By Dave Simpson
—The 4.0 version of InMage Systems' DR-Scout disaster recovery (DR) and continuous data protection (CDP) software includes a number of enhancements, including support for Microsoft Exchange 2007, 64-bit environments, and VMware.
For Exchange environments, DR-Scout provides DR and CDP services at the block level; host- and client-level application consistency with real-time, one-to-one fail-over; any-point-in-time (APIT), or event, recovery; near-zero recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO); and the ability to eliminate backup windows. DR-Scout continually captures Exchange data while maintaining application consistency points, which eliminates the process of recovering from traditional tape-based backups.
DR-Scout 4.0 also adds support for 64-bit platforms, including Exchange and SQL Server.
In addition, the 4.0 version supports VMware virtual machine environments, where DR-Scout's host-offload architecture can be particularly advantageous in keeping multiple VM applications running.
InMage hopes to differentiate its software in an increasingly crowded CDP market via a number of features. On the architecture front, the software uses a network-based, as opposed to host-based, approach that offloads most of the processing from hosts onto the company's CX Control and Media servers. DR-Scout does require lightweight agents (for volume replication) on protected servers and targets, but most of the heavy lifting—including log changes, compression, encryption, data de-duplication, bandwidth management, replication, etc.—is handled by the out-of-band, network-based CX server.
Unlike some CDP solutions that are designed primarily for local backup and CDP, DR-Scout can be used for local backups as well as remote disaster recovery. And DR-Scout supports heterogeneous disk arrays (which is particularly important in remote DR scenarios), as well as both file- and block-level replication in SAN, NAS, DAS, and iSCSI environments.
Other features of DR-Scout include application-consistent fail-over, WAN optimization utilities, error-free data movement, and the ability to adjust bandwidth utilization.
DR-Scout is typically lumped into the CDP product category, but because it integrates features that go beyond the standard CDP definition the software might be more accurately described as what the Taneja Group consulting firm dubs continuous data technologies (CDT). According to Taneja, CDT can encompass under a common architecture technologies such as CDP, continuous data replication (CDR), and continuous data imaging (CDI).
In addition, analysts consider DR-Scout to be a "true-CDP" implementation (i.e., the ability to recovery to any point in time), in contrast to "near CDP," which some analysts describe as "snapshots on steroids."
InMage claims to have four OEM partners, of which one is public: Xiotech. InMage officials also claim to have hit a milestone in the second quarter, surpassing 100 customers.