VxRail leverages the integrated vSphere availability features, including vSphere High Availability (HA), vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and vSAN stretched clusters. These capabilities support VxRail automated software and provide continuous availability of services that are hosted on VxRail. Therefore, it is recommended that customers use versions of vSphere that include these availability features to reduce the potential need for recovery.
vSphere HA monitors running VMs in a VxRail cluster. If a VM or node fails, HA restarts the VM on another node elsewhere in the cluster. A VM can fail for several reasons, including a cyberattack, underlying hardware failure, or corrupted software. Although VMware HA does not prevent outages, it minimizes the time it takes to restore services.
vSphere DRS spreads the workload of VMs across all the nodes in the cluster. As VM resource demands change, DRS can migrate VM workloads using vSphere vMotion to another node in the cluster, so that the changing workload is more evenly balanced, and no single node is over burdened. Cyberattacks can cause resource issues for VMs not targeted by the attack. Cyberattacks often cause heavy resource utilization by the VM being attacked. Therefore, heavy utilization of resources at the host level impacts the resources available for other VMs on that host. DRS protects VMs by migrating them away from resource-constrained hosts, enabling the VMs to continue to provide services.
vSAN stretched cluster extends a VxRail cluster across two sites for a higher level of availability. Only a single instance of a VM exists. However, full copies of its data are maintained at both sites. If the current site that the VM is running on becomes unavailable, the VM will be restarted at the other site.
Strong security defenses are critical, but a robust and trusted recovery plan is equally important. Backup and replications are the cornerstones of recovery after a breach. In order to aid in recovery, HCI System Software includes file-based backup and restore. All VxRail models incorporate a starter pack for Dell RecoverPoint for VM (RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines), which provides best-in-class local and remote replication and granular recovery.
HCI System Software file-based backup and restore protects against the accidental deletion of or the internal corruption of the virtual machine. Backups can be configured to occur regularly or on an as-needed basis. This is an all-inclusive feature that backs up files inside the vSAN datastore, so additional hardware and software are not required.
With RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, if, for example, a VM is compromised or data is damaged or ransomed, the VM and dataset quickly roll back to the point in time prior to the attack, allowing the business to quickly recover. Installed directly from VxRail Manager, RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines is deployed, and day-to-day monitoring occurs through the familiar vCenter plug-in. Recovery is easy and performed using the vSphere interface.
For organizations that require enhanced, comprehensive data protection capabilities, VxRail supports options including Dell Data Protection Suite for VMware, Dell PowerProtect, and Dell Data Domain Virtual Edition.
Lastly, VxRail provides file-based backups of VxRail HCI System Software help ensure business continuity in the rare event VxRail VM has to be rebuilt.
vSAN Secure disk wipe is a feature to securely retire or re-purposing the disks that are used in a vSAN environment. The secure disk wipe feature is based on NIST standards. Drives must be decommissioned from the vSAN disk group to use this feature. This will work on a single or multiple disks simultaneously, but magnetic disks are not supported (flash and NVMe only).
VM snapshots are used to create a point-in-time copy of a virtual disk to provide a quick rollback at the virtual machine level. VM snapshots are used for both the creation and recovery from backups. The recovery process would roll back the data to some point-in-time based on the snapshots configured. Snapshots can also be used by backup software to allow point time backups without interrupting the normal operation of the VM. Snapshot should not be considered a complete backup solution but rather a tool that is used as part of disaster recovery strategies.
For further information about using snapshots in vSphere environments, see Using Snapshots to Manage Virtual Machines.