together to build a disaster recovery-as-a-service platform using Symantec's storage software and Microsoft's Azure cloud.

The new alliance will eventually result in customers' being able to offer disaster recovery in the Azure cloud, including spinning up virtual machines to keep applications in production until the primary site recovers, said Saveen Pakala, director of product management at Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec.

The new Symantec-Microsoft agreement was unveiled this week at the Microsoft TechEd conference, but the cloud offering will not available until sometime in calendar 2013, Pakala said.

It is the first disaster recovery platform announced for Microsoft Azure, Pakala said.

"This is a pre-announcement," he said. "There are many open questions we are still working on. But we want to take advantage of TechEd to get the word out there that, hey, this topic is cooking. Things are in flux, but not that far out."

Symantec is extending its Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows and Veritas Volume replicator disaster recovery software to the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

The end result is a disaster recovery-as-a-service solution for enterprise and midrange customers who can take advantage of hybrid cloud deployments, Pakala said.

The new service is aimed at providing zero data loss as part of a disaster recovery system that includes a customer's primary site, asynchronous replication to a disaster recovery site, and synchronous replication to a bunker site or a site that is close enough to the primary site so that performance is not an issue, he said.

Data will be replicated to either a physical or a virtual data "container," Pakala said. There are two parts to the solution.

The initial part will replicate the data but not the application. Instead, the application will be running in a virtual machine in the Azure cloud at all times for fast recovery, he said.

In the second part, Symantec and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will add a lower-cost version with the ability to spin up virtual machines in the cloud as needed, Pakala said. "It's for customers who don't want the additional cost of running virtual machines in the cloud all the time."

In either case, the amount of storage required is the same, Pakala said. "The cost difference comes from the fact that Azure charges are based on CPU cycles as well as the amount of storage capacity," he said.

Microsoft SQL Server and Disaster Recovery

Most IT professionals choose to run Microsoft SQL Server for their critical applications. Disaster Recovery is a requirement, but historically expensive and complex. No longer. Inmage and Zadara™ Storage have teamed up to make MS SQL servers and application disaster recovery, easy and cost effective. By using the Public cloud, like Amazon AWS, Rackspace or Dimension Data (formerly OpSource), as the DR site, there is no need to have a dedicated failover site with expensive hardware, software, real state and personnel.

In order to implement application disaster recovery, one needs to satisfy three requirements:

  • Cloud Servers for failover that can be launched when failover is needed
  • Replication to the cloud software that can produce consistent snapshots that could be mounted in the cloud at any time.
  • Cloud Block Storage that looks similar and has the same performance of on premise SANs, that can be the target of the replication and mounted by cloud servers at DR time.

As seen in the following chart, our Public Cloud Provider partners satisfy the first requirement, by providing reliable, powerful, configurable Cloud servers. Because Cloud Servers can be launched in minutes, it is possible to avoid the launch till a DR really occurs, saving the need to have spare servers. The second requirement is met using  InMage’s ScoutCloud disaster recovery platform, whose application failover mechanism is compatible with Zadara's Cloud Provider partners. And the Zadara Storage Virtual Private Storage Array™ (VPSA™) service provides iSCSI cloud block storage in these Public Clouds, thereby meeting the third requirements.

Windows Server Instances                                                               Cloud Provider Partner

Amazon Web Services                                                                     Rackspace Dimension Data (formerly OpSource)

Replication to the Cloud                                                                   InMage ScoutCloud InMage Icon

Cloud Block Storage                                                                        Zadara Storage VPSA 

Persistent Reservation                                                                     Zadara Storage VPSA

In other words, InMage and Zadara Storage deliver enterprise-class disaster recovery to the cloud, via the world’s leading Public Cloud Providers. This joint offering enables customers to create an affordable and OPEX oriented disaster recovery strategy that extends the availability, scalability, performance, protection and management efficiency of business critical applications and data, while dramatically increasing flexibility and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

To begin, sign up for Zadara’s VPSA Service and contact InMage to take advantage of DR to the cloud.

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