Late last year (2014) Symantec announced a joint partnership with HP to develop a new Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution based on HP Helion OpenStack® cloud. This joint venture offering is known as “HP Helion and Veritas Continuity”. We will walk you through the key value propositions of the solution in multiple episodes. These episodes are aligned to the value propositions and features which the new cloud-based continuity solution will bring to our clients. The context of this blog series addresses the scope of the first release of the service.
Today we shall take a quick tour of the Management Experience of the solution.
Even with the advent of cloud technologies, existing datacenters will continue to be relevant. To better utilize the existing resources, enterprises are in need of implementing hybrid clouds. These cloud offerings promise to optimize CAPEX-OPEX and also provide recovery solutions with significantly improved recovery time and recovery point objectives compared to the traditional and mainly tape-based recovery solutions. At the same time business demands have gone stricter. SLA’s not only drive the operational margins but also ensure, that the brand and image reputation of the Enterprise does not suffer under any disastrous disruption.
Additionally there are multiple business application tiers (physical/virtual) operating in cohesion that need to scale to meet newer demands. Managing these applications call for a unified management solution to simplify day-to-day operations. Since the existing datacenters will continue to be relevant, enterprises are in need of implementing hybrid clouds. Also the reduced budget and resources are here to stay enforcing “pay-per-use” models for the solutions.
“HP Helion and Veritas Continuity” is a managed service based on a scalable platform to build recovery solutions across data centers specific to your business needs. The solution is built to serve the unmet needs of today’s hybrid environments. It enables the service provider (HP) to manage disaster recovery of your assets from your on-premises datacenter to HP continuity centers (based on HP Helion OpenStack®). The solution is backed with a proprietary replication technology to effectively move data from your on-premises datacenter to HP continuity centers.
The solution will be delivered to customers in partnership with HP and will follow the “as-a-service” model. The above representation depicts a typical delivery model that provides virtual machines or application disaster recovery as a service.
In this article we would touch upon the simplified management of the solution.
The effort for managing client assets that need to be protected by this solution before, during and after a major disruption is significantly lower than that with any other less optimized and integrated recovery tool.
The management capabilities of HP Helion and Veritas Continuity solution performed by the service provider are
The remaining part of the article covers the high level deployment and asset management experience of the solution.
Clients having purchased this new HP Helion and Veritas Continuity service will get "on-boarded" to the selected HP continuity center by the following deployment. The components are deployed using Virtual Appliances (VA’s) on the HP continuity center as well as in the client on-premises datacenters. The appliance model assures minimal install effort on the part of the client team and is one of the key aspects of “as a service” solution.
To setup a component, the client team needs to instantiate the Virtual Appliance, bring it up on the network and complete the bootstrap configuration wizard. The supported hyper visors for VA deployments are VMware, HyperV.
The management console of the solution is hosted in the cloud (HP continuity center) and is the single interface for all management and recovery operations performed by the HP continuity team. The landing page of the solution provides an elaborate view of the entire disaster recovery (DR) configuration. The client datacenters are precisely plotted on the world map and relevant health status of the assets within each datacenter is displayed along with.
The recovery-point-objective (RPO) / recovery-time-objective (RTO) status is also provided on the same page, ensuring all the critical information is accessible/visible/displayed upfront. There are quick links to the most frequent actions performed by the HP continuity team (e.g. Manage Assets), events and alerts recorded across datacenters.
The solution has an effective discovery capability that discovers the assets hosted in the on-premises datacenter. This discovery capability will be used to automate the on-boarding and deployment of the to be protected environment of a client to the HP continuity center. Assets could be virtual machines, applications, business services. Once these assets are discovered, they can be grouped based on business needs and can be operated on at a group level.
Such groups are termed as Resiliency Groups (RG). A resiliency group can be of virtual machine or Application type. The resiliency group can be used to perform a Start-Stop operation on the assets, where a Start would imply power on the group of virtual machines or bring up the group of applications. Eventually, the same resiliency group can be protected by configuring for Disaster Recovery. The DR configuration for an resiliency ensures that the entire group of assets can be recovered in the cloud.
HP Helion and Veritas Continuity has support for multi-tier applications also termed as Virtual Business Service (VBS). With this feature the HP continuity team can create a VBS by a ‘drag and drop’ experience and the dependencies between the tiers are honored when any recovery or management operation is performed.
These are just few of the features of the service. We will cover more of these will be covered in later posts on the topic.