Posts Tagged ‘RecoverPoint’
For almost 8 years, Sebastian Darrington, who maintains a much-read blog under the title The Storage Chap, has been discussing and debating various approaches to disaster recovery and business continuity planning. In June, he posted an article on The Six Differentiating Features of RecoverPoint. Add to that the excellent post he wrote in January on Zero Data Loss with Asynchronous Replication, and you’ll get a pretty complete picture of the EMC/Axxana benefits.
The sixth differentiating feature he mentions in his June blog post is Bandwidth Reduction. It is specifically this feature that makes RecoverPoint and Axxana the perfect combination for organizations that operate in regions that have less-reliable or very expensive communication costs. Of course, regardless of where an organization operates, there’s no sense in throwing away good money on bandwidth. But in some regions of the world, you can’t get good bandwidth, regardless of the price.
EMC World was a great event! Axxana’s Select Theatre presentation was delivered by our own Brendan Foye, Director of Sales, USA West. According to the EMC Select team on the floor, it was by far the most attended session at the Select Theatre. Some of them asked me “What did you do to get such a crowd?”
It’s no surprise to anyone who has heard Brendan present, but, the presentation went very well. And the buzz continued long after his presentation. People came to our booth saying they saw his presentation and wanted to hear more. At the V bar later that night, people were still talking to me about how cool the Axxana Phoenix is and how great the presentation went. They started asking me if we smashed and crashed the box and I right there on the spot went to YouTube with my iPhone and showed them the mechanical tests video that we have on our channel WEDR, complete with the fire, earthquake, explosion, penetration and water tests. It was, as Chad Sakac would say “AWESOME”!!!
Stage is one thing… but EMC TV??? My friend Lara El-Ghazal from Philly was the beautiful host this year and in between conversations about potential customers who will surely benefit from Axxana’s transformation of Async to Sync… we also… by chance… really… talked about sending a TV live crew to our booth… and sure enough, they came. Mr. Paul Jassies, Axxana’s Director of Sales, EMEA, did a remarkable job in his first TV appearance. Word on the floor was that he was the one who sent RPO-0 to do dance with the TV crew live. That was so much fun! RPO-0 was everywhere at the show. Our friends from Presidio, an EMC Channel Partner, took a picture of RPO-0 strapped to the rope of their climbing wall… again… AWESOME!!!
As for the trade show… it was great. We had many meetings which were pre-set with end users and that’s a lot of what it is about. We had many EMC’ers bring their customers to our booth and of course, random end users who visited us and went home with a phone call in their future. We now have many good friends at EMC, people from all ranks and all roles… and many of them came to our booth to say hello. Having all of us and all of them in the same place at the same time – that’s… you guessed it – AWESOME!
Especially noteworthy was Jerry Eudey who walked around wearing our special, limited edition, “Team Axxana” shirt, which no Axxana employee is allowed to wear, by the way. And if we are talking about friendship… Axxana and RecoverPoint were seen going strong and steady at the show this year, with RecoverPoint’s new booth and back and forth referencing of Zero Data Loss @ Distance (RP+Axxana) to create the world’s strongest, most cost effective, replication solution, with not even a hint of competition. VNX/CLARiiON today… VMAX and VPLEX – here we come!!! Now… isn’t that… AWESOME?!
EMC World 2012 is next week in Las Vegas. The Axxana team will be there in force, including our CEO, Eli Efrat, and CTO, Dr. Alex Winokur. It’s a huge event with plenty of options as to how to spend your time, so careful planning helps you make the most of the days.
As a company that has done deep technology integration with EMC’s RecoverPoint, you will find us at many of the RecoverPoint sessions. There are now twelve. To find the sessions, just go to the EMC World Scheduler and search on RecoverPoint.
If you are a VNX or VNXe customer, I recommend you attend the session by Jonathan Meltzer, entitled “VNX and VNXe Data Protection: Recovering from Disasters – Large and Small.” He’ll be presenting on both Monday and Tuesday.
