Cisco and EMC Raise the Bar for Data Protection
With some recent upgrades to our Cisco MDS family of storage networking switches, I think its a good time to revisit strategies for protection against data loss, since it’s always a top of mind in any data center. While there are certainly a number of ways of preventing data loss, I think one of the coolest is EMC’s RecoverPoint solution. Moving beyond traditional approaches such as backups, snapshots or mirroring, RecoverPoint uses continuous data protection technology (CDP) to let you roll-back to any point in time.
One of the features I really like is the ability to create application-aware “bookmarks” for applications that are constantly generating I/O, so you can roll back to a point where the application is in a consistent state.
RecoverPoint takes advantage of a Cisco MDS feature called SANTap. Essentially, SANTap takes each write I/O and mirrors it to the connected RecoverPoint Appliance (RPA). Because this is done at the fabric level, is completely transparent to the host and because the splitting is done out-of-band, it does not impact availability and integrity of the host I/O or application performance.
In support of this solution, Cisco is introducing the MDS 18/4 Multiservice Module (18 x 4GB FC, 4 x GbE, next-gen service engine) and the MDS 9222i Multiservice Modular Switch (18 x 4GB FC, 4 x GbE, next-gen service engine, 1 expansion slot). Both platforms are fabric speed agnostic, so it does not matter if the host initiating I/O is 4GB attached, 8GB attached or FCoE attached.
For a good summary of the solution, check out this video featuring Paolo Pio from Cisco and Rick Walsworth from EMC:
For more info:
- EMC RecoverPoint
- Why Cisco MDS?
- RecoverPoint SANTap Design Guide, Deployment Guide, Migration Guide
- Configuring Cisco MDS Generation 2 and Generation 3 Switching Modules