Automate disaster recovery using IBM VM Recovery Manager

By | 3 minute read | March 19, 2019

Business continuity is a top priority for every enterprise. And, at the foundation, it’s all about having a solid plan in place to deal with disruptions and potential threats.

If you’re an IT planner, you know that data protection and disaster recovery (DR) — the aspects of business continuity that are most relevant to IT professionals — can be major concerns. An outage of one or more of your mission-critical systems could cause significant business downtime, including loss of revenue and irreparable damage to long-term customer relationships.

So how can you stay ahead of the curve?

Planning ahead for disaster recovery: Five key questions

There are five key questions on the mind of technology planners when considering a disaster recovery solution:

  1. Are there any tools that can automate disaster recovery?
  2. How can we keep the remote location updated with the current state of the primary location?
  3. Which methodology should we use?
  4. How can we reduce the costs of redundant systems and licenses?
  5. What’s the best way to test and verify disaster recovery site readiness?

IBM VM Recovery Manager can answer these questions. It’s an easy-to-use, automated and cost-effective disaster recovery solution for applications hosted on IBM Power Systems. In this blog post, I’ll illustrate how IBM Systems Lab Services helped an enterprise client address DR concerns for its SAP HANA landscape using IBM VM Recovery Manager.

How IBM VM Recovery Manager can help

IBM Systems Lab Services recently worked with a client that’s a multinational SAP consulting and hosting service provider, hosting SAP HANA and other SAP landscapes on IBM Power Systems servers for its customers. The client was looking for an easy-to-use, automated solution for disaster recovery.

Initially, they considered HANA System Replication for its database, but with this option, the similar replication would not be available for the SAP Central Services (SCS) and SAP Application Server (AS) components. Therefore, other solutions would have to be used, creating a more complex environment to manage.

Storage replication was another option considered for replicating all critical data to a remote site. However, management of storage replication during a DR operation is highly complex, involves manual processes, is more time consuming and requires additional training for your staff on these expert skills.

Both of these solutions require duplicate instances in the DR site, demand advanced skills, require further resources and come with higher license costs. On top of that, neither provides a DR rehearsal capability while production is running.

IBM Systems Lab Services conducted a proof of concept to demonstrate the benefits of IBM VM Recovery Manager for disaster recovery, including how it would address the client’s specific concerns.

VM Recovery Manager:

  • Moves SAP HANA databases and other SAP instances to the disaster recovery site with a single command for planned or unplanned site movement. In turn, relieving the client of the complexities of server and storage management during DR operation and sparing them the need for additional staff training.
  • Validates DR site readiness with its DR rehearsal capability, thereby giving the client confidence about its DR readiness.
  • Offers other features like monitoring and auto update of configuration changes to the VMs like processor/memory, disk additions and so forth — capabilities that take away the administrative overhead from the staff.

In the end, the client was very happy with the product demonstration and decided to implement VM Recovery Manager as its DR solution — with IBM Systems Lab Services there every step of the way from design to implementation. From there, the Lab Services team provided knowledge transfer and enablement for the client’s team to manage the solution covering all of its SAP systems, including databases and applications.

The following pictures illustrate VM Recovery in normal operation and after a site recovery.

Picture 1: Production VMs running on primary site


Picture 2: Production VMs moved to secondary site and running after a DR move


Need support for your DR or high availability project?

IBM Systems Lab Services offers a wide range of services to support clients’ high availability and disaster recovery needs. If you’re interested in talking to Lab Services or need more information on an IBM VM Recovery Manager implementation, contact us today.