PHD Virtual – ReliableDR for VMware

A few weeks back PHD Virtual acquired VirtualSharp, mainly for their ReliableDR product. The other day I attended a webinar on the product which is quite impressive,  I can see why PHD Virtual made the choice to acquire them. Disaster Recovery testing is expensive. Gartner cites it aprx. $30-$40K with some costing about $100k in estimates*. *Source

How often would your company do DR testing if that is the cost of it? Would you run tests every hour? Could you run it as often as you want? I’m guessing no. My wife would kill me if I was to say I need to spend $100k once let alone multiple times a day. ( My wife is the CFO for Blurt Media Group)

Reliable DR 
Taken from documentation I received

ReliableDR for VMware from PHD Virtual automates the Disaster Recovery process to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of testing. It also enables you to certify your VMs will recover as planned, and within corresponding SLAs.

Here is the comparison chart of the different editions currently available at time of this writing. *editions are subject to change so please check with PHD Virtual for current offerings. Clicking image brings you to their website.

VMware, PHD Virtual ReliableDR

As you can see there are currently three versions, Enterprise, Foundation and Free.

ReliabeDR Standout Features

  • Automated, Continuous, Service-Oriented DR Testing – Maintains the integrity of you DR plan by being service / application centric, not data centric.  It takes a business-centric view of an application and its dependencies and then automates the verification of those applications as many as several times per day.  The typical DR plan is tested 1-2 times per year.  You can test several hundreds or thousands of times per year with ReliableDR!
  • Application-Aware Testing – Measuring of accurate Recovery Time Actuals (RTOs & RPOs)
  • Certified Recovery Points – automatically storing multiple certified recovery points
  • Compliance Reporting – demonstrates DR objective compliance to auditors
  • Test, Failover, and Failback – Automation of failover and failback processes
  • Flexible Replication Options – Integration with all major storage vendors, multiple software based replication solutions including PHD Virtual, and also includes its own zero-footprint software-based replication capabilities

ReliableDR Architechture

ReliableDR Architecture VMware PHD Virtual

As you can see from the above image you have both your primary and secondary sites. ReliableDR gets installed on your secondary site and hooks back into primary site.

From there, it creates a sandbox where you run the DR test without affecting your primary site and allows for you to run as many tests as you like. In addition to the ability to test your DR process you also receive reports to provide greater visability on recovery times and expectations.  Below is a video going over this architecture.


Nerd’s Blurt

I was impressed with the functionality and testing capabilities of the product. One of the things I was hoping for is multi hypervisor capabilities. I would think that this is on the road map for the PHD team seeing how more and more IT shops are a mixed shop. The major benefit that I see is the ability to test as often as you like. From this with the CRP (Certified Recover Point) you have good insights on your environment.

This product is definitely worth a look at. It was well worth the hour on a webinar to learn about.  You can download ReliableDR for free at