HyperCore v6 – A Closer Look at Built-in Remote Disaster Recovery

As you saw in last week’s press release, Scale Computing’s HC3 now includes VM-level replication as a key new feature in HyperCore v6. Administrators can now setup replication on a per VM basis for integrated remote Disaster Recovery, which builds on the already unique snapshot and cloning functionality built into HyperCore v5. Since the introduction of HyperCore v5, users could manually take near-instant, VM-level snapshots that are easily cloned in an extremely space efficient manner (“thin clones”).

Now in version 6, HyperCore allows users to set up continuous replication to a secondary HC3 cluster, which will automatically take a snapshot on the selected VMs, moving only the unique blocks to the remote site.

Then, to restore on the secondary cluster, simply clone the VM from the latest (or previous) automated or manual snapshot. It makes disaster recovery testing a breeze to be able to spin up these VMs quickly and on their own private network. Of course, if this isn’t a test and your VM at the secondary site is now production, HC3 continues to track the unique blocks that are created and ONLY sends those blocks back to the primary site when its time to fail back.

Replication Highlights:

  • Continuous VM-level Replication – HyperCore makes use of its space efficient snapshot technology to replicate to a secondary site, tracking only the blocks unique to each snapshot and sending the change blocks.
  • Low RPO/RTO – Simply “clone” a snapshot on the target cluster for the manual failover of a VM that is immediately bootable.
  • Simple Disaster Recovery Testing – Testing a DR infrastructure plan is now as simple as cloning a snapshot on the target cluster and starting a VM. No disruption to ongoing replication.
  • Easy Failback after Disaster Recovery – After running a VM at the DR site, simply replicate the changed data back to the primary site for simple failback.

Bring on the Demo!

There is nothing quite like a demonstration of this new technology. In this video you’ll see a number of things….

  1. Remote Connection Setup (0:08) – You’ll see me create a connection from my primary cluster (left) to a secondary cluster (right). Once the clusters are securely connected, I can then enable replication on any VMs between those two clusters.
  2. Replication Setup (0:40) and Initial Replication (1:05) – After cloning a VM, you’ll see me set up replication on that VM to the secondary cluster. The initial replication is time-lapsed, but you’ll see the progress on the snapshot view in on the Primary cluster (left) and after it completes, the clone-able snapshot on the secondary cluster.
  3. Failover Test 1 (1:38) Automated Snasphot – I clone the VM from the snapshot, which is immediately bootable. That’s about as easy as it gets for DR testing!
  4. Failover Test 2 (1:58) Manual Snapshot – After making some changes to the VM (“replication” file on the desktop), I create a manual snapshot. Notice that the blocks unique to that snapshot are tracked separately from the initial replication snapshot (3:32). When I clone from the manual snapshot, you’ll see the “replication” text file appear on the desktop. DR plan tested again!
  5. Failback (4:30) – After making changes to the cloned VM on the secondary site (“Replication – Rollback”), I simply set up replication on the cloned VM back to the primary cluster. Since the majority of the data already exists at the primary site, it takes almost no time for my minor changes to replicate back. Once there, I simply clone the snapshot and I’m back in action on the primary cluster. (Note: Here (5:23) I also disconnect the NIC to spin this VM up without conflicting with my actual production VM…a nice trick for that DR testing!).

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