Complete out of band block replication with EMC storage arrays (such as VNX, VMAX, & VPLEX). It's seamless integration into VMware's Site Recovery Manager is very useful.
Improvements to My Organization
We have been able to achieve a very low RTO & RPO with near real-time replication policies & adequately sized journals for a limited recovery time requirement to bring systems online as well as a great recovery point to roll back to in the event of a disaster or outage.
Room for Improvement
The new Gen5 appliances have adopted the Unisphere management interface & it is written for Adobe Flash, which in my experience, is very slow & makes administration cumbersome at times. The Unisphere interface is missing some components that were taken out of the Gen3 Recover Management console such as the ability to refresh views & rescan splitters to pull in new storage on the fly without having to cancel a CG creation mid-flight.
Deployments with VNX & VPLEX are pretty simple as the splitter is installed on the SPs for VNX & on the directors for the VPLEX. The problem came into play when we began using RecoverPoint with VMAX. We discovered that the write splitting takes place at every single director port where a write occurs so in order to capture all writes, you have to zone the RPAs to every single FA port that has volumes mapped to them & are in use for RecoverPoint. It was a technical "gotcha" but we were able to rectify it.
Only when we discovered that the zoning requirements for VMAX were different than standard VNX deployments did we run into issues; however, we were able to quickly resolve that issue.
This solution is quite scalable. The maximum number of nodes per RP clusteris 16 so there's no issue there. The caveats associated with that are that you will need additional FC ports (by a factor of 4) on your storage fabric to support each new RPA. Also, if you are increasing the number of nodes in your cluster you are likely replicating more storage, in which case you will need adequate RecoverPoint capacity licensing to do based on the size of your work load.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Customer Service: Good at time but also questionable at times. EMC has grown to such a big enterprise they are struggling with their support sector.Technical Support: Good at time but also questionable at times. EMC has grown to such a big enterprise they are struggling with their support sector.
We were not using any other replication technology at that time but we are currently looking at Zerto as an alternative to RecoverPoint due to cost constraints & easibility of use of the Zerto product.
It was complicated learning the configuration on the VMAX array due to each director port performing the write split operation. VNX & VPLEX arrays do not operate this way so it is much easier to configure & manage RP when using VNX or VPLEX.
If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise? Implemented with direct involvement from EMC professional services.
Other Solutions Considered
We did not evaluate others before RecoverPoint. It was a package deal with our VNX purchases.
Make 100% sure it meets your needs & integrates properly. Otherwise you could end up paying additional licensing fees to make it work & you could also be put in a situation where the deployment is overly complicated due to the infrastructure you're using it in.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sep 16 2014