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How are hyper-converged vendors providing DR?

Brien Posey explains how hyper-converged systems are used for DR and which vendors are offering it in this expert answer.

Hyper-converged vendors are performing disaster recovery in a variety of ways. The first thing that comes to mind is that Microsoft Hyper-V has a replication feature (VMware also has its own take on replication).

The Hyper-V replication feature allows a standby copy of a production virtual machine (VM) to be created on another Hyper-V server. The replication engine keeps this standby VM synchronized with the primary VM copy. In the event of a disaster, it's possible to fail over to the replica, which can exist on a remote hyper-converged system. Incidentally, Hyper-V replication is probably best known for replicating VMs from one standalone Hyper-V server to another, but the feature can be used to replicate a clustered VM to a remote cluster.

There are also hyper-converged vendors that offer their own built-in disaster recovery capabilities. For instance, some vendors allow you to configure an active-active deployment in which a remote office acts as an online recovery site for the production site.

Some hyper-converged vendors support active-passive disaster recovery. The exact way in which this architecture is implemented varies from one vendor to another, but the basic idea is that the recovery site remains dormant until it is needed. The recovery site might be a remote data center, third-party host or even a public cloud provider.

In case you are wondering how active-active differs from active-passive, it really varies from one vendor to another. For some, active-active means that active workloads can be running in both sites (think load balancing) and either site can fail over to the other, resulting in a single site hosting all of the workloads until the problem is resolved. In an active-passive architecture, only a single site is actively running workloads. The remote site remains dormant until it is needed. Again, actual capabilities vary from one hyper-converged vendor to another.

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