On the outside, virtual replication has it all – if you run in a virtual world then it makes sense to get your systems replicated to a virtual environment. It has the benefits of being scalable, recovery just involves the click of a button and your replica system will be booted, and recovery points can be very attractive with regular replication. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s explore the hidden truths that aren’t promoted by virtual replication providers.
1. Replication Only Protects Against A Certain Class Of Failure
Should you need to recover, you’ll be recovering a mirror of your live systems. This is all well and good if your live system is healthy and working, but what happens in the event of corruption of your database, or if your file system has been encrypted, or your architectures have been deleted from within? Your replica system will encounter the same problems because it’s a copy of your live system. You’ll find yourself resorting to recovering from backups which inevitably lengthens your recovery time significantly.
2. You’re Compromising Reliability
Virtual replications aren’t booted and tested as often as some disaster recovery solutions such as Pre-recovery, that offer daily recovery and testing. Unless every replication is booted and tested then you’ll be compromising reliability. With the limitations outlined in point 1, this means that there is still an element of risk to your business with virtual replication that your recovery may not work.
3. Recovery Times Aren’t Guaranteed
If you are in a situation where your live system, and hence your replica system, is corrupt or unhealthy then recovering from backups will impact your recovery times. This means that recovery could still take hours, or even days. Whereas recovery times of under 1 hour can be guaranteed with cloud disaster recovery methods, this isn’t true for virtual replication.
So, whilst virtual replication does offer benefits, if you think that replicating your virtual machines would solve all your IT problems, you may want to reconsider your options.