This blog was authored by Upasna Gupta, Product Marketing Manager, Xpress & DP/DR at Nutanix.
Continuing the 10 things you need to know blog series, the next in line is Nutanix Data Protection and Disaster Recovery that offers a wide spectrum of options to meet the complex and varying service level agreement (SLA) requirements of applications.
As with our previous releases, the upcoming 5.0 release is also packed with many exciting data protection capabilities that will supplement our existing Data Protection and Disaster Recovery features. So here are the top 10 things to know about Nutanix Data Protection and Disaster Recovery, that includes but is not limited to enhancements in the 5.0 release:
Nutanix natively offers fine-grained VM centric snapshots that eliminate VM to LUN mapping seen in the traditional LUN centric approach. Nutanix uses the preferred Read-On-Write (ROW) implementation for its snapshots, that redirects any updates to the existing protected data to a new location. None of the existing metadata or data in the snapshots needs to be copied or moved. As a result, ROW snapshots do not suffer the performance impact of the alternative, copy-on write snapshot implementations.
Nutanix can efficiently replicate snapshots of individual VMs from a primary system to one or more secondary systems at different sites. Replication is flexible and bi-directional, enabling one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-one topologies. VM snapshots can be asynchronously replicated or backed up to another datacenter on a user-defined schedule.
Currently, Metro Availability synchronously replicates data to another site, ensuring that a real-time copy of the data exists at a different location. With the 5.0 release, Metro witness will allow automatic failover to a secondary site in case of a site or network partition failure, a feature designed to allow for nearly 100 percent uptime for applications and zero data loss.
Nutanix Data Protection is further complemented by the rich enterprise storage features of the underlying Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, such as intelligent tiering, deduplication, erasure coding, compression, and distributed self-healing.
All data protection capabilities can be leveraged through a single Prism interface. Backup policies can be scheduled with just a few clicks. Recovery of VMs from local or remote snapshots is also simplified in two easy steps.
Self-service file restore gives control to the application admins to recover individual files from within VM snapshots without a Nutanix admin. Self-service file restore is easy to set up and manage and in most cases eliminates the need to recover an entire VM.
Cloud Connect allows backup of data to public cloud services like AWS and Microsoft Azure without requiring third-party software or plug-ins. Just snapshot a VM or a collection of VMs, to multiple AWS and Azure regions and recover just as easily from there as from any other remote Nutanix site.
With the 5.0 release, Nutanix will offer the option for a 1-node cluster for Remote Office and Branch Office (ROBO) that can be used as a replication target. The platform can scale up to 40TB raw HDD capacity.
Nutanix provides support for vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP), application-level consistent snapshots using Volume Shadow Services (VSS), and VM-level backup for Hyper-V using VSS for SMB shares so the environment works seamlessly with Veritas NetBackup, CommVault, Veeam, and more.
Nutanix offers integration with CommVault that provides seamless backup and restore for for workloads running on our AHV platform thereby eliminating the need for specific in-guest backup and restore agents.
Nutanix Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) is a software module developed by Nutanix according to specifications defined by VMware. Nutanix SRA contains a set of scripts that uses the Prism REST APIs to interact with Nutanix clusters. The SRA is installed on the VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) server as a plugin that enables the SRM to perform “Array-Based Replication” (ABR) using Nutanix replication, data protection (DP) and disaster recovery (DR) functionality.
Figure 1 illustrates a simplified view of the topology of a typical DR solution built on Nutanix clusters with Nutanix SRA and VMware SRM and vCenter servers
Figure 1. Simplified DR solution built on Nutanix clusters with Nutanix SRA and VMware SRM and vCenter servers.
The DR solution consists of two sites: Protected Site and Recovery Site. The Protected Site is usually the Production Site; and the Recovery Site, the DR Site. Each site has a Nutanix cluster with 3 or more nodes where VMs are hosted with VMware ESXi being the hypervisor. Nutanix Prism manages the clusters, VMs and Nutanix replication.
Each site also has a VMware vCenter and SRM server that manage the site pairing and site recovery operations. The vCenter servers in the Protected and Recovery Sites also manage the VMs inside the Protected Datacenter (Protected_DC) and Recovery Datacenter (Recovery_DC), respectively. Note that the vCenter and SRM servers are hosted on an infrastructure cluster elsewhere (not shown in Figure 1).
VMware SRM is a DR solution that helps customers to plan, test, manage and perform recovery of VMs among different sites. When the SRM is used with Nutanix SRA to carry out an operation such as failover, failback, or planned migration, it delegates the tasks to the Nutanix SRA, which calls the appropriate Prism REST APIs to the Nutanix cluster to execute the tasks. When the tasks are completed, the results are sent back to the SRM.
In general, 3rd party SRA is an integral part of the VMware SRM DR solution where array-based replication is used. And VMware has established rigorous SRA Certification for SRM programs to certify partners’ SRAs. The main goals of the certification are:
To validate the compatibility of a partner’s SRA with a specific version of SRM and a specific storage platform and replication method.
To verify that the SRA is in compliance with the applicable VMware-defined SRA specification.
Once successfully certified, the SRA is then listed on the VMware Compatibility Guide (vCG).
Nutanix SRA has successfully passed the VMware SRA for SRM certifications. The latest certified Nutanix SRA is version 2.2 (see Figure 2), and it is listed on the VMware Compatibility Guide (vCG) website at the following link [go].
Figure 2. Nutanix SRA 2.2 on VMware vCG
Nutanix SRA 2.2 was certified with Acropolis 4.6 and for the following 5 different VMware SRM versions:
Nutanix Community Podcast Episode 34 with your host Angelo Luciani and Dwayne Lessner. This week we chat with Magnus Andersson about his recently released tech note titled: Data Protection for Nutanix AHV Based VMs.
If you enjoy The Nutanix Community podcast, consider providing a rating and review in iTunes or your podcasting platform of choice. It helps people find the show easier and will help me make improvements in the series by seeing what you have to say.