With so many data centers making up the firmament of the cloud these days, it’s only natural that a pantheon of service providers would emerge to offer disaster recovery as a cloud service.
The latest cloud service provider to join the list of vendors offering such services is VMware, which today is unfurling the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery offering as part of its public cloud service.
Angelos Kottas, director of product marketing for the VMware Hybrid Cloud unit, says the VMware disaster recovery service is designed to replicate virtual machines over a wide area network every 15 minutes. Recovery point objectives (RPOs) for the service can be set for anywhere between 15 minutes to 24 hours.
The service is priced at $835 a month for 1TB of storage and stand-by cloud capacity. Kottas concedes that replicating virtual machines doesn't make sense for every workload. While more traditional forms of backup and recovery are less expensive, in the event of a disaster, replication provides a means through which an application running on a virtual machine can be back up and running in a matter of minutes.
Kottas says that in addition to using standard Internet connections to replicate virtual machines, VMware is giving customers the option of either directly connecting their data centers to VMware data centers or sending copies of virtual machines between data centers offline. Currently available in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Kottas says the end goal of VMware’s service is to significantly reduce the complexity associated with setting up and managing the disaster recovery processes within VMware environments.
Of course, VMware is not the first cloud service provider to deliver disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) for VMware environments. In fact, Kottas says that VMware intends to share the adjustments it made to its vCloud management service to deliver its own service with other cloud service providers that have partnered with VMware.
DRaaS that leverages replication has emerged as a viable alternative to backup and recovery software that not only consumes a lot of time, but is also inconsistent in terms of the ability to actually recover data. While not at a stage where DRaaS will completely replace the need for backup and recovery software just yet, it would appear that as the total cost of replicating data continues to fall, it’s only a matter of time before traditional backup and recovery software is relegated to a more minor role in the disaster recovery process.