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Economic Insight: Achieving Faster Disaster Recovery at Lower Cost

In this free Economic Insight report, Sr. Analyst John Webbster compares different disaster recovery scenarios from a total cost of ownership perspective. Download this free report now!

The TCO Impact of Implementing NetApp Metro Cluster

Always-on IT

The vast majority of enterprises are now conducting business online. Users and customers alike expect an uninterrupted experience. They also expect resiliency with regard to current and past transactions which equates to zero data loss over time.

These expectations pose significant challenges for enterprise IT to overcome. The growth of data and increasing diversity of data stores (on-site, cloud, co-lo, file systems, databases, etc.) all present differing requirements for data resiliency making Business Continuance/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) planning and execution a complex undertaking. And with increasing complexity comes increasing cost.

Yet a DR/BC capability that encompasses both on- and off-site application infrastructure cannot be ignored or put-off. Ways must be found to simplify and do so affordably. Downtime is increasingly unacceptable and costly in terms of time, lost revenue, and lost user/customer confidence.

In this report, we compare three different scenarios from a total cost of ownership perspective:

  • Scenario 1: the cumulative cost of sustaining and responding to system outages without a DR/BC capability
  • Scenario 2: Using server software, integrated with an existing server-level operational platform for managing virtual machines.
  • Scenario 3: Using a storage system-resident capability, in this case a feature of NetApp ONTAP called MetroCluster

We have chosen NetApp MetroCluster for this comparison, first because it is a no charge feature that is included with NetApp ONTAP and second, because it simplifies the implementation and execution phases of DR/BC planning and implementation.

NetApp MetroCluster

NetApp MetroCluster is a feature on NetApp ONTAP storage software that allows two physically separated FAS or AFF systems to be clustered together to form a continuously available storage platform. MetroCluster has been designed to simplify the implementation of a customer’s disaster recovery and business continuance capabilities using highly scalable and high performance storage systems as the basis for continuous data availability. In addition to scalability and performance characteristics.

For simplicity, MetroCluster provides automatic mirroring of data and configuration parameters between members of a MetroCluster pair. As storage is provisioned within one cluster, it is automatically mirrored to the other member of the pair. MetroCluster also manages the failover process such that workloads from one side can failover to the other at any time as the result of a planned or unplanned outage.

But perhaps the most important feature is the fact that it can be implemented as an ONTAP facility without a separate license and additional cost. This becomes a critical factor when comparing it to other ways to implement a failover capability in case of a planned or unplanned outage as we will show in our TCO analysis (below).

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