Continuity Software tackles DR testing

Posted on July 01, 2007

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By Kevin Komiega

Israeli start-up Continuity Software has set up shop in the U.S. and is making its disaster-recovery management software available to North American customers.

The product, dubbed RecoverGuard, offers end users visibility into remote recovery operations by detecting infrastructure gaps and configuration vulnerabilities between primary data centers and disaster-recovery sites. The main aim of RecoverGuard is to validate disaster-recovery implementations which, according to company officials, fail at an alarming rate.

“Disaster recovery doesn’t work,” says Gil Hecht, Continuity Software’s founder and CEO. “Every time a change is made in the production environment it must be implemented in a similar way in the disaster- recovery environment. There are hundreds and thousands of changes being made without users having the ability to test them. The chances of it working are slim.”

That, says Hecht, is where Continuity Software can help. “RecoverGuard can identify problems or gaps between production and disaster-recovery environments. When something gets out of sync, it immediately notifies the administrator,” he says.

RecoverGuard monitors and detects configuration errors, infrastructure changes, and vulnerabilities in real time in order to eliminate the risk of data loss or corruption in the event of a disaster. The software ensures all production configuration changes are successfully applied to the remote hot site.

Continuity offers RecoverGuard in a number of different ways, including a No-Risk Assessment, which offers customers the opportunity to deploy RecoverGuard on up to 30 servers, for 48 hours. At the end of the 48 hours, the customer receives a report that details the complete topology of the data center and disaster-recovery environment, a description of the risks and threats to the production and disaster-recovery environments, a list of ways to optimize certain aspects of the environment, and an SLA analysis.

The 48-hour assessment costs $15,000 for up to 30 servers, while the software is also available for an annual license of $2,000 per server.

RecoverGuard is agent-less and supports EMC Symmetrix, Clariion, SRDF, and TimeFinder, as well