NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Solutions
NetApp-certified MetroCluster SolutionsMetroCluster, 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 MetroCluster Consultants

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.

NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Consultants

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.

Other Zero-Downtime Solutions Provided by Progent
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified consultants can help you to implement an efficient, high-availability network that resolves key challenges encompassing a wide range of infrastructure technologies and processes including:

Disaster Recovery Planning
Progent's business continuity planning engineers can show you how to create a workplace recovery plan that will allow you to restore IT functionality in the event of an information system catastrophe. Progent can assist you to create a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy that includes periodic disaster recovery assessments and drills. Progent's Microsoft and Cisco-certified consultants can also help you build an affordable, fault-tolerant system architecture that takes into account availability issues covering a wide range of infrastructure technologies and processes. For more information, go to Business Continuity Consulting Services.

Managed Cloud Backup: ProSight Data Protection Services
ProSight Data Protection Services offer small and medium-sized organizations a low cost end-to-end service for reliable backup/disaster recovery. For a fixed monthly price, ProSight DPS automates your backup activities and enables rapid recovery of critical data, applications and virtual machines that have become lost or corrupted due to hardware breakdowns, software bugs, disasters, human error, or malware attacks such as ransomware. ProSight Data Protection Services can help you back up, recover and restore files, folders, applications, system images, as well as Hyper-V and VMware images/. Important data can be backed up on the cloud, to a local storage device, or mirrored to both. Progent's BDR specialists can provide advanced expertise to set up ProSight DPS to to comply with government and industry regulatory standards such as HIPPA, FIRPA, and PCI and, when necessary, can help you to recover your business-critical information. Read more about ProSight Data Protection Services Managed Cloud Backup.

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery
Progent's Windows Server 2016 disaster recovery/business continuity experts can assist you to design a disaster recovery system based on Microsoft's most advanced Failover Clustering technologies such as Cluster OS Rolling Upgrade for non-disruptive migration to Windows Server 2016, Storage Replica for zero-data-loss Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Storage Spaces Direct for enterprise-class network-attached storage using industry-standard equipment, Virtual Machine Load Balancing for enhancing the speed and fault-tolerance of Failover Clusters while reducing TCO and management overhead, and Cloud Witness for easy, economical deployment of a failover cluster quorum witness. For details, go to Windows Server 2016 Disaster Recovery Support.

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering
Windows Server 2008 R2 brought enterprise-class fault tolerance and system recovery to Microsoft's failover clustering platform. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 adds to this technology and delivers important new and enhanced features that offer increased extensibility, better disk storage uptime for server applications, easier management, faster automatic failover, and more flexibility for designing clusters. For more information, see Windows Server 2012 Clustering Integration.

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware's Site Recovery Manager is a component of VMware vCenter that allows you to specify, automate and test a repeatable runbook for recovering services rapidly following an outage. SRM provides centrally controlled and automated recovery, application mobility, plus non-disruptive site relocation, failback and re-protect. Site Recovery Manager also enables non-intrusive testing for disaster recovery, upgrades and patches and can produce audit reports to confirm full service restoration, validate SLAs and prove DR compliance. Progent offers the support of a VCDX certified VMware SRM consulting expert to assist you to design, configure, test and manage a disaster recovery system based on VMware Site Recovery Manager.

Network Load Balancing
Progent provides fault tolerant load balancing consulting covering network load balancing, load balanced applications, LAN/WAN infrastructure routing, and content dispatching technology such as F5 Networks 3DNS. High availability load balancing solutions for which Progent offers consulting expertise include Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008 Server Network Load Balancing Manager, Citrix Access Suite and Presentation Server, Cisco Content Services Switch, Cisco Content Engine and LocalDirector 400 series, and F5 Networks BIG-IP. For details, visit High Availability Load Balancing.

Fault Tolerant Colocation
Progent's Data Center professionals can help you select high availability data centers that meet the particular needs of your business. Fault tolerant colocation sites are especially appealing to small and mid-size businesses due to of their affordability and convenience compared to pursuing a do-it-yourself approach. Trying to design an in-house data center with even a minimum level of fault tolerance is too costly for typical small businesses. Progent is ready to help you reap all the benefits of high-availability colo centers by providing a complete array of engineering and support services. For more information, see High-Availability Colocation Consulting.

