JetStream DR is a software application designed to enable Continuous Data Protection (CDP) disaster recovery (DR) capabilities for virtual machines and their data, for operational business continuity (BC). The software is installed in a VMware vSphere environment, from which it replicates data to a second environment. In the event of an interruption to VMs’ normal operation in the primary environment, the VMs and their data can be recovered from the second environment. Following is a description of key technology features used in JetStream DR.
JetStream DR uses the IO filters API, which is a feature of VMware vSphere that allows third-party data services to be safely integrated into the data path between the virtual machine and its virtual disk(s), capturing data and events in order to provide data management services. IO filters are “vSphere native” – They do not use any agents in the VMs, virtual appliances in the data path, third-party modules in the kernel, or calls to internal APIs. Solutions deployed as IO filters, such as JetStream DR provide an assurance of support, compatibility, and stability that other approaches to disaster recovery cannot match.
JetStream DR is datastore agnostic for both the protected site and recovery site. JetStream DR captures data through IO Filters that run within vSphere; therefore, the underlying datastore can be VMFS, VSAN, vVol, or any HCI platform. Similarly, the recovery site can run any datastore.
JetStream DR is capable of using cost-efficient cloud-native object storage solutions as the target for replication data, from Azure Blob Storage and Azure NetApp Files to S3-compatible solutions such as Cloudian and MinIO. JetStream DR’s ability to do this while incorporating VMware’s preferred replication architecture allows economical support for any customer hardware configuration, independent of the recovery side deployment.
JetStream DR stores objects in the object store container in a format that is “self-describing.” This permits their “rehydration” – the extraction and deployment of systems and data into a recovery environment – to have no dependencies on either the protected site (which may not be accessible at all) or the destination recovery environment (which can be selected on-the-fly during the execution of the failover). In other words, everything required to re-create the protected cluster is accessible from the object store container at the time of need including: Virtual machines (VMs) along with their operating systems, applications and data, and even configuration information, which may include network configurations, virtual resource allocations, access permissions, and so on.
Continuous data replication and object store garbage collection are handled via a crash-consistent, high-throughput, fault-tolerant data pipe that is created on top of the network between the protected site and the cloud data center. Data replication through the data pipe is fault tolerant and resilient to network interruptions, ensuring that VM protection can continue despite interference or interruptions in the network connection to the recovery site.
To overcome the performance and latency limitations of cloud object storage and permit near-zero RPO, JetStream DR allows an optional low-latency replication log to be implemented. This is flash-optimized storage that greatly enhances the performance of the DR Virtual Appliances used to manage the data being protected.