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VMWare Enhances Site Recovery Manager 4

VMware announced enhancements to their Site Recovery Manager (SRM) product and aligned the version number to 4, indicating that existing vSphere 4 customers will need SRM 4 for virtualized disaster recovery. SRM will continue to manage older ESX 3.5 servers, and this version increases scalability by doubling the server capacity from 500 to 1000 virtual machines on a single SRM server. The new version is available today and is list priced at $1,750 per protected CPU, which VMware defines as a single socket with up to 12 cores.

One of the key selling points of virtualization, besides consolidating hardware, is more efficient disaster recovery. If your virtual machines are stored on SAN or NAS and the server hardware fails, you can quickly bring up the virtual machines on another server platform in minutes. With virtualization you can recover servers from failed hardware in a data center or you can recover an entire remote data center. When IT can take their recovery times from hours or days to minutes, that is a big benefit. SRM 4 enhances the recovery capabilities.

The  most significant new feature is shared recovery sites that allow administrators to use one SRM server to recover multiple remote sites. In the previous version of SRM, each remote site had their own SRM server and site that were pre-provisioned and configured for each site. While a 1:1 remote site to recovery site is a robust recovery ratio, the cost of maintaining multiple replicated sites is expensive.

Shared Recovery Sites let you oversubscribe your recovery site by dynamically provisioning the recovery site based on the requirements of the failed site. Most disaster recovery plans encapsulate the idea that all of your remote sites won't fail simultaneously, so over subscription, if carefully planned, is acceptable. SRM can provide significant savings in hardware costs while maintaining an acceptable disaster recovery plan.

Site Recovery Manager provides disaster recovery functions for vShere products by integrating with storage management products that automates the back-up and restoration of virtual machines and their server, network and storage configurations. SRM 4 has three main enhancements. The first is integration and support for the vCenter 4 product family.

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