By Ann Silverthorn
—NSI Software recently began shipping Double-Take for Virtual Systems software, which provides real-time replication and data protection for virtual machine environments. The software has all the functionality of Double-Take, including real-time replication, monitoring, and fail-over. Double-Take is a "near" continuous data protection (CDP) product—e.g., it can recover to previous points in time, but not any point in time (APIT).
Double-Take for Virtual Systems enables disaster recovery and high availability on virtual hosts, as well as leveraging virtualization on targets. As companies consolidate multiple physical servers onto a virtual host running multiple virtual machines, they end up with multiple workloads on the physical server. As such, if the physical server has a hardware or software issue it could potentially impact all of the workloads on the physical server.
Users can load Double-Take for Virtual Systems on a virtual machine and replicate data from the virtual machine to a physical server or another virtual machine. They also have the option of replicating the entire virtual machine—operating system, applications, and data—to an off-site location. Double-Take's monitoring and fail-over capabilities provide high availability across distances for the virtual hosts. Or, by leveraging virtualization on the target, five physical machines can be virtualized to one physical server with five virtual machines running on it.
"One of the challenges has been that, for every physical server that needs to be protected, users had to replicate it to another box—usually a 1:1 ratio requiring investment in 2x the infrastructure," says Bob Roudebush, NSI's director of solutions engineering. "By virtualizing the target and replicating five physical machines to one physical server running five virtual machines, customers save on hardware costs. They also save on software costs, because they can run Double-Take for Virtual Systems on five virtual machines [on the same host] with one license."
Double-Take for Virtual Systems can be used on several virtualization platforms, including VMware ESX Server, VMware GSX Server, and Microsoft Virtual Server. The software is currently available in packs of five licenses starting at $7,995.