NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Solutions
MetroCluster, included with NetApp's ONTAP storage operating system, is high-availability and disaster recovery software that combines array-based clustering with synchronous replication to provide rapid, zero data loss disaster recovery between datacenters separated by up to 185 miles (300km). By synchronously mirroring volumes between storage controllers, MetroCluster allows zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and under two-minute Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for mission-critical applications. MetroCluster supports SAN and NAS hosts, is available in 2-, 4- and 8-node configurations, and integrates with NetApp SnapMirror for asynchronous, near-zero data lass protection for datacenters separated by longer distances. Storage costs are kept at a minimum via inline data reduction technologies including deduplication, compression, and compaction.
Progent offers online or onsite access to a NetApp subject matter expert with NCIE, NCDA and NASAP certifications who can provide advanced support to help you design, deploy, manage, optimize, update or troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution based on NetApp MetroCluster technology. Progent also offers support for other NetApp SAN and NAS storage solutions including ONTAP, SnapMirror, SnapVault and Open Systems SnapVault (OSSV), FlexPod private cloud converged infrastructure, Virtual Storage Console, MultiStore, vFiler, OnCommand Unified Manager Core with OnCommand Reporting and OnCommand Insight, plus NetApp's hybrid Flash FAS, all Flash AFF, V-Series and N-Series hardware portfolio. (See NetApp SAN Integration Consulting.)
Key Features of NetApp MetroCluster
MetroCluster provides local high-availability (HA) and rapid, single-command remote disaster recovery (DR) for an organization's storage infrastructure by connecting two clusters, one each at two geographically separated datacenters, in a bi-directional peered storage network where you can quickly switchover either cluster to handle the storage and services of the other cluster in addition its own workloads. By running the Storage Virtual Machines (SVMs) from the offline cluster on the surviving cluster, MetroCluster allows continuous access to data during an outage of a storage cluster or datacenter.
In a four-node configuration, each datacenter has a two-node failover cluster configured as a high-availability (HA) pair with mirrored non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) and multipath storage between the two local nodes. If either node in an HA pair stops working, automatic failover allows the surviving local partner to take over the offline node's operation without incurring downtime. For DR clusters at separate sites, MetroCluster supports active-active and active-passive configurations. In an active-active configuration, both sites serve independent workloads during normal operation. In an active-passive (or active standby) deployment, the cluster at a selected primary site hosts all application workloads in a steady state and switchover only occurs from the protected primary site to the backup site. In this mode, no switchover is required if the secondary site fails but resource utilization is relatively low. You can also configure local HA pairs to operate in active-passive mode.
NetApp's MetroCluster supports bi-directional active-active disaster recovery for optima resource utilization
Switchover between clusters at different datacenters and failover between nodes in a datacenter's cluster can be planned (e.g. for non-intrusive maintenance, testing or upgrades) or unplanned, as in a site disaster. Switchback is the process by which the surviving cluster in one datacenter returns switched-over resources to the original cluster at the other datacenter. Giveback, or failback, is the process by which an offline node in local cluster is returned to a steady operational state.
To provide zero RPO disaster recovery, MetroCluster uses synchronous replication between storage clusters so that any change made at one datacenter is automatically propagated to the other datacenter. The replication process includes storage replication with NetApp SyncMirror, nonvolatile NVRAM replication, and replication of the cluster configuration. For MetroCluster to preserve the identity of the storage access paths during switchover, you must set up an L2 spanned Ethernet network and a single SAN fabric across the two datacenter sites.
MetroCluster requires both datacenters to have the same hardware and disk configurations. A variety of components from multiple vendors are supported. In a four-node deployment, each cluster uses NetApp's standard clustered Data ONTAP cluster interconnects, usually a switchless, back-to-back connection between the two HA nodes. Two Fibre Channel (FC) or FCIP switches at each datacenter connect to the HA nodes via FC initiators and FC-VI interfaces and connect to storage with SAS-to-FC bridges. (Direct-attached configurations do not require FC switches.) This allows all nodes in both clusters to see all the storage. Brocade FC switches supported by MetroCluster allow DR clusters to be up to 185 miles apart. The Clustered Data ONTAP storage OS supports both switchless configurations and a variety of cluster interconnect switches.
Core components and connections for a 4-node MetroCluster configuration
How Progent Can Help You with MetroCluster and Other NetApp Storage Solutions
Progent's team of seasoned IT consultants can help you plan, deploy, manage, upgrade, test and troubleshoot a disaster recovery solution built around NetApp MetroCluster. Progent can help you design a two-node, four-node or eight-node topology for your MetroCluster environment that aligns with your functional requirements and IT budget. Progent can make sure you follow best practices for installing your MetroCluster environment by providing help with tasks such as assigning disk pools and shelf IDs, arranging aggregate and plexes layout, provisioning NetApp FlexVol volumes, configuring NetApp Snapshot, provisioning Cisco and Brocade switches, implementing a tiebreaker, and setting up a TCP/IP configuration replication network between your peered clusters. Progent can also help you streamline the management of your MetroCluster ecosystem and non-disruptively test your disaster recovery solution to prove compliance with industry standards and government regulations. In addition, Progent offers FlexPod integration consulting to help you incorporate MetroCluster into a resilient private cloud infrastructure that consolidates servers, network fabric and storage assets for hosting critical applications.
Progent can provide as-needed expertise to guide you through occasional technical roadblocks and also offers comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing. Progent offers remote and on-premises consulting services and gives you easy access to the breadth and depth of knowledge of more than 100 veteran subject matter experts. In addition to offering the support of a NetApp-certified network architect, Progent can provide the services of a Cisco-certified CCIE network infrastructure consultant, a VMware VCDX-certified virtual networking expert, a Microsoft-certified Exchange specialist, a Citrix-certified XenDesktop consultant, and other IT consulting experts.
Contact Progent for NetApp SAN Storage Solutions
If you are looking for expertise to help you design, deploy or troubleshoot a SAN storage solution based on NetApp technology, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.