1.2 Supported Data Transfer Methods

A data transfer method describes the way data is replicated from a source workload to a target workload. PlateSpin Protect provides different data transfer capabilities, which depend on the protected workload’s operating system.

1.2.1 Supported Transfer Methods for Windows Workloads

For Windows workloads, PlateSpin Protect provides mechanisms to transfer workload volume data at either block level or file level.

  • Windows File-level Replication: (Windows only) Data is replicated on a file-by-file basis.

  • Windows Block-Level Replication: Data is replicated at a volume’s block level. For this transfer method, PlateSpin Protect provides two mechanisms that differ by their continuity impact and performance. You can toggle between these mechanisms as required.

    • Replication using the Block-Based Component: This option uses a dedicated software component for block-level data transfer. It leverages the Microsoft Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) and the applications and services that support VSS. The installation of the component on your protected workload is automatic.

      NOTE:Installation and uninstallation of the block-based component requires a reboot of your protected workload. No reboot is required when you are protecting Windows clusters with block-level data transfer. When you configure the workload protection details, you can opt to install the component at a later time, deferring the required reboot until the time of the first replication.

    • Replication without the Block-Based Component: This option uses an internal ‘hashing’ mechanism in combination with Microsoft VSS to track changes on the protected volumes. The replication compares each block on the disk and copies only changes.

      This option requires no reboot, but its performance is inferior to that of the block-based component.

1.2.2 Supported Transfer Method for Linux Workloads

For Linux workloads, PlateSpin Protect supports only block-based data transfer with a block-watch (blkwatch) driver.

NOTE:Deployment or removal of the blkwatch driver is transparent, has no continuity impact, and requires no intervention and no reboot.

The PlateSpin Protect distribution includes precompiled blkwatch drivers for workloads running the standard, non-debug kernels of supported Linux distributions. See Section B.2, Pre-compiled blkwatch Drivers for Linux Distributions.

If your workloads have a non-standard, customized, or newer kernel, you can build a custom blkwatch driver for your specific kernel. See Knowledgebase Article 7005873 How to Build a Custom Block-Based Linux Kernel Driver.