I have around 100 remote sites connected to the Internet using Cable/DSL modems, and one HQ connected via 100 Mbips pipe to the Internet.
All remote sites run Windows physical servers and HQ has a huge VI with many ESX servers and iSCSI SAN.
The sites all use NAT and the Internet to talk to HQ, no VPN, because many sites have the same IP numbering, so HQ cannot do VPN using one router, I would have to get many routers.
I am looking for some software that will do the following for me:
Convert the physical to virtual at remote site, store the virtual at HQ and incremental updates get applied to the virtual.
When the physical fails, power on the virtual and give remote sites users access via remote desktop, or alternatively convert the virtual to physical and ship the physical server to remote site.
I am not looking for failover, just disaster recovery.
Second phase of the project will be to provide some sort of fail-over.
I tried to use DoubleTake for this, but it does not work very well with NAT, since I have no VPN.
I could setup VPN, but then I would have to get many routers because of the IP numbering clash between remote sites.
we are going to be testing both P2V and V2V DR scenarios later this month. I'll post our findings.
How large are the remote sites?
What infrastructure services are provided by the local hardware? AD, file serving, etc?
What SLA is required to get the offending system back up?
It seems like a lot of work for what could be very little benefit. Do you have a plan on the pain points you want to hit with the solution? I would just replicate the required backup data over to HQ and reimage a new server (or fix the original problem) and rebuild the server. You could have a backup workstation at HQ so in case of a failure, remote people could get in to HQ and see the backed up data (and use it if required).
Depending on the size, you could virtualize the environment with two ESX hosts and mirror them with Vizioncore's software. That will give you lots more than P2Ving back to HQ, I think. If you still want to go that route, Vizioncore has software that could help out from start to finish. Kurt would love to help you out. Tell him Ken says hi
Or, for our remote sites we are having two ESX hosts with a NetApp filer being synced back to HQ. There is much less overhead on the wan side due to block-level replication instead of file-level.
Anyway, just my $.02
If you found this posting to be useful, great. I didn't waste your time.