I'm looking to implement a DR strategy whereby physical servers in remote offices are backed (over the internet - no point-point connection) to a VM running on an ESX box in our office. The idea is that should there be a disaster in the remote office I can provide the users with remote desktop/citrix access to their servers. Bascially I need to be running a mirror image of the physical server on our ESX box with data being automatically updated.
I was wondering what software people would recommend to do this as there seem to be a few options out there. Cost is a key factor as money is tight.
TIA for any advice.
What servers at remote site need to be replicated to DR site? Depending on the app, database or OS, I could help you narrow down the options (with an eye on cost).
Also what is the RTO, RPO and budget?
Right off the bat without a lot of info about your environment, I think you need to look into Vizioncore's vReplicator and vRanger products -> http://www.vizioncore.com. Please provide some more info if you'd like dive deep into a solution that best fits your needs and budget.
Sean Clark, VCP
No idea about cost, but since our company is a sales partner of Doubletake, that is the one product i have experience with for such scenarios.
Replication of data is almost realtime, once the initial mirroring has been done, and providing you use a 1 on 1 replication from each physical server to its replication partner VM, it can automatically handle failover/failbacks by altering DNS entries for the failed machines to its replication partners IP-address.
It can integrate in active directory, to change the users Exchange store for example.
It can stop/start needed services for supported applications ( SQL server, Exchange,...) and you can simply add your own services to be failed over if needed.
Check out their website: www.doubletake.com
Another product, which i just recently heard of, is Peersync. http://www.peersoftware.com/products/peersync/peersync.aspx
Only does data replication, but that might just be all you need, because doubletake does a lot more, which will probably be reflected in the cost.
As you have both Physical and Virtual machines and your description I would recommend you look at the products from DoubleTake (and the other host based replication vendors).
This can allow you to replicate in real time, do scheduling and bandwidth control and control what is actually replicated. A very effective solution.
If you give us some more details we can probably expand a little more.
Considering awarding points if this is of use
Thanks for the excellent responses Guys. I've checked out the software suggested I'm not sure it's exactly what I'm after - for a start it's pricey!. Having thought about the scenario a bit more I don't think I need to have a "mirrored" VM running in the main office - I just need the ability to create a VM from backup should the need arise. Therefore I was wondering if some sort of online backup software could be used to take an image (or backup) of a server over the internet. I would then have a backup in HQ and should a disaster strike in the outer office I can create a VM from the backup - does this sound like a reasonable plan?
Any software which can make a backup that can be restored to a completely different system without too much hassle will not come cheap.
Since we still do not know what kind of data you're trying to backup and restore, we can only recommend tools which are known to work in almost any scenario.
If you could provide more details on the kind of systems and software you are running, and for which you want this backup system, we might help you better narrowing down on possible solutions.
Bear in mind that the simpler the backup solution, the harder it will probably be to get a backup restored to a different system. Having a backup of data alone will only help if you already have a VM which is configured completely like the original system.
You can try to use Converter to create a VM from the physical server, and then regularly update it by copying the changed data over, or restoring a backup from the original system to the VM.