VMware preps public cloud-powered disaster recovery as a service

vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery, for businesses that can't afford a second data center, hints at uses for VMware's new public cloud

Continuously available recovery is typically thought of as a luxury that only larger businesses can afford, since they're the ones who can fork over the cash for a separate data center. But VMware's newest offering, vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery (vCHS-DR), is intended to put off-site disaster recovery within the reach of a slew of new customers.

vCHS-DR allows customers running VMware vSphere to make live replicas of their running servers to one of VMware's public vCloud Hybrid Service data centers. Both data (via VMware's data stores) and applications running inside an instance of vSphere are replicated to VMware's cloud, and in the event a local instance fails, the cloud instance kicks in with no intervention on an administrator's part. Recovery points can be as little as 15 minutes or as long as 24 hours apart.

VMware intends the service to be both affordable and practical. Pricing, which starts at $835 per month, includes 1TB of storage with 10GHz vCPU and 20GB of vRAM (in a mult-tenant configuration), with add-on services available.

VMware is also determined to get existing users into the service, even if they're worried that their skimpy bandwidth won't let them make that first replication. New subscribers can perform a single offline data transfer -- in essence, mail VMware one or more hard drives with up to 11TB of data -- and allow automatic synchronization after that.

It is an interesting wrinkle on how VMware plans to leverage its recently minted public and hybrid cloud services, which were touted as a potential IaaS game-changer -- albeit mainly for existing VMware users, not folks who were already established with Amazon or another major cloud vendor.

vCHS-DR isn't likely to change that, although it's an appealing additional incentive to be invested in VMware. It does, however, does show how VMware is leveraging those newly built data centers for its public cloud service.

It also hints that VMware's push toward a hybrid cloud won't simply manifest as a conventional hybrid-cloud system -- that is, with burstable resources that can be expanded into the public cloud as needed. Those things have all been discussed publicly by VMware before, as part of its work with its IaaS cloud partners. But this new move is all VMware's play -- at least until VMware decides to open up a bit more about its partner programs at VMworld this August.

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