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Advanced Features

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press.
  • Date: Aug 19, 2020.

The HyperFlex HX Data Platform disaster recovery feature allows you to protect virtual machines (VMs) by setting up replication so that protected virtual machines running on one cluster replicate to the other cluster in a pair of network-connected clusters and vice versa. The two paired clusters typically are located at a distance from each other, with each cluster serving as the disaster recovery site for virtual machines running on the other cluster. Once protection has been set up on a VM, the HX Data Platform periodically takes a replication snapshot of the running VM on the local cluster and replicates (copies) the snapshot to the paired remote cluster. In the event of a disaster at the local cluster, you can use the most recently replicated snapshot of each protected VM to recover and run the VM at the remote cluster. Each cluster that serves as a disaster recovery site for another cluster must be sized with adequate spare resources so that, in the event of a disaster, it can run the newly recovered virtual machines in addition to its normal workload.

This chapter describes the HyperFlex HX Data Platform disaster recovery feature and describes the configuration steps needed to enable replication between two HyperFlex clusters. It also covers the available backup solutions that can be integrated with HyperFlex HX Data Platform.

Data Protection

There are several schools of thought on data protection. Some people believe that high availability and durability are part of data protection. Some say that stretch clusters are also part of data protection. However, two very basic parameters or variables allow you to determine the data protection solution you should use: recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).

RTO essentially refers to how much time it takes for a service or a virtual machine to come up after a disaster or failure has occurred. RPO indicates how much data loss someone is ready to bear while waiting for services to come up.

HyperFlex offers the following protection options, listed here from low RTO/RPO level to high RTP/RPO level:

  • Local resiliency (high availability and durability):

    • Two (RF-2) or three (RF-3) copies of VM data

    • Data stripped and distributed across all local nodes

    • Redundant network paths

    • An HA-aware hypervisor

    • Zero RPO and zero or very low RTO

  • Site-level resiliency (stretch clusters):

    • Four copies (RF 2+2) of VM data

    • Protection against local failures and site failures

    • Protection against “split brains”

    • VM data mirrored across sites

    • An HA-aware hypervisor

    • Zero RPO and zero or very low RTO

  • Snapshots (VM-centric snapshots):

    • VM-centric instant, space optimized

    • Redirect-on-write snapshots

    • Scheduled with a retention policy

    • Quiesced and crash consistent

    • Rapid provisioning using ReadyClones

    • “Now”/hourly/daily/weekly RPO and RTO in minutes

  • Replication and disaster recovery (VM-centric replication and disaster recovery):

    • VM-centric replication

    • Periodic asynchronous replication to remote site (WAN distance)

    • Snapshot based

    • Failover, fast failback, and test recovery

    • Minutes/hourly/daily RPO and RTO in minutes

  • Backup and Archive (third-party backup vendor integration):

    • Fully verified Cisco Validated Design (CVD) on UCS infrastructure

    • Integrated with HyperFlex native snapshots

    • Accelerated transfers and low backup window

    • Hourly/daily RPO and RTO in minutes/hours

2. Replication Overview | Next Section

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