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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).
Not only have they pipped Platespin to it but are offering a solution that provides “real-time” replication of both the data and system state, this means that every change you make to your data, applications and OS will be sent to the target server in the cloud.