What is our primary use case?
We use the solution primarily for off-site disaster recovery. A site act as the headquarters, and there is also DR site. This means that we move application data from primary to secondary sites for storage level replication purposes. We also back up our virtual machines and their applications to the DR site. Essentially, we do disaster recovery from the primary site to the DR sites.
How has it helped my organization?
Before using VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, we were running on a batch storage solution backup, which was conducted by one of my team members. However, prior to carrying out the copying, he backed up the application to local storage before copying it to the tape drive. This means that the storage controller must be up before copying was made to the tape drive, which clearly precluded the possibility of us restoring the backup. There was nothing we could do when this happened. Now, subsequent to the installation and implementation of the VMware Cloud Solution, there is no need for us to rely solely on a single storage controller. This makes things easy for us once the storage level application replicates our data to the DR site. This means that even if the entire primary site goes down, we can still fall back on the data and the application that is available on the DR site. This allows us to consistently maintain the state of our application and business data.
What is most valuable?
We feel the ability to move virtual machines while they are still running to be the most valuable feature. Consequently, the application can be migrated from one host to another in respects of virtual machines without the user taking notice.
What needs improvement?
The automation should be simplified or improved. Usually throughout the day, during peak periods, one or another task cannot be carried out. Moreover, if one wishes to move large data, the user's application response may be affected. So, it would be best if such tasks can be automated to allow such tasks to be undertaken not during peak periods. As a consequence, this would lessen the impact to the underlying resources.
I would also like to see interoperability between various virtualization and cloud solutions. It would be nice to be able to move my VM from Windows or Hyper-V to VMware and from this to Citrix. The adding of these features would be awesome.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery since 2012.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is very stable. We have hardly had any issues with it. VMware is perfectly stable, except there is a problem with the underlying hardware infrastructure.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is very scalable. While using it we upgraded from 5.0 to 5.5, from this to 6.0, and from 6.0 to 6.7. As part of this process we also upgrade the underlying hardware. We are able to migrate our data with ease.
How are customer service and technical support?
I found the support to be excellent. I am in Nigeria and, at the time, so we got the procurement through HPE Nigeria.
We benefit from VR support with HP, in addition to our support license which, too, is covered.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Before going with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery we used Windows Backup, solely for backing up the page.
How was the initial setup?
I found the initial setup to be okay. It doesn't require much to accomplish, as it is not very complex. Its installation and commencement are very easy.
The solution took less than a month, perhaps no more than two weeks, for us to deploy.
What about the implementation team?
Yes, the solution was implemented through a vendor. Their customer support and service were excellent.
What was our ROI?
I feel the solution has given us a very good return on investment since having implemented it in 2012. At the time, I believe we implemented the 5.0 or 5.5. The solution has supported our business over the years and generated tens of millions of dollars in revenues.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I would say VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery is very expensive in comparison with other available virtualization solutions.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did evaluate other solutions before settling on VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery. We are talking about a global company that has a presence in Nigeria and other countries, where the clients were already implementing such solutions in the business units of these countries. As a consequence, we simply adopted the use of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery. At the time we did contemplate alternatives.
What other advice do I have?
The solution is mostly on-premises and private cloud.
There are as many as 100 users in our organization that are using the applications running on VMware.
I rate VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery as at least a nine out of ten.
The advice I would give to others who are considering implementing the solution is that they should do proper planning and make sure their needs are met. Someone who does not have the benefit of experts or support personnel may consider engaging an experienced consultant. This would minimize mistakes.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?