The work of business users directly depends on the ability to keep their IT data and applications in full function, with business continuity, with the ability to quickly recover lost data, while respecting the requirements of the regulator. The high increase in data that must be maintained also results in increasing demands on data storage and protection operations and thus on the IT infrastructure.

This increases the complexity and number of tools needed for management, all of which lead to additional operating costs and capital investment as a pressure on the budget. Trends are thus expanding on the one hand in terms of complexity and the growing number of business operations to be covered, and on the other hand increasingly narrow in terms of budget availability and the need to cut costs.

In addition, virtualization, services that are increasingly oriented towards the cloud, cost containment as well as initiatives for reduced, efficient energy consumption – the so-called. Green IT, is looking for storage systems that are much more flexible than ever before.

Given the above, in the phase of searching for a new solution for orchestration of IT systems and data storage, which must maximize availability, simplify data protection and reduce the cost of using a complete IT system, while such a system must reduce the time of any infrastructure IT service to just a few minutes, both internal and external users, with full automation and orchestration.

The NetApp MetroCluster solution consists of two storage controllers that are interconnected and form a high-availability storage cluster that acts as a single system but is separated into two locations. Such a system is sufficient to replace the existing data storage system, but with the many advantages in terms of efficiency and security of data storage that it brings with it.

NetroCluster uses an ONTAP feature called SyncMirror to synchronously mirror aggregate data for each cluster copy to a different cluster storage system. If a switchover occurs, for example in the event of a catastrophic event, each copy of the data on the remaining cluster becomes online and the secondary data center begins to deliver the data.

The solution is based on technology that is currently the only data storage technology in the world that has absolutely no licensing costs, and that provides maximum availability at two locations with RPO and RTO reduced to zero when any component crashes.

Such a system simplifies the recovery process from unwanted failures on the IT system at several built-in levels, from integration and the ability to perform instant backups, without the need for storage device administration, all the way to built-in high availability in two locations.

With MetroCluster technology, it is possible to perform a complete download of all applications, databases, services or data from one location to another with fully automated orchestration of this, otherwise very complex and critical process of switching services from location to location in case of failure. As such a process is fully autonomously orchestrated and transparent to all applications and services, this functionality greatly simplifies the recovery process compared to typical data storage system replication technologies.