With the introduction of Server Virtualization, a lot of benefits are now available to system administrators such as consolidating multiple (legacy) application workloads on one physical server, being able to spin up new instances of, say, a web server template in case of peak loads, or run multiple VMs with different Operating Systems to test out your newest application on multiple Oss.

Unfortunately it also has introduced added complexity – especially when it comes to managing Virtual Machine storage. If you are using pass-through LUNs, you can potentially have thousands and thousands of LUNs on your storage arrays, causing frequent headaches for the System and Storage Administrators when maintaining lists of what pieces of storage is used by what Virtual Machines.  Now add Disaster Recovery protection to the mix, requiring one more dimension of these VM-to-storage mappings to maintain the replication configuration information.

Citrix StorageLink and Site Recovery helps you manage this complexity. It not only automatically discovers and maintains the VM-to-Storage mappings, you can also use StorageLink to define templates for new Virtual Machines and create one or more Virtual Machines based on these templates.  It uses array based clone and snapshot technologies to very quickly provision storage for new Virtual Machines, and also is able to reconfigure your SAN to ensure the right zoning is present.

With the release of StorageLink v2.0 late 2009, Citrix has added Site Recovery functionality to StorageLink. With Site Recovery you can setup disaster recovery protection using intuitive wizards that will lead you through the workflows.  Site Recovery makes use of existing and proven array based replication, either synchronous or asynchronous, to ensure that your Virtual Machine storage is replicated and available in a failover datacenter. You can easily test your recovery plans to ensure you can meet stated RTO and RPO objectives, and in case you need to failover your application workloads to your failover datacenter you can do so with just a few clicks.

Please check out the Citrix website for more information on Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V (StorageLink and Site Recovery are part of this suite of very useful solutions for Hyper-V installations):  http://www.citrix.com/ehv