StarWind Asynchronous Replication. Configuration Scenarios

Published: August 2016

This document explains the concept of Asynchronous Replication, which is used to create an independent copy of the data and store it separately from the main storage system. Asynchronous Replication allows the user to restore the data on the primary site after sustaining damage from a virus attack, disaster or just erroneous human activity. It can be scheduled, in order to avoid critical high workload on the main storage system and network channels. Asynchronous Replication is typically set to a time frame outside production process, so it doesn’t interfere with the primary workload.

Snapshots are saved “states” of the system at a given time. They are typically utilized to recover from a failed state – data loss, virus infection, crash, etc. Snapshots that were created with StarWind VSS provider are guaranteed to be consistent. StarWind VSS provider is a proprietary software, designed for internal Virtual SAN usage and should not be used for any purposes externally. It serves snapshot-supported devices, i.e. LSFS or Asynchronous Replication. Asynchronous Replication can work through network channel(s) significantly slower than the one(s) connecting used for the main storage system.

Main configuration scenarios with Asynchronous Replication are:
Automatic Replication: creating, transferring, and deleting snapshots according to the schedule;
Backing up with foreign utilities: creating, mounting, and copying snapshots;
Checking the status of the replicated data, selective data recovery: checking and comparing stored data to the source;
Full Device recovery from the snapshot (back seed): recovering from the snapshot chosen by the Administrator to the main storage;
Snapshot Scheduler during the replication process: Scheduler initializes the snapshot creation process, deletes old (outdated) snapshots and makes sure to store the specified amount of snapshots on the storage;
Asynchronous replication implemented with LSFS device and ImageFile device: using integrated LSFS snapshots, which are stored with the main LSFS device data. Additional instance – data change log – is used.

Asynchronous Replication in StarWind-based infrastructure allows the user to employ backup and DR functionality. By taking snapshots of the system “state” and sending them to a remote site (for example – public cloud), one can restore normal operation after its disruption by disaster or unplanned maintenance. With an effective snapshot schedule, data loss and failure consequences can be minimized.

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