If you are responsible for disaster recovery or IT budgeting, you should try to connect with Lynn Osborn, Director of Engineering Services at The Pinnacle Group. He’s the individual that helped Animal Health International achieve a zero-data-loss IT environment on a budget that any mid-sized company can afford. You can hear Lynn discuss his experience with Axxana in this short video on our YouTube channel. Stop by Booth 728, and we’ll help connect you with Lynn.
As an EMC Select Partner, we are very pleased to have a cameo presentation at the Select Theatre on Wednesday the 23rd, at 1:30pm. Don’t miss it. At the presentation you will learn how to transform asynchronous replication to synchronous replication.
Finally, if you can’t attend EMC World, consider watching the live streaming video that will be coming from theCube. As always, the folks at SiliconAngle and Wikibon will be providing great coverage and interviews with EMC executives, EMC customers, and EMC partners.
We hope to see you in Vegas!
Last week I posted a blog: Protecting Consistency Groups Against Human Error. I decided to see what other people were saying, so I did a little browsing around message boards, user groups, and forums. Back in 2010, W. Curtis Preston of Backup Central got into a lively debate with Scott Waterhouse of EMC, with Curtis stating emphatically, “Crash Consistent Backups Aren’t Good Enough,” and with Scott responding that they work, but ” wouldn’t it be ideal if you could do better.”
There’s plenty of concern about the ability to reliably recover applications from crash-consistent copies of data. Of course, it’s different for every application and every environment. Here’s some advice from an EMC message board on how to ensure recovery using RecoverPoint with Oracle:
Many customers and field personnel use RecoverPoint to constantly and successfully access and bring up both application and crash-consistent copies of Oracle every day.
If the Oracle database is setup correctly in RecoverPoint in terms of consistency groups and ensuring that the target volumes are only accessible to ONE mount host and the other host-level best practices are followed, then I would expect you to have no issues.
Click here for the full discussion.
There’s also a helpful discussion by Mike Rothouse on recovering Oracle data from NetApp storage using NetApp’s crash-consistent SnapShot.
If a database has all of its files (control files, data files, online redo logs, and archived logs) contained within a single NetApp volume, then the task is straightforward. A Snapshot copy of that single volume will provide a crash-consistent copy.
Click here for the full discussion.
My key observations are:
1. If you depend on crash-consistent copies of data, then it may work some of the time for some of your applications, but it won’t work all of the time for all of your applications.
2. Best practices for recovering from crash-consistent SnapShots restrict your options for data placement and volume management.
3. Applications, systems, and IT processes are in constant flux, so if you need to set up consistency groups “correctly” in order to ensure recovery, you are creating an inherent human-factor risk.
I don’t know about you, but with the pace of change, the cost of training, and the strain on staffing in today’s IT shops, I would opt for solutions that work the same way across all applications, automatically adapt to changes in the environment, and reduce the risk of human error.
Market research firm, IDC, recently released revenue estimates for the disk storage systems market. In 2011, the market grew over 8% and exceeded $31B. Given that the price we pay for a terabyte of storage continues to decline, that means that the growth rate of data is much higher. For many organizations, the growth rate is greater than 40% per year. The flood in Thailand that disrupted disk drive manufacturers’ supply chains notwithstanding, thanks to manufacturing innovation, the suppliers have been able to keep up with companies’ almost insatiable demand for more storage resources.
Time is a very different resource. There’s no factory that makes time, so we can’t make more. We can only decide how we use time. In the world of business, we are increasingly deciding to use our time to be open and available for our customers. That means that there’s less time to protect the data that we use to process orders, run our factories, and communicate with our suppliers.
