The Weather Is Getting Cloudy: Vembu to the Rescue


In this, the sixth article in our series investigating the benefits of Vembu BDR for Virtualized Environments, we carry on examining Vembu’s migration capabilities. We all know that backing up your data is only one part of the equation. The ability to recover is the other, and arguably more important, side. This is where Vembu BDR really shines.

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The weather is getting cloudy: Vembu to the rescue

Once again you are sitting in your cube, monitoring your environment. OK, you know the score—playing Gorf. Even better, you have finally beaten Steve’s score. All is calm in the world. The cloud migration went well, and as your reward, you have just returned from your first VMworld. Your management now not only believe you wear your underwear on the outside of your trousers, but also think you have the red cape, too. You are feeling that your career is on the right track at last. You have settled into your new leadership role and are planning the next phases of the company cloud migration.

In your last management meeting, it was decided that the company would continue on its cloud migration strategy. Your move from VMware vSphere to Hyper-V has been successful, and now you are looking at a move into the public cloud, which will provide better resilience for your IT assets. Once this migration is complete, you can finally close down a very expensive colo data center that you are currently utilizing for hot standby DR.

Once again, you are not worried about this work, as you have your trusty ally Vembu BDR to aid you.

There are a number of things you could do here. However, you choose simply to utilize Vembu’s OnlineBackup feature to create an online repository for your company’s backups. This will be stored in your new Azure cloud. Further, you know that you can relax, as even if there is an outage to your hot standby site, the backup process will restart from the last point of failure automatically on resumption of service. Also, your data is encrypted before being sent across the wire, so it is secure. The crux of this stage is to migrate a site to a cloud provider to enable the decommissioning of the expensive colo site. This is an excellent method by which to seed and migrate your environment. Especially as currently the colo is only a hot standby environment, it can be done without any significant disruption.

You quickly set up a Vembu Backup Server in your colo site to back up the machines there. Now, it would have been nice if you could have just added a replication target to your already existing server and configured it replicate to the instance you have set up in Azure using Vembu OffsiteDR, but that ability is not yet here (you can’t have everything). As speed is not of the essence right now—yes, that’s right—you have time to plan. You can just leave the replication to trickle to completion. Once it is complete and you have verified that all is cool in the Kingdom of Denmark, it is time to deploy your new site on its new home location of Azure.

As usual, we are not going into the vagaries of cloud networking over on-site virtualization or physical networking; suffice it to say that it is configured correctly.

It is again time to summon the power of Vembu, in this case by restoring your replicated VHDs and VHDXs directly into Azure from your OffsiteDR instance. Admittedly, creating the virtual machines to utilize the restored virtual disks is a manual process. OK, it’s a PowerShell script you wrote that creates the guest, starts the guest, and changes any networking details as necessary.

Once everything is completed, you verify the environment, decommission the Vembu BDR server in the colo site, and repoint your core Vembu BDR server to utilize the Azure instance as its OfflineDR target.

Once verification that everything is back in sync has been gathered, you start the process to decommission the colo site.

Things are definitely looking up. And your Gorf score is getting even better.


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Tom Howarth
Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.

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