High-Availability Inter-office Connectivity
Progentís branch office connection engineers can help businesses achieve zero-downtime interoffice connectivity solutions via fully redundant system architectures with transparent failover. Progentís Cisco-certified CCIE engineers can plan and deploy ultra-reliable Inter-office connections based on fault tolerant EIGRP network routers or zero-downtime OSPF configurations of Cisco routers. Progent can demonstrate how multi-path connections and transparent fail-over can provide affordable 24x7 interoffice connectivity. For more information, see High-Availability Inter-office Networking.

High Availability Internet Connections
Progent's Cisco-authorized IT consultants can show you how to create an economical, fault tolerant Internet connection solution that can deliver non-stop Internet connectivity through a broad range of fault tolerant Internet network technologies including fault tolerant BGP, transparent fail-over, and redundant Internet Service Providers. Progent can provide Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert engineers to show you how to utilize the latest technology for high availability Internet access to implement a cost-effective, fully redundant Internet network with automatic failover and other features to create non-stop Internet availability. For details, visit Fault Tolerant Internet Access Architecture.

Backup and Restore Technology Consulting and Support Services
Progent offers affordable online support from IT engineers with expertise in a broad range of utilities and technologies that provide solutions for backing up Microsoft Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX servers and desktops plus notebooks and smartphones. Progent can provide help for all major data protection products such as Acronis Backup and Recovery, Symantec Backup Exec, BackupAssist Software, CrashPlan, Double-Take, MozyPro, Retrospect, Time Machine, VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP), and FLARs. Progent can help you to design, upgrade, or maintain backup solutions for a variety of environments such as local, remote, cloud-based, or a mix. To read more, visit Backup and Restore Solutions Expertise.

Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Backup and Recovery Consultants
Progent's certified Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to create an effective business continuity plan, design a cost-effective high-availability IT infrastructure, deploy a SCDPM-based backup and recovery solution, comprehensively validate your DPM system, train your administrative personnel or regular consultants how to maintain Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, or provide complete information technology outsourcing such as off-site hosting of Microsoft SCDPM servers in Progent's secure data center. For more information, go to Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Consulting and Support Services.

Barracuda Backup Local, Offsite and Cloud Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Barracuda Backup is a low-cost, subscription backup/restore platform for small and mid-size organizations. A Barracuda Backup solution can incorporate a custom-designed hardware storage device manufactured by Barracuda or a software-based appliance with comparable functionality but which uses your existing storage infrastructure. Barracuda Backup safeguards critical company data generated locally, at one or more remote sites, or in the cloud. For disaster preparedness, you can replicate data to the Barracuda Cloud, to Amazon AWS, or to any site with a Barracuda appliance. Progent is a Barracuda partner and Progent's Barracuda Backup consulting experts offer a broad array of consulting support services to help you to design, integrate, operate and repair a backup and disaster recovery system built on Barracuda technology. For additional information, visit Barracuda Backup and disaster recovery consultants.

Altaro VM Backup Software for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Altaro VM Backup provides small and mid-size organizations a reliable and affordable solution for backing up and restoring Hyper-V and VMware-powered virtual machines (VMs). Altaro VM Backup can be deployed in on-premises, remote, multi-site, and cloud-hosted architectures and also enables low-cost cloud backup to Microsoft Azure storage. Headline capabilities include industry-leading inline deduplication to reduce backup storage needs, Continuous Data Protection with backup intervals as little as five minutes for minimizing your Recovery Point Objective (RPO), military-grade encryption, item-level restore options for specific files and emails, support for Windows CSV and for vCenter for handling large-scale deployments, and the ability to leverage Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service to back up online virtual machines with zero downtime. Progent is a certified Altaro partner and can provide a broad array of services to assist you to design, deploy, optimize and troubleshoot a backup and disaster recovery solution powered by Altaro VM Backup. For more information, see Altaro VM Backup Certified Consultants.

Consulting Services Double-Take Solutions for Backup and Recovery
Double-Take Software publishes a family of products designed to deliver small and midsize businesses a range of affordable solutions for backing up and restoring vital applications including Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Blackberry, and Microsoft Office SharePoint. Progentís disaster recovery planning consultants have extensive experience integrating Double-Take Software products into small company IT networks to achieve a high level of fault tolerance and business continuity readiness at an affordable price. For details, visit Consulting for Double-Take Software for Backup.

CRISC-Premier IT Risk Control
The CRISC certification program was established by ISACA to verify a consultant's ability to plan, deploy, and support IS control mechanisms to reduce risk. Progent can provide the expertise of a CRISC-certified consultant to assist your company to develop and execute a business continuity or disaster recovery plan that follows leading practices promoted by CRISC and crafted to match your company's risk appetite, business goals, and budgetary guidelines. To learn more, go to CRISC-Premier IT risk management specialists.

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.

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