Faced with a challenge like this, we have had to transform our thinking. In computing, over the past couple of decades we have gone from doing one thing at a time to doing everything at once. We used to turn on our accounting and order-entry systems in the morning, bring up terminal services, process orders, shut down systems at the end of the work day, bring in an evening shift to run analysis, print reports, and then back up the data. Now we process orders all day and all night, seven days a week. Terminals have been at least partially replaced by PCs, mobile device applications, and browser-based applications, but they need to be available throughout the day as well. The reports still need to be run and the data still needs to be backed up, and though reports and data backups may still occur at night, they are no longer being done in “off hours,” because there are no off hours.
This challenge is just one of the challenges that Tim Hays, VP of IT at Animal Health International, solved when he installed the Axxana Phoenix System RP and EMC RecoverPoint. Because RecoverPoint provides application-consistent snapshots of data, which can then be used for processing reports and as sources for backups, restores, and data replication, there’s no need to worry about the limited supply of time. Thanks to RecoverPoint, production systems can continue to operate, with only a brief pause, while the snapshot is taken. And thanks to Axxana, the data that is changed or created between the application-consistent snapshots is maintained and protected. This is critically important, because as Tim Hays said in his recent presentation on Wikibon’s Peer Incite, in a world where most transactions are electronic, if you lose your data, there’s no way to reconstruct the transactions.
If you are a regular reader of Chuck’s Blog, you probably read his comments on the VMAXe announcement. For those of you who don’t know, VMAXe is a smaller version of EMC’s high-end VMAX array, but with a couple of important differences. VMAXe doesn’t support IBM zSeries or iSeries servers and, as Chuck writes, “Astute readers will note the initial lack of SRDF support on the VMAXe.”
I would assume that EMC will ultimately offer SRDF for the VMAXe, but the initial choice to launch only with RecoverPoint for replication makes sense to us. There’s a huge installed base of CLARiiON and now VNX customers and a growing installed base of RecoverPoint customers. As customers continue to consolidate their storage, VMAXe is a logical platform. As more storage gets consolidated, concerns regarding availability and recoverability increase, which will drive additional demand for RecoverPoint.
Customers like to standardize, because it makes their operational life easier, and standardizing on data protection makes sense, because the last place you want to have added complexity is when things are going terribly wrong. RecoverPoint allows customers to standardize data protection approaches across VMAXe and VNX product lines. One of the reasons that we chose to partner with EMC generally, and RecoverPoint specifically, was their commitment to provide a standardized approach to data protection across platforms.
What if I told you that I could take your existing asynchronous infrastructure…and turn it into remote synchronous, zero-data-loss replication?
No, I’m not a magician, and I don’t pull rabbits out of a hat. I’m Eli Efrat, Axxana’s CEO, and that’s how I began my latest video, which you can see on Axxana’s home page or on YouTube here. When we started Axxana, our CTO, Dr. Alex Winokur, understood all of the trade-offs that organizations make when choosing between asynchronous and synchronous replication.
Asynchronous replication is inexpensive and can be used over any distance. That’s good. But it also guarantees that in the event of a disaster, you will lose data. That’s bad.
Synchronous replication is expensive and can only be used over limited distances, typically a few 10s of miles. That’s bad. But, it guarantees that you won’t lose data from a single site disaster. That’s good. Read the rest of this entry »
First, a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to see us at EMC World. Our theme was 100% Relaxed. And while we were very relaxed setting up the booth, we had huge crowds throughout the week, as everyone wanted to visit our Data Lifeguards.
I hope that they helped you relax just a little. If we did nothing else, we proved two things:
- Our lives are filled with series of unexpected events
- If you prepare properly, you will still be able to relax
Our CEO, Eli Efrat, appeared on The Cube, looking very relaxed, and talked evolution and revolution, the progress that Axxana has made over the past year, Axxana’s ability to augment RecoverPoint, enabling synchronous replication over any distance, reducing peak-load communication costs, and eliminating the need for additional data centers. We help you turn a very small investment into a tremendous financial impact. You can watch a replay of his interview with Dave Vellante of Wikibon here, including a surprise visit by The Stig.
