Today EMC announced version 1.5 of their AppSync data protection software for the VNX storage platform. The software provides application-consistent data protection for applications running on VNX, regardless of whether they’re running on physical or virtual servers. AppSync provides an application-centric point of view and uses the native APIs of both VNX and RecoverPoint to deliver user-definable levels of protection to the applications.
How It’s Deployed
The AppSync server runs a centralized Unisphere-like interface. From this interface, admins can push AppSync agents out to application servers. This interface can also be used to push updates to already-deployed AppSync agents.
AppSync offers improvements over the older Replication Manager product. Replication Manager required that customers also install the EMC Solutions Enabler software in addition to Replication Manager agents. AppSync communicates with VNX and RecoverPoint directly, making the additional layer of software unnecessary. The agents work to ensure that snapshots of the data have application consistency.
This application consistency alone won’t provide any improvements in recovery point objectives (RPO), but will make restarting applications after a restore go faster, improving recovery time objectives (RTO).
How It’s Employed
AppSync allows customers to create “service plans” to protect and, if needed, restore applications. The service plans map service level agreements (SLAs) to replication and data protection technology (VNX SnapSure or RecoverPoint).
By default, AppSync offers three levels of data protection SLA:
- Gold – maps to simultaneous remote protection (with RecoverPoint) and local protection (with VNX SnapSure)
- Silver – maps to remote protection (with RecoverPoint)
- Bronze – maps to local protection (with VNX SnapSure)
Once a service plan is in place, AppSync can be configured to send application owners alerts so they’ll know whether or not the promised data protection SLA is being delivered.
Integration for Self-Service
AppSync provides multiple points of integration that make it easier to allow application owners to manage the data protection and perform restores for their own applications.
AppSync integrates with LDAP, making it easier for admins to create groups that can be assigned roles. These roles define the particular permissions for which actions users in the group can perform on particular application instances.
For Microsoft Exchange, AppSync integrates with EMC ItemPoint. This allows exchange admins to perform restores with granularity of a single mailbox, folder, message, and/or attachment.
For VMware, AppSync can allow protection for datastores to be managed either directly from the AppSync interface, or via EMC’s Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plugin for VMware vCenter.
What’s New in AppSync 1.5
Version 1.5 of AppSync adds the following new features:
- Support for MS SQL 2008 and 2012
- Support for MS Exchange 2010 and 2013
- Support for NFS remote replication for VMware
- Direct VMware datastore protection (AppSync used to require use of VSI for this — now users have a choice)
- Full support for the latest updates to both RecoverPoint and VNX
AppSync 1.5 is available now. It is the default version of AppSync now shipping with the following VNX software suites:
- VNX Total Efficiency Pack
- VNX Total Protection Pack
- VNX Application Suite
Additionally, with today’s announcement, AppSync is now downloadable for a 60-day free trial as part of a new try-and-buy program from EMC.
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