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Datrium DRaaS relaunched as VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery

Datrium DRaaS is now VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery as part of integration with VMware. It replicates directly to VMware vCloud and doesn't need Datrium DVX to run.

Datrium DRaaS has been rechristened VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery as part of its assimilation into VMware.

Unveiled at VMworld 2020, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will be offered alongside Site Recovery in VMware's suite of DRaaS offerings. The new product is similar to Datrium DRaaS, but with a few key differences. It will work with any VMware vSphere-supported storage and no longer needs Datrium DVX installed in customers' data centers to work. Further integration is in development, including interplay between Cloud Disaster Recovery and Site Recovery and integrated billing with the rest of VMware.

The integration comes three months after VMware acquired Datrium for 137 million in July. VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery is expected to become generally available at the end of October.

VMware Cloud Disaster Recover and Site Recovery are meant to complement each other. VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery replicates virtual machines into Amazon S3 for low-cost storage. VMware Site Recovery replicates directly to a VMware Cloud that is active and ready for immediate failover. This is designed for mission-critical applications with low downtime tolerance and is more expensive than replicating into the Amazon cloud.

With VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, replicated copies aren't brought into VMware Cloud on AWS until disaster strikes, removing the cost of keeping a failover cloud on standby. Features such as replicating in the native vSphere format and storage preprovisioning keeps recovery times low, but it will never match the recovery time objectives (RTOs) or recovery point objectives (RPOs) of Site Recovery.

When VMware acquired Datrium, VMware vice president of marketing Lee Caswell said it was to take advantage of the growing interest in hybrid cloud. However, vice president of product management Mark Chuang said in an interview during VMworld that there has been an increase in DRaaS adoption as well. He said events including increased cyberattacks from COVID-19 and natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes put pressure on organizations to revisit and scrutinize their DR plans.

"There's greater sensitivity to ransomware, and customers are taking notice of climate change leading to natural disasters as well," Chuang said.

Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group, also said there is a growing appetite for DRaaS. DR is becoming a necessity, and increased cyberattacks are driving customers to improve their DR capabilities and test them more diligently. At the same time, customers are looking to the cloud as a less expensive alternative to maintaining a physical failover site, and they are also looking for simpler ways of managing DR. DRaaS addresses both of those needs.

"One of the big things we've heard this year from IT professionals is that, by and large, their organizations' disaster readiness is nowhere near what they thought it was or what they needed," Macomber said.

Evaluator Group published in April 2020 an early look at COVID-19's impact on IT. The study found that the top three IT investments businesses made in response to the pandemic were enhancements to security, data protection and cloud infrastructure. Macomber said there has been an update to that study, with new research finding that 33% of respondents are increasing DR capabilities in response to increased cyberthreats and 28% said they were using the cloud more.

In a recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey on how stringent SLAs are in enterprises today, 15% of the total pool of 378 respondents said they could tolerate no downtime for mission-critical applications. Another 57% said they needed mission-critical applications running again within an hour. On the RPO side, the study found organizations on average could stand to lose 22 minutes of data before any significant business impact, with 15% saying they can't afford to lose any data between when a backup snapshot is taken and an outage occurs.

"This is a story of stringent RTOs and RPOs, and there are SLA gaps," ESG senior analyst Christophe Bertrand said.

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