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My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
A colleague passed me this link today, Double-take have a new product offering allowing copies of app-servers to be replicated to and run on Amazon’s EC2 cloud service (register article here) – syncing disk writes in a delta fashion to an EC2 hosted AMI.
I suggested a similar architecture last year using Platespin, recent changes to EC2 to allow boot from elastic block storage (i.e persistent storage and private networking) make this a feasible solution, and as it’s pay per use you only pay for the EC2 instance(s) when they are running (i.e during a recovery situation).
You can read more about it here on the Double-Take site unfortunately their marketing department have coined another ‘aaS-ism’ in Recovery as a Service (RaaS) but we’ll forgive them as it’s a cool concept :).
There is a getting started guide here and it looks to operate on a many to one basis with one EC2 hosted instance of their software receiving delta changes from protected hosts over a VPN and writing them out to EBS volumes; if you need to recover a server an new EC2 instance is invoked and boots from the EBS volume containing replicas of your data, presumably inserting appropriate EC2 virtual h/w driver into the image at boot time (essentially P2V or V2V conversion).
My quick calculations; for a Windows 2008 server with a moderate amount of data (not factoring any client-side de-dupe) initial sync would transfer approx 15Gb into EC2 charges here – they vary by region so you can do your own figures EBS storage charges, and, of course; the initial sync might take a while depending on your internet connection.
If you are a *NIX admin you are probably thinking, huh, so what? copy data to S3 and just start-up a new AMI with the software and config you need and off you go; this solution seems targeted to Windows servers, where this sort of P2V, V2V recovery is very. very complicated due to the proprietary (i.e non-text file based) way Windows stores its application and system configurations in the registry.
In conclusion they would seem to have pipped Platespin:Protect to the post on this one – I had some good conversations with Platespin’s CTO about this solution last year but I have to say I’ve not seen significant new functionality out of the Platespin product range since Novell acquired it which is a shame, Double-Take Cloud looks like an interesting solution – check it out, and being “cloud” it’s easy to take it for a test drive – you would do well to consider whatever data protection laws your business is bound by, however (the curse of the cloud).