Datrium offers instant vSphere recovery in AWS

Datrium has upgraded its DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) offering, claiming to provide the industry’s first instant restarts from backup data stored in Amazon’s S3 store. It’s also extended its DRaaS to offer cross-availability zone vSphere recovery and provide DRaaS to any on-premises vSphere environment.

When Datrium’s DRaaS capability was announced in August it provided AWS cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) to on-premises vSphere deployments, using Datrium DVX systems, by backing them up to S3. 

Datrium’s release 1 DRaaS scheme.

The backup data is stored as deduplicated and compressed virtual machine snapshots in their native format. If the on-premises site crashed then a VMware Cloud on AWS disaster recovery site was started up using the S3 backup data.

In effect an on-premises vSphere deployment disaster triggers failover to an operationally consistent vSphere deployment in AWS using VMware Cloud on AWS. That failover took up to 30 minutes to achieve recovery compliance. This AWS-located vSphere deployment is now called a Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC).

With the software upgrade all the snapshots in S3 are instantly made executable on a live cloud-native NFS datastore mounted by ESX hosts in that SDDC, with caching on NVMe flash.

Diagram of Datrium’s upgraded DRaaS.

Because the recovery process uses snapshotted vSphere data there is no need to convert it to a different format. 

How has the RTO changed?

Datrium said in August that its DRaaS delivered a 30-minute Recovery Compliance Objective (RCO) with autonomous compliance checks and just-in-time creation of VMware SDDCs.  

It did not say how low the Recovery Time Objective (RTO), the time permitted between disaster striking and the recovered system working, could be. Tushar Agrawal, Datrium’s then Director of Product Management and Marketing, blogged it could: “deliver near zero or zero recovery time objective (RTO) for on-premises or in the public cloud.”

(He joined AWS in July by the way, and is AWS’ Head Of Product Marketing for Business Applications.)

Brian Biles, Datrium’s Chief Product officer and co-founder, told B&F: “That blog was imprecise about delivery vs. architectural promise. While discussed separately, availability information was not made specific in the blog, and if there was a mis-reading, we apologise. … The technology promise for the VMware Cloud version was demonstrable, but the instant RTO feature was not generally available.”  

With Datrium now claiming it delivers the industry’s first instant RTO from backups on Amazon S3, then we can be confident Agrawal meant “near-zero” and not “zero.”

Only connect

There are two new Datrium connectors to enable wider use of its DRaaS;

  • DRaaS Connect for VMware Cloud offers instant RTO disaster recovery from an SDDC (vSphere deployment) in one AWS Availability Zone (AZ) to another.
  • DRaaS Connect for vSphere On Prem integrates with any vSphere physical infrastructure on-premises; ones that don’t use Datrium DVX systems. On failback, DRaaS will return only changed blocks back to vSphere and the local on-premises infrastructure through DRaaS Connect.

Biles, Datrium’s Chief Product officer and co-founder, told B&F: “Datrium Connect, a new feature of DRaaS and lightweight software, enables us to extend our DR capabilities beyond DVX systems.”

Datrium’s upgraded DRaaS is available through Datrium’s channel partners including Champion Solutions Group, Mindsight, PTS Data Centre Solutions and Technologent. Both DRaaS Connect options will be available in Q1 2020.