Many of my readers will know that I am very wary of just following everyone else into the cloud. I’ve spoken a few times now both in public presentations and on this blog about how the cloud is something to be cautiously evaluated and considered before jumping into it. Here then is an upside that I’ve personally experienced with the cloud.
This website SBSfaq.com is hosted on a virtualised server with a cloud vendor – VMVault. I decided to go this path after looking carefully at the options as I needed to downscale my costs for hosting. I previously had a 1/2 rack of space in a datacentre in Sydney which was costing me over $1000 per month. I had a number of servers in that rack that I used for various functions and one of them hosted SBSfaq.com and other related websites. Around 12 months ago I decided that I needed to change things. I decided that I could bring most of the gear back in house for my testing and demos, and have a single server “out there in the cloud” to host my websites. I talked to members of the SMB IT Professionals group in Sydney and they recommended VMVault
I checked out their infrastructure and found they had clustered VMWare based systems with multiple SANs etc. Good enough for me. I figured I’d setup a virtualised Windows 2008 R2 server and then take backups back down to home. Also good enough for me. What I didn’t know at the time though was that they do a daily backup of my server to the SAN (that I can access) and a quarterly DR on MY VIRTUALISED Server as part of the service they offer. Each quarter they perform the DR test and then send me the following email.
We are pleased to advise that we have performed the quarterly Disaster Recovery test of your server, SFQ-VM01, and this has restored successfully to an alternate VMware host, on an alternate SAN LUN. We have been able to successfully boot the server in an isolated environment, and the server has correctly shown the Windows CTRL-ALT-DEL login screen.
As we do not have access inside your VM, we are unable to confirm the validity of data with the VM, so if you would like access to this recovered server to verify the integrity of data inside the recovered VM please let us know within 48 hours. Otherwise we will assume that you are happy with the test that we have performed for this quarter.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.
Senior Systems Consultant
BInf Tech (Data Comms/S’ware Eng), VCP, CCNA, MCP, DCNE, AACS
VMvault – Secure Hosted Virtualisation
p: 1300 513 262
How cool is that? I don’t have to worry so much about DR now and I can focus on producing great content for the website.
Hang on though… what happens if VMVault disappears, goes bankrupt or suffers a major outage that their own DR plan does not cater for?
Easy… I’ve got my own backups happening. I’ve got ShadowProtect installed on my virtual server and it images to their SAN right now. Shortly I’ll have it commence offsite replication back to my home office where I can then virtual boot it if I need to to do any testing or DR work that is independent of VMVault.
VMVault costs me around $300/month for my virtualised server – a fraction of the cost of what I had before and I really have zero maintenance of the server infrastructure. I’m loving it and I’m really happy with my decision to have my servers with Radek and the team at VMVault.