What is most valuable?
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.
How has it helped 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.
What needs 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.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
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.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
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.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
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.
How are 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.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
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.
How was the initial setup?
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.
What about the implementation team?
If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise? Implemented with direct involvement from EMC professional services.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did not evaluate others before RecoverPoint. It was a package deal with our VNX purchases.
What other advice do I have?
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.