Technical white paper

Hybrid cloud replication with HPE MSA storage, Zerto, and Microsoft Azure

Executive summary

Having an effective business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution is a requirement in today's data-driven economy to ensure data assets remain secure, highly available, and uninterrupted. An effective BCDR solution must protect against all disasters, whether small or large, local or regional, natural or artificial. From software bugs and human error to larger natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, BCDR solutions are necessary to eliminate data loss and keep businesses operating at full capacity.
Recovery-time objectives (RTOs), recovery-point objectives (RPOs), and the cost of data protection are common metrics used to describe an organization's ability to recover data and maintain consistent availability. Modern business is driven by applications and services with very different RTO, RPO, and cost requirements, so a one-size-fits-all data protection scheme seldom exists. HPE MSA storage provides advanced data protection features like Snapshots and Volume Copies. HPE MSA Snapshots provide near instantaneous point-in-time copies while using minimal additional space. Likewise, HPE MSA Volume Copy functionality can create a complete bit-for-bit copy of a volume's data. These data protection features are ideal for many scenarios, but the use of modern hypervisors adds a layer of complexity above that of traditional solutions. Since virtual machines (VMs) now power much of today's IT and data centers, pairing the proven data protection features of HPE MSA with a hypervisor-aware replication solution can protect and scale these virtual environments into the future. As HPE MSA excels at protecting data at the volume level, a hypervisor-aware replication solution can protect at the VM level, taking into account the state, context, and configuration of the entire VM. In this case, protecting and recovering a VM can be as simple as the push of a button.
Along with BCDR implementation decisions comes the choice of whether to keep workloads and the associated data on-premises or migrate off-site to a public cloud provider. Usually, the outcome of these decisions is a hybrid solution where certain workloads and data sets reside on-premises and others reside in the cloud. Businesses often need to keep data in their own data centers due to corporate policies, regulations, service-level agreements (SLAs), and security considerations. For example, keeping data on-prem with the HPE MSA can maximize the availability, agility, and control companies have over their critical data. However, migrating data to the cloud may minimize the cost of data protection for applications with less stringent requirements. With HPE MSA and a capable hypervisor-aware replication solution, a business can even follow the 3-2-1 rule by having at least three replicas of data, in two different formats, with one residing off-site in the public cloud.