This week, EMC released RecoverPoint for VMs (RP4VM). For storage administrators, RecoverPoint has long been seen as the seamless synchronous/asynchronous storage replication of choice for EMC storage, to deliver higher levels of resiliency for enterprise workloads. But for virtualization administrators, it was part of the “magic” that made the storage under the hypervisor surprisingly durable – or perhaps not even recognized at all.
With the RP4VM release, enterprise-grade storage replication is now in the hands of the VMware Administrator (vAdmin). RP4VM is made up of three core components:
- A virtual appliance for replicating to another appliance on a different host
- An I/O splitter that captures disk I/O from the hypervisor, and weans a copy for the appliance
- A vCenter plug-in for management
With this approach, any storage that the hypervisor can use (iSCSI, FC, DAS, vSAN) can be replicated – even to heterogeneous storage on another ESX hypervisor. Via its vCenter plugin, this solution is designed to be administered by a virtualization specialist, instead of a storage specialist. It is another huge example of vAdmin enablement. In broader terms, it is another example of workload owners (e.g., virtualization, database, storage) taking on traditional infrastructure management responsibilities that might have previously been managed by a backup administrator – similar to how emc-announces-another-step-towards-backupless-backups/index.html" target="_blank">EMC recently released ProtectPoint, as a way to enable storage administrators to protect their own data.
In both cases, these are HUGE WINS for workload administrators who want to achieve better levels of resilience and recover-ability for their various workloads (storage & virtualization). But in both cases, there is another side to the story that should also be included: the need for better communication and shared strategy between the workload owners and the traditional facilitators of infrastructure services – see workload-enabled-data-protection-is-the-future-and-that-is-a-good-thing/index.html" target="_blank">previous blog post on the evolution of workload protection.
For ProtectPoint, storage administrators can now protect their own data, but they will likely be more successful and their organizations will be more compliant, if that protection is strategized and then enacted through a partnership between the now-empowered storage administrator and the backup administrator who typically helms that responsibility (and still likely maintains the Data Domain platforms).
Now, with RecoverPoint for VM, virtualization administrators can ensure higher resilience of their virtualized infrastructure, but they will likely be more successful if that resilience is strategized and then enacted through a partnership between the now-empowered virtualization administrator and the storage administrator who traditionally facilitated the underlying capacity for the virtualization infrastructure (and likely still maintains the storage platforms themselves).
Key Takeaway: There are other examples, but the point is – as workload administrators gain new capabilities that were previously helmed by their IT peers, their shared success will not be from JUST the new technology innovations themselves (often as impressive as they are elegant), but also in the shared strategies and collaboration between those who understand the workloads, and those that understand the organization’s mandates and expectations of resiliency, recovery, retention, etc.