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That's the way, aha aha...

Level 11

With a lot of customers running their infrastructure almost a 100% virtualized these days, I see more and more people moving away from array-based replication to application-based (or hypervisor-based) replication, with Zerto ZVM, VMware vSphere replication, Veeam Replication, PHD virtual ReliableDR and Hyper-converged vendors offering their own replication methods the once so mighty array-based replication feature, seems beaten by application-based replication.

Last week I went to a customer where Storage-based replication was the only replication type used, but their architects were changing the game in the virtual environment and application-based replication was the road they wanted to ride... Where virtualization administrators and most of the administrators saw a lot potential in application-based replication the storage administrators and a some of the other administrators were more convinced of what storage-based replication offered them for all these years

What about you?Do you prefer storage-level replication? or is application/hypervisor level replication the way to go?

20 Comments
MVP
MVP

Honestly I do not have an answer since I don't have any experience first hand on the differences/pros/cons of each.

But on that note, it seems everywhere I have worked is has been application based replication.

Level 11

I preferred application level replication ...

Level 10

Where I work we use both.

For our hosted infrastructure, unless our client pays for something else we use Storage based.

Non-hosted clients again, depends on what they pay for but we have some clients that are using both. With the Nimble's the space usage is pretty minimal compared to other Storage. So, that mixed with Veeam for example works really well.

The biggest different is for Storage you typically have to restore an entire production volume with potentially other VMs/data on them. Application is faster, and can be more granular. I personally think the best solution is using both if you have the space for it.

Hope that helps!

Level 21

We use combinations of both; however, I am not a storage guy so I tend to lean toward application or hypervisor based replication.

Level 10

We also use a combination of both. My personal preference is application.

Level 9

I also don't have any first-hand experience, but it seems the majority of responses are leaning towards application based. I wonder if that is because virtual is such a new(er) technology and not everyone has moved to that design yet ?

Level 12

Not much experience here either but i think we use both because we have physical servers that are legacy that we keep around and Virtual ones as well.

Level 10

As far as I know we're not doing any physical replication. If there is any its only being done on older niche systems that aren't part of our core infrastructure. Hypervisor replication all the way!

Level 11

The thing with hypervisor based replication is that you can do this on a VM basis where storage based replication will replicate the entire volume, which depending on the number of VM's on that volume could mean you will replicate much more then needed (depending on SLA).

So Hypervisor based replication tends to be faster and easier to manage but Storage replication can do more when you're not in a 100% virtualized environment. Make sure you know what you're customer needs, what he already has, and what their endgame is.

The other thing is that storage replication needs the same hardware on both ends where hypervisor based replication doesn't need this. Also replication from privat to public cloud is way easier with hypervisor based replication.

thanks for all the response!

Level 12

arjantim... thanks for giving more insight on u1976turn reply

Level 9

This also cleared up a few things for me.  Many thanks arjantim

Level 8

It seems that hypervisor replication is more versatile, and will likely continue to be favored. It does make me wonder if there are potential drawbacks that haven't been articulated yet...

Level 9

Same as a few others, lean more towards application replication... grantallenby

Level 9

We use both, but use application replication mostly.

Level 10

We use a mix of both.

MVP
MVP

Storage Replication. It is very easy to rebuild a server now, especially in the VM environment. It only takes maybe an hour to rebuild the VM server. Plus you do not have to worry about the additional bandwidth needed (and Extra cost) for higher capacity circuits to replicate the additional data from the application replication.

Level 12

I think that application/hypervisor level replication is going to be the way of the future.

Level 9

I also think application based is the way of the future

Level 12

Application-based replication is more popular now. Almost every client I have is doing this or wants to go into it.

Level 15

Not a storage architect but these posts and discussions helps grow my knowledge.  Most of my career has been network-centric so these type of articles are interesting. 

About the Author
In the IT since 1998 and enjoying every last bit of it. The last few years are mainly focused on virtualization and Storage. VMware VCAP-DCA, VCP 4/5, VSP 4/5, VTSP 4/5, MCSA, MCTS, MCP, CCA and CCNA