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Adding support for its most recent product update VMware vSphere 4 and for Network File System (NFS)-based storage replication, VMware is now offering an updated version of its VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.

The software, first introduced in June 2008 and now updated for the first time, offers automated disaster recovery for VMware environments. VMware’s Site Recovery automates the manual process of creating a disaster recovery plan for virtual environments and implementing that plan once a disaster occurs.

“From a channel partner’s point of view, this brings together a lot of different pieces of what they sell,” John Bock, group product marketing manager with VMware, tells Channel Insider. “Site Recovery Manager pulls together several different competencies.”

The new version supports the most recent version of VMware in the form of vSphere 4, plus uses the simplified “many-to-one” failover using shared recovery sites. It also now includes support for VMware vSphere’s fault tolerance.

In addition to support for iSCSI and Fiber Channel, the new version also supports the emerging NFS storage and replication solutions, which are now estimated to make up between 20 and 30 percent of installed software solutions, says Bock.

The solution is being supported by several leading storage vendors, says Vmware.

VMware’s product takes the process of creating a disaster recovery plan process book and turns it into software, automating what servers are used, how to interface with storage, creating a test environment and executing tests of the process, in addition to other steps.

In the event of a failure, a solution provider can use SRM to begin the recovery process.

For channel partners with a virtualization specialty, consulting with customers on disaster recovery and adding this solution and consultation onto the overall sale can mean add-on sales, from servers to storage. Customers who use this solution typically will also buy replication and storage and services.

“Disaster recovery lends itself well to have partners and resellers building a reseller solution and configuring replication,” Bock says.