Moving Disaster Recovery to the Cloud – When Does it Make Sense?

If a business faces a disaster scenario and no longer has access to their data, it is imperative for companies to to be able to recover their data. According to a recent ESG research report, 40% of customers surveyed said they use their cloud infrastructure for disaster recovery.[1] Disaster Recovery (DR) in a traditional data center can be expensive, inefficient, and complex. Dell EMC, working with VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS), can simplify these complexities through flexibility, scalability, integration, and automation to empower data owners for quick, efficient, and cost effective data recovery.

Hans Ammitzbøll, Business Development Manager from Dell EMC, Henry Axelrod, Solutions Architect & Storage Specialist from AWS, and Adam Osterholt, Principal Cloud System Engineer for VMware CloudTM on AWS from VMware, recently presented about the current capabilities of the VMware CloudTM on AWS and how Dell EMC provides exceptional data protection solutions by combining market-leading technologies and easy-to-use management.

Customers worldwide trust Dell EMC’s cloud-optimized data protection solutions and AWS to provide a secure cloud infrastructure. A key service that AWS offers for DR workloads is the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which are virtual servers hosted on AWS cloud. This AWS offering enables customers to easily scale up or down, pay only for what they use, and provides instance types for virtually every workload and business need.

VMware CloudTM on AWS is an integrated cloud offering developed by AWS and VMware that delivers a highly scalable and secure service that allows organizations to seamlessly migrate and extend their on-premises VMware VMs to the AWS Cloud running on Amazon EC2 infrastructure. Customers can spin up an entire VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) in a couple of hours, and scale host capacity up and down in minutes. When a customer needs to extend their on-premises data protection to VMware CloudTM on AWS, there are four typical use cases: data center extension, DR, cloud migrations, and next-gen applications. VMware CloudTM on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation™, a unified SDDC platform that integrates VMware vSphere, VMware Virtual SAN™ and NSX™ virtualization technologies to provide access to the broad range of AWS services. Together, they offer customers a SDDC with the functionality, elasticity, and security customers have come to expect from the AWS Cloud and various offerings. It allows companies to run applications on the cloud without expensive refactoring of code, increase the value of their enterprise applications by giving them access to a broad range of AWS services for integrated application modernization, and capitalize on cloud agility and scale in an operationally consistent and familiar way.

Dell EMC has partnered with VMware to deliver the first data protection solution for VMware CloudTM on AWS. With Dell EMC’s enterprise-grade data protection, companies can leverage the same data protection solution of VMware CloudTM workloads as they use for their on-premises workloads. Using one solution to protect hybrid cloud workloads simplifies data management and lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO). The Dell EMC data protection solution also provides customer integration with on-premises data protection, simplifying administration and enabling best-in-class deduplication and automated operations to lower cloud consumption costs.

Dell EMC also leverages AWS to provide modern DR of virtualized workloads to lower the costs of legacy brick and mortar DR sites. With Cloud DR, organizations can protect their on-premises backup data residing on Data Domain using Data Protection Suite or through the Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA). This is accomplished by transferring metadata and backing up data securely and efficiently into AWS S3 for VMware DR scenarios while taking advantage of agility and cost effectiveness of cloud object storage. Cloud DR requires minimal footprint in AWS as well as minimal compute cycles, enabling a DR solution at minimal cost. In the event of a disaster, the workloads can be run directly in AWS, or recovered to VMware CloudTM on AWS.  This provides companies with a unique benefit as no backup and recovery infrastructure is needed for AWS recovery.

Cloud DR adds value to existing on-premises Dell EMC data protection. Customers can now protect their workloads in AWS S3, and then recover to VMware CloudTM VMs with Cloud DR from Dell EMC. In just 3 clicks to failover, and 2 clicks to failback, Dell EMC enables easy and complete orchestrated DR. Recovery of VMs on VMware CloudTM requires no data conversion and provides rapid recovery of VM images from Amazon S3 using intra-region network where customers can recover VMs in minutes. This solution is also simple to operate, so customers can use familiar on-prem UI and have direct in-cloud access, monitoring, and reporting.

There are cost benefits associated with deploying DR in this manner. Its efficient architecture allows customers to extend their on-premise data protection with minimal cloud cost and footprint, while eliminating DR data center costs. Specifically, customers have the option to provision VMware CloudTM’s SDDC on-demand when recovery is needed for cost efficiency. Resources within the cloud are only spun up if the primary data center is not available. This is much less expensive than having hardware up and running constantly within the public cloud.  The resources are then decommissioned when no longer needed. All cloud DR orchestration features are available in both Standard and Advanced deployment models.

In today’s data environment, customers require data integrity and flexibility in their data protection solutions. If a disaster happens, quick, efficient, and low-cost recovery is business critical. Together, VMware, AWS, and Dell EMC create a powerful cloud backup and recovery solution. Allowing customers to deploy and scale the right-sized cloud data protection no matter where their data lives can save time and money while reducing their cloud footprint. Dell EMC Data Protection cloud solutions natively tier up to 100 PB of logical capacity to the cloud and can be deployed through Amazon’s cloud marketplace. These solutions protect various workloads including traditional and cloud IaaS / PaaS workloads. They also offer multiple cloud use cases and help reduce monthly in-cloud data protection costs by 50% or more. This is just another example of how Dell EMC, VMware, and AWS are better together.

To learn more:

Additional Resources

Click here to watch an On Demand recording of the webinar

Click here for Implementing a Sound Multi-Cloud Strategy blog

Click here on How Dell EMC and VMware Simplify, Automate, and Protect your Organization

Click here on how Dell EMC offers data protection in a multi-cloud world

Click here to read what Data Protection Strategies Dell EMC has for a multi-cloud world using VxRail

[1] ESG Research Report, Data Protection Cloud Strategies, December 2016

About the Author: Maxwell Robidoux

Max Robidoux is a Product Marketing Analyst at Dell EMC and is responsible for Cloud Data Protection and VMware Data Protection marketing, messaging and sales enablement. Prior to working at Dell, Max worked as a research technician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to Mass General, Max was a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA where he graduated in May 2015.