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Cross-region block storage volume replication!

Max Verun
Principal Product Manager

We’re excited to announce that you can now replicate your block storage volumes across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) regions! This new capability expands and augments our existing feature set to help with your business continuity, disaster recovery, data migration, and expansion by providing seamless asynchronous replication for all your volumes.

So far, we’ve provided a rich set of backup features both in region and across regions to help with this need: Scheduled policy-based backups, scheduled cross-region volume group backup copy. With this update, we enable direct asynchronous volume level replication from a region to another region of your choice without requiring backups for even more seamless experience. The asynchronous cross-region replication is available for both existing and new volumes and data and boot volumes.

You can now configure any of your volumes for cross-region asynchronous replication with a few clicks in the Console or using API, CLI, SDK, and Terraform. Because of the distance and network transfer times across regions, the replication across regions is asynchronous. Replication of the volume to a replica volume on the target region starts with replicating the full source volume content as of the time you initiated the replication.

When the initial replication is complete, any changes that are made on the source volume are automatically replicated to the replica volume on the target region in frequent intervals asynchronously. With this initial release, the time between each replication update (the recovery point objective, or RPO) on the replica volume is within an hour. Replica volume on the target region is always available and can be activated within the recovery time objective (RTO). RTO ensures that your workloads that depend on the replica can use it quickly on another region upon a disaster.

Enabling asynchronous volume replication to another region during volume creation

On the OCI Console, under the Core Infrastructure services, go to Block Storage and then click Block Volumes and Create Volume.

In the Create Volume dialog, in the Cross Region Replication section, select ON and select the region you want to replicate the volume to, the availability domain to place the volume replica in, and the name for the standby replica volume.

Check CONFIRM to acknowledge the cost warning related to replication, and click Create Volume. After the volume is created and becomes available, replication starts immediately.

A screenshot of the Create Block Volume screen.

Enabling asynchronous volume replication to another region on an existing volume

On the Console, under the Core Infrastructure services, go to Block Storage and then click Block Volumes.

Click the block volume that you want to enable replication for, and click Edit.

In the Cross Region Replication section, select ON, and select the region you want to replicate the volume to, the availability domain to place the volume replica in, and the name for the standby replica volume.

Check CONFIRM to acknowledge the cost warning related to replication, and click Save Changes. Replication starts immediately.

A screenshot of the Edit Volume window in the Block Volume Details screen in the Console.

Activating the replica volume on the destination region

In the Console, under the Core Infrastructure services, go to Block Storage and then click Block Volume Replicas. Ensure that you’re in correct destination region that contains the replica volume you want to activate.

A screenshot of the Block Volume Replicas in demo Compartment screen.

Choose the replica volume that you want to activate, and click Activate to open the Activate Replica dialog. Specify the settings for the new volume, including name, compartment, size and performance settings, backup policy, volume replication, encryption, and tags.

Then click Create Clone.

A screenshot of the Activate Replica window in the Block Volume Replica Details page.

The new volume appears in the block volumes list and becomes available to use within about a minute.

A screenshot of the activate volumes and metrics on the Block Volume Details page.

Replication from the source volume to the replica volume on the destination region continues without interruption. Replica volume is isolated from the activated replica volume. You can activate another volume from the replica volume as many times as you want.

Replica volumes are charged at the competitive Oracle Storage Cloud pricing, using the Block Storage Lower-Cost option price, and Outbound Data Transfer price for the amount of data that is replicated as listed in Oracle Networking Cloud pricing. The first 10 TB of total outbound traffic per month is offered free of charge with no extra charge for the cross-region asynchronous volume replication feature.

This expansion is the first stage on our cross-region volume replication plans. Be on the lookout as we enable more capabilities, such as volume group replication for time and crash consistent replication for all the volumes in a volume group in your workload. Related to RPO, we also plan to make replication interval tighter depending on the replication region pairing.

Try it for yourself

We want you to experience these new features and all the enterprise-grade capabilities that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers. It’s easy to try them out with Oracle Cloud Free Tier. For more information, see the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure storage portfolio, Block Volume service overview, Console, CLI, and API usage for cross-region asynchronous volume replication.

We value your feedback as we continue to make our service the best in the industry. More feature updates are on the horizon for our cloud storage platform. Send your thoughts on how we can continue to improve or if you want more details about any topic.

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