One way that EMC’s customers are trying to relax more is by moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud. In keeping with that, we have stayed in lockstep with our partner, EMC, by supporting VCE Vblock together with EMC RecoverPoint. In case you don’t know, VCE Vblocks are the integrated building blocks from VMware, Cisco and EMC, to enable rapid deployments of private clouds. Rick Walsworth, the Director of Product Marketing for EMC’s Infrastructure Management Group and a huge champion for EMC’s RecoverPoint software, appeared on The Cube and talked about the importance of protecting data, when applications are moved into the cloud. His interview with Dave Vellante and John Furrier of Silicon Angle is here.
We had hundreds of meetings at EMC World, but we aren’t done getting the message out. More details to come, but we will be bringing our theme of relaxation to a series of lunch and learn events around the U.S. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.
This week, as thousands of IT professionals converge at EMC World, many will be getting their first look at Axxana’s Phoenix System RP. The system, which integrates with EMC RecoverPoint and all RecoverPoint-supported platforms, forces IT professionals to change the way they think and to imagine what was previously thought impossible. Now it truly is possible for companies to protect all of their data over any distance through a wide range of disasters. It is not only possible, but it is affordable for virtually any mid-sized and large enterprise customer. And thanks to RecoverPoint’s and the Phoenix System RP’s integration with VCE Vblocks, zero data loss over any distance is also possible for smaller companies that are leveraging public cloud infrastructures based upon VCE Vblocks.
If you look at the home page of our Axxana website, you will see that we have changed our banner this week to honor other great innovators. These individuals imagined and created what was previously thought impossible. The Wright brothers proved that flight was not just for birds, bees, and bats, but that man, too could fly. Alexander Graham Bell proved that people could remain connected and communicate, hearing each others’ voices over vast distances. John Bardeen and his colleagues, who developed commercially available transistors proved that electronics could be made affordable for the masses, and Albert Einstein, well, he changed just about everything we thought about the physical world.
In his book, The Black Swan, The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Taleb explains how Europeans could not imagine black swans until they actually saw them. Just like black swans, many will not believe that they can recover their data from the ashes, until they see the Phoenix System RP. No one today denies the existence of black swans, and everyone can imagine them. Soon, no one will doubt the ability to protect all data and recover it from the ashes, from the floods, from an earthquake, or from a building collapse. If you are at EMC World, please stop by and see for yourself. We are at Booth 605.
Amazon has built a fantastic reputation as a provider of cloud services. With multiple data centers, service availability levels at 99.9% and integrated data backup services, Amazon’s EC2 makes perfect sense for new companies that want to build software applications and deliver them as a service. By delivering applications as a service, emerging companies can be a disruptive force competing against established packaged-application vendors. And Amazon EC2 enables these Application-as-a-Service suppliers to avoid the up-front capital costs associated with building multiple, redundant data centers. It doesn’t mean, however, that Amazon EC2 is perfect and without risk.
A look at the Amazon Web Services Service Health Dashboard today showed a number of service interruptions and performance issues in Amazon’s Northern Virginia facility on April 21 – 24. Henry Blodget of Business Insider reported that Amazon had a cloud crash and the “cloud crash destroyed many customers’ data.”
It would take a lot of digging to get to the bottom of why data was lost. The Business Insider article refers to a letter from Amazon to a customer that discusses “an inconsistent data snapshot” and Amazon’s inability to recover the data. Unfortunately, corrupted data which has been carefully copied to another location is still corrupted. That’s why it is important to keep a series of application-consistent snapshots together with transaction journals, so that application-data can be restored to its last known good state and updates can be applied to bring the data back to RPO=0. This is precisely what is done with the EMC RecoverPoint/Axxana Phoenix System RP solution. RecoverPoint maintains application-consistent snapshots, and Axxana stores the changed data, protected from fire, smoke, flood, shock, earthquakes, and building collapse.
As the cloud services become increasingly adopted for mission critical applications, perhaps it is time to consider a zero-data-loss solution.