EMC Replistor is an easy to use, out-of-the-box software technology for data recovery and protection. It delivers a simple and reliable asynchronous replication capability for Windows that geographically distributes identical sets of data instantly to one or many computers. Replistor increases the availability of your data by delivering real-time replicas to one or many locations, regardless of location. Your data can be used for off-line backup protection, disaster recovery, data distribution, and application testing.
To ensure Exchange recoverability in accordance with Microsoft, Replistor integrates with Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). This integration enables you to create application consistent snapshots on the secondary server to ensure recoverability without impacting the primary server (production environment).
- Data Replication for Windows - Provides a second set of data for 24x7 access during a system failure or maintenance.
- Ensured recoverability - Recovers Exchange environments after a hard crash with integration of Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).
- Works over LAN, MAN and/or WAN - Protects mission critical data and servers against local or site disasters.
- Centralised backup consolidation - Ensures data is available from the remote office for centralised backup.
Replistor provides real time data replication and increases the availability and reliability of Windows servers without the use of proprietary or specialised hardware. Replistor software operates over both local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) connections, and allows remote administration and installation. Replistor software also operates across Windows domains; you can administer Replistor software across domains from any Replistor client in the network.
Replistor software replicates files, directories, shares, and registry keys from a source system (the computer that has the data that needs to be protected), to a target system (the computer to which the data is replicated). After an initial synchronisation of the data, Replistor software replicates any changes made to the files (or keys), transfers those changes to the target system, and updates the files on the target system.
Before you begin replicating, you must create a specification, that tells Replistor software which files, directories, Registry keys, and shares to replicate. After you create specifications, you must synchronise the data from the source to the target system. Synchronisation ensures that the replicated data on the target system exactly matches the original data on the source system before the replicating process begins.
Continuous data protection
Replistor keeps your business productive during an outage, minimising data loss and increasing recoverability. Protection goes beyond nightly backup to tape. Real time data replication with Replistor increases Windows server uptime and reliability and protects against data loss in Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Internet Information Services (IIS), Print Services, and other Windows files. After initially synchronising the data, Replistor replicates any file (or key) changes to one or more target servers continuously or on a scheduled basis.
Data recoverability is a top concern for many companies. As a result, demand is growing to boost Microsoft Exchange 2003 uptime and recoverability. Replistor creates file system and Exchange 2003 snapshots on a target server, without impacting the primary server. Leveraging Microsoft VSS to provide application-consistent snapshots, Replistor ensures recoverability in case of data corruption or even a disaster on the primary server-allowing full recovery of Windows data and applications.
Non-intrusive and centralised data backup
Financial compliance regulations and other business imperatives require companies to protect data at remote locations. Unfortunately, acquiring and managing remote hardware and media is complex and the high costs continue to rise. Backing up remote office data to tape each night and shipping the tapes to be vaulted in a central location is not a complete solution: security can be breached and media can be lost. Replistor replicates data to one or more locations, minimising remote hardware, media, and personnel costs and simplifying media storage and security. Additionally, when target systems host current data copies, tape backups can be run from the target at any time without affecting application performance or users on source production systems.
Easy installation and management
Replistor is inexpensive and easy to implement, learn, and manage, so it will not strain your IT budget or personnel. With minimal effort and in little time, Replistor can be up and running. An administrator can then manage the entire replication process, including schedules and target locations, from a centrally located graphical user interface.
Replistor uses minimal server and network resources and can be installed on an existing server without impacting application performance. After initial file synchronisation, Replistor updates and replicates changes only. Companies can dedicate a network interface card (NIC) to manage Replistor traffic, easily isolating it from the rest of the network and managing its impact on bandwidth.
Availability of clustered environments
Whether running in a physical environment or alongside VMware ESX Server in a virtual environment, Replistor can be integrated with EMC AutoStart to provide granular application protection during planned or unplanned outages. In the event of application, network, or hardware failure, AutoStart manages application and data failover services automatically so applications keep running. AutoStart also manages the failback process when data on the primary server has been recovered. Replistor replicates the data for appropriate re-synchronisation and relocation while AutoStart manages applications and the storage replication restart processes. AutoStart seamlessly transfers control of storage resources to a remote facility in the event of a remote-host application restart.
- Ensured recoverability - Recovers Exchange 2003 or file system data from Microsoft VSS snapshot if replica is not recoverable.
- Continuous, asynchronous, byte-level data replication - Captures and replicates changes in real time over unlimited distance with negligible effect on application performance. After initial synchronisation, consumes minimal server and network resources.
- Remote office protection - Performs locally and remotely in one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-one configurations, providing multiple levels of data recovery, distribution, and consolidation.
- Hardware independence - Runs on the server so it does not require proprietary or specialised hardware.
- Write-order consistency - Ensures data integrity for all applications.
- Three levels of security protection - Meets stringent security requirements using connection, integrity, and encryption security.
- Network bandwidth throttling - Allows users to limit the amount of network bandwidth used for replication.
- Scalability - Supports up to 3,000 users per server under heavy Exchange load.
- Integrates with EMC AutoStart - AutoStart provides an end-to-end automated application failover solution regardless of distance.
- Integrates with VMware ESX Server - Ensures flexibility of protecting data in a physical or virtual environment.
- Server downtime protection - Minimises data and application downtime and increases user productivity with auto¬mated server failover to a remote target.
Failover CapabilitiesDuring normal operation, Replistor software sends a heartbeat signal from the source system to the target system to let the target know the source is available and functioning normally. When a Windows server fails, Replistor software performs a failover in which the processing and identity of that server are transferred to another server. Failover can occur transparently, without interrupting the processing of any client systems that may be attached to the failed server.
The failover option that Replistor software provides is known as Alias. Alias failover takes advantage of Windows features that allow a target system to take over for one or more source systems while maintaining its own identity and processing. You can configure how often the heartbeat signal is sent from the source system and how often the target system expects to receive it. If the target system does not receive the heartbeat signal within the expected period of time, then Replistor software begins the failover process. First, Replistor software attempts to PING the source system (with a standard IP/ICMP PING) to make sure the source system has actually failed.
Replistor software allows you to configure the following when a failover occurs:
- Services started on the target system.
- The IP addresses and subnet masks forwarded from the source system to the target system.
- Commands or batch files to execute on the target system, both before and after the failover.
- Systems in the network that are notified of the failover.
- The time it takes Replistor software to fail over.
VSS-compliant Shadow CopiesReplistor allows you to create and manage Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 and file system shadow copy backups via the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) framework provided by Microsoft. VSS is a framework that integrates user applications, backup applications, and storage systems to produce consistent point-in-time data in the form of VSS shadow copies. Specifically in Replistor, VSS enables the integration of Exchange and Replistor along with third-party hardware to provide shadow copy functionality. Shadow copy backups of the Exchange Server database or file systems are created on the target system in case of source system failure. The shadow copy types supported on the target include EMC® CLARiiON® SnapView™ snapshots, Windows system shadow copies, and custom scripts. Note, the VSS-compliant shadow copy functionality is only supported on Windows 2003 and 2008 systems.
Shadow copies allow you to obtain a consistent, restartable copy of the Exchange database or file system. This copy is available on the target side. If you want to perform a recovery, take the copy from the target and either use it locally or copy it back to the source server and start it.