HowTo: VMware Site Recovery Manager Demo Environment

27 05 2009

While at EMC World last week I attended an excellent session on Site Recovery Manager from VMware.  If you haven’t read about this solution yet think of it as an “easy button” for recovery of your server virtualization infrastructure.  SRM allows you to automate your disaster recovery plan facilitating seamless failover of your infrastructure without requiring a lot of manual intervention as is the case with most current DR strategies.  Another major challenge with manual failover processes is testing and validation.  Most organizations dedicate immense resources to executing recovery tests but with SRM that is a thing of the past.  It gives you the ability to test the failover and recovery of your virtual infrastructure without impacting production as well as providing a report of the results thus validating the success of your DR plan.

This all sounds good but with most new technologies there can be a learning curve which in effect hinders adoption.  As with most techie people I like to get my hands on a technology before I implement or support it.  With more complex systems which require hardware components such as a SAN it can be hard for most people to get their hands on technologies like SRM in a sandbox environment for learning.  This is fortunately not the case with SRM as you can leverage the following whitepaper from the VMware Infrastructure Operations site to configure an SRM test environment on a single workstation…ah the beauty of virtualization.

http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1235

This guide leverages VMware Workstation, ESX, VirtualCenter, SRM, and the storage virtualization tool of your choice to configure an operable sandbox environment that could even be configured on a laptop.  As an additional note you will need to go through a quick registration process to gain access to the VIOPS site but the content makes it well worth the effort.

The Shuttle system that I reviewed in one of my previous posts could also be used to build one hell of a virtualization test platform including SRM as outlined in the whitepaper.

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