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What VM disaster recovery options you have if VMware Site Recovery Manager is over your budget

VMware Site Recovery Manager is a great disaster recovery solution for protection of an organization’s VMware virtualization infrastructure, if you have the budget and the expertise to deploy it. But its mid four digits starting price is not small business friendly at all. And it’s neither easy to use. Without a certain level of VMware literacy, a general IT technician just won’t be capable of getting it properly configured. Most small businesses who are currently using VMware’s virtualization solution (paid and free ESXi hosts) on one site just don’t have either the budget or virtualization expert to get the solution deployed within their infrastructure. If your company is one of them, what other VM disaster recovery options do you have?

Before looking at other options you can have, let’s see the benefits for having a Site Recovery Manager:

  • Achieve disaster recovery (DR), disaster avoidance, data center migration and other objectives
  • Perform frequent non-disruptive testing to ensure predictable recovery objectives
  • Automated failover and failback workflows reduce recovery time to minutes
  • Achieve zero-downtime application mobility with live migration of virtual machines at scale across sites

These benefits definitely sound nice, but pricey. As you’re just running a small business with virtualization on a single site, probably with only a few ESXi hosts, you don’t need all of them for keeping your business running after a disaster. You’ll just probably need:

  • Quick enough recovery of VMs after disaster
  • Non-disruptive verification on recoverability from time to time
  • Manual failover
  • Live migration of VMs across hosts instead of across sites

CloudBacko’s VMware Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Businesses

If the above offers are acceptable to you, then you should look for a solution like CloudBacko Pro. Our recommended disaster recovery plan for single site small business running a few VMware ESXi hosts would be:

  1. Acquire a passive standby VMware ESXi host with storage larger than the largest running ESXi host.
  2. Acquire a storage server with big enough storage for storing all the backed up VM images from all running ESXi hosts and the retention data.
  3. Install CloudBacko Pro on your vCenter or a staging machine that is on the same network as your ESXi hosts to run scheduled backups for all the mission critical guest VMs on all hosts to the storage server.
  4. Install CloudBacko Pro within each guest VM to backup the applications such as MS Exchange, MS SQL, Lotus Domino, MySQL, etc. for more flexible recovery options.

Our VM DR plan will give you these benefits:

  • When a production VM is corrupted but the host is intact, CloudBacko Pro lets you spin up the corrupted VM from its backup within 1-2 minutes from its original host. So, the downtime is very minimal.
  • If a VMware host goes down, use CloudBacko Pro to restore all the guest VMs onto the standby ESXi host. You can also spin up the mission critical VMs from their backups, and perform live VM migration to the standby ESXi host when they are running.
  • If only an application crashed, you can simply perform application level restore with the CloudBacko Pro installed within the guest VM.
  • The Data Integrity Check feature in CloudBacko Pro lets perform non-disruptive verification on the recoverability of your backed up data.
  • It is very easy to use. Your general in-house IT technician can certainly manage it effortlessly.
  • The whole solution is much more affordable than using VMware SRM.

Run additional cloud backup if budget is allowed

If your budget is allowed, we definitely encourage you to acquire a cloud storage account (e.g. Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, etc.) for keeping another backup copy on the cloud using CloudBacko’s multi-destination backup feature. This way, if the whole local site is hit by a disaster, you can still restore your VMs from the cloud.

Interested to understand if CloudBacko works for your specific virtualized environment? Talk to our Pre-sales representative now.