VMware vSphere replication creates and maintains an identical copy of a source VM on a target ESXi host. The copy of the source VM – called a VM replica – is a regular VM that is available in VMware vSphere. VM replicas remain in a powered-off state and do not consume any resources. In case of a disaster, you can simply power them on.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides the ability to replicate both individual VMs and all VMs within selected VMware containers (such as resource pools, folders, hosts, clusters, etc.). Any new VMs you add to a protected container are automatically included in the replication job. This ensures that all your most critical VMs are always replicated.
With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can keep up to 30 recovery points for a VM replica. Each recovery point is a regular VM snapshot. If a source VM has been damaged, you can easily return the VM replica back to a previous state from vCenter or ESXi server.
Why use VMware vSphere Replication?
VM replication protects your business-critical services from a number of problems that can occur in a data center:
- Critical VM loss/failure due to a bad OS update, virus, or accidental deletion
- Host/datastore failure as a result of a power loss, hardware malfunction, or infrastructure damage (such as a fire or a burst water main)
- Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes or typhoons
VMware vSphere replication creates copies of source VMs that can be stored locally or offsite. You can near-instantly fail over from the source VM to the VM replica. Thus, recovery times with VM replication are dramatically better than with restoration from VM backups.
You can minimize the risk of data loss and the length of downtime with disaster recovery procedures built on VM replication.
Using VM replication, you can significantly reduce costs and the time needed to recover your virtual infrastructure, minimizing interruption of your business services. Since VM replication creates an exact copy of source VMs, resuming business services is as simple and quick as powering on the VM replicas.
RPO and RTO Improvement
NAKIVO Backup & Replication enables you to reduce your recovery point objective (RPO), which is the measure of how far back in time your VMs are reverted in case of a disaster. You can set up your replication jobs to run as often as every minute, thus obtaining a near-real-time replication and one of the shortest RPOs.
With VM replication, you can also significantly decrease your recovery time objective (RTO), which is the time period within which you aim to restore your VMware virtual infrastructure. Because your VM replicas are regular VMware VMs, disaster recovery can be achieved by simply powering on the replicas.
Failover and Failback
During a disaster, all of your virtual infrastructures can be failed over from the primary site to a disaster recovery site. When the virtual infrastructure at the primary site is restored, you may want to return workloads with the failback process. Using NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can easily transfer changed data back to your primary site and resume regular business operations.
VMware Replication Features
VMware Replication Technology
NAKIVO Backup & Replication relies on VM snapshots to retrieve data and perform replication of VMware VMs. Temporary snapshots are automatically created and discarded by the product. NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports sparse, thin, thick, and flat VM disk types. The product can replicate VMware VMs in any power state: on, off, or suspended.
The initial full replication creates a regular VMware VM that is identical to the source VM. On subsequent job runs, the product identifies changed data blocks of the source VM using the VMware CBT technology, which essentially provides information about data blocks changed since the last checkpoint. All changes made since the last replication are sent to the target ESXi host and merged into the VM replica. The previous state of the VM replica is saved as a new recovery point, which is just a regular VM snapshot.