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What are some of the main differences between RecoverPoint and SRDF and which option is the right

one for my organization?


RecoverPoint and SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facilities) are both EMC products and each offer a highly reliable and efficient method for disaster recovery. SRDF is an application within the EMC Timefinder Suite of tools that provides Continuous Remote Replication (CRR). Clients who currently have two or more Symmetrix within their environment can leverage SRDF to replicate data from one frame to another. As the name suggests, SRDF can only be used to replicate data between Symmetrix arrays. The source and target array can be in the same datacenter or in different datacenters many miles apart. While data replication is often used in testing and quality assurance, the most common usage for SRDF is to provide remote replication between datacenters in order to protect against data loss should a disaster occur or connectivity in the production site is lost. RecoverPoint is heterogeneous in that it can replicate between arrays in different families (e.g. between a Symmetrix and Clariion) or from different vendors such as between an EMC array and an IBM array. While SRDF functions inside the storage array, RecoverPoint relies on external appliances. In addition to providing CRR, RecoverPoint also offers Continuous Data Recovery (CDP). RecoverPoint accomplishes this by using a journal disk that constantly tracks changes and provides point in time recovery. Point in time recovery provides a number of advantages over SRDF alone. Providing recovery from data corruption issues and a roll back ability for testing and training environments are but two examples. SRDF constantly replicates changes from source to target and doesnt track those changes. Therefore, its possible SRDF would replicate data corruption. SRDF must rely on array based snapshots or clones to provide point in time capability. Utilizing snapshots/clones increases disk usage and incurs increased costs for the additional storage required. Many organizations require consistent data across multiple devices to ensure application integrity. Both SRDF and RecoverPoint support data consistency. RecoverPoint supports consistent data across multiple devices that are connected to 1 or more arrays. SRDF supports consistency on a per frame basis. Both solutions deliver a high degree of confidence that a critical application can be restored to production reliably. RecoverPoint also compresses replicated data over WAN links by a factor of 5 to10, which effectively reduces WAN transport costs in a disaster recover scenario. SRDF cannot provide this level of compression without third party hardware. Both SRDF and RecoverPoint support synchronous and asynchronous replication. Synchronous replication will result in slower performance over longer WAN links than asynchronous replication because each write on the target site needs to send an acknowledgement to the source before a subsequent write can be sent. Asynchronous replication is recommended over dedicated WAN links of more than a few miles. RecoverPoint supports dynamic movement between synchronous and asynchronous modes based on user defined policies. SRDF requires this to be done externally via scripting or by manual intervention. There is one caveat to note regarding synchronous mode between SRDF and RecoverPoint. SRDF can support synchronous

replication over an IP connection. This is not supported in RecoverPoint. RecoverPoint requires a fibre link for remote synchronous replication data transport.

Some Pros and Cons


SRDF Pros y y y y Cons y y y Point in time recovery capability relies on array based snapshots provided by TimeFinder Only supports homogeneous Symmetrix configuration Supports consistency between devices only within the array frame Easy, cost effective solution for homogenous Symmetrix environments Runs within the array, no need to purchase external appliances Supports synchronous replication over IP links Failover/Failback capability

RecoverPoint Pros y y y y Cons y y y Relies on external appliances which need to be purchased Costly fibre WAN connection required for synchronous replication RecoverPoint Symmetrix replication requires the purchase of additional data splitters Most cost effective solution for environments without Symmetrix storage Point in time recovery providing consistency across 1 or more array frames Capable of replicating between heterogeneous storage platforms Failover/Failback capability

Summary
Both SRDF and RecoverPoint offer the ability to replicate data and provide disaster recovery. For clients that already have a Symmetrix infrastructure in place and require remote replication for disaster recovery, SRDF may well be the best choice. It would also be the most cost effective choice because there would not be a need to purchase new hardware. For clients who dont own Symmetrix storage currently but still require disaster recovery and data replication, RecoverPoint could be an attractive option. It can provide the capability they need at a much lower cost than purchasing Symmetrix storage.