Deploying Stretched vSphere clusters with Site Recovery Manager on SAN Volume Controller

I was parsing my Google Reader feed earlier today and ran across the latest post by Chad Sakac, aka “Virtual Geek” providing an outline of the announcements from Day One of EMC World.   I’m a technologist at heart so I love to read about product updates, new functionality, etc.  I also enjoy to predict (if you can call it that if the predictions are only to yourself) what may come next from a product.

EMC VPLEX is a product I’ve been watching since it debuted both because of the use cases with VMware and the fact that it duplicates some of the functionality of IBM SAN Volume Controller.  EMC announced some VPLEX enhancements today, official press release can be found here and Chad’s post on the topic with the specific VMware relation can be found here.

I prefer to avoid discussing other vendor technology on this blog, my main focus is to provide useful information for VMware related solutions on IBM storage.  However while reading the official EMC Press release a couple of lines really stuck in my teeth….

“EMC is delivering the industry’s only high availability three-site data center protection solution for active/active Hybrid Cloud deployments with RecoverPoint and VPLEX.”

“This new combination delivers the industry’s first solution to combine active-active data centers with third site disaster recovery protection, affording customers the high availability benefits of VPLEX AccessAnywhere™ cache coherency technology and the comprehensive ProtectEverywhere™ of RecoverPoint across all EMC and non-EMC block storage.”

I won’t dissect those lines, I just ask that you read on.

I provided a three part series on this blog around how SAN Volume Controller can be deployed in a “Stretched” configuration, which enables the use of Stretched vSphere Clusters.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

On 10/11/2011 this post  provided information on the SVC/V7000 6.3 code release which included support for longer distance of the SVC Stretched Configuration…up to 300 km!

Finally this post discusses the Site Recovery Manager SRA for SVC/V7000.  Point being SVC is a supported storage system for Site Recovery Manager.

I guess because we have customers who have been deploying SVC in a Stretched configuration (also called Split I/O group) and also replicating with either Metro or Global Mirror to another SVC cluster for years (which combines active-active data center storage with a third site disaster recovery option), I didn’t think to point out it out on this blog.  But I guess since it relevant today I will spell it out.

SAN Volume Controller can be deployed in a Stretched configuration between two data centers up to 300 km.  This provides you with a storage “HA” configuration (see my earlier posts for more details).  Most importantly for VMware, this allows you to have shared storage for hosts at both sites.  The use cases for this are VMotion and HA between sites.  This solution is not for Disaster Recovery!  For this reason the SVC development team has included recommendations in the guidelines for extended split-system configurations (available here) to include replication to a third site using Metro or Global Mirror.   A Stretched SVC is no different than a standard SVC cluster from a software or functionality perspective, so all features like FlashCopy, Replication, Easy-Tier, etc. continue to work the same.  VMware Site Recovery Manager is no different.  Our standard SVC SRM SRA (Storage Replication Adapter) can be used to control VMware data center fail over to a third site.  Even better…the replication/fail over can be to another SVC cluster or Storwize V7000!

So to sum it up…

SVC can be deployed between two data centers in a “Stretched” configuration,  development calls this a Split I/O group system.  This solution allows for VMware VMotion and High Availability between sites.

SVC (Stretched included) provides native replication to another SVC cluster or Storwize V7000.  This solution enables VMware Site Recovery Manager to function.

Stretched SVC can be combined with Metro or Global Mirror to both VMware VMotion/HA between two sites, with replication and SRM to a third site.

I will presenting on this solution at the IBM Technical Edge Conference.  So if you are interested in learning more about this solution please check out session sVC24.

FTC Disclosure: I work for IBM, and endorse the IBM SVC for three-site/stretch cluster configurations.  Any references to EMC, VMware and other companies are for illustrative purposes, based on publicly available information.  I was not paid by any third party to mention their company names or products on this blog, and do not endorse any of their products.

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4 Responses to Deploying Stretched vSphere clusters with Site Recovery Manager on SAN Volume Controller

  1. Pingback: Stretched IBM SAN Volume Controller certified as a vSphere Metro Storage Cluster solution | virtualstoragespeak

  2. Hello,

    Does SVC has any datastore size limitations? Can I use a stretched cluster with datastores bigger than 2TB?

    Thank you, excelent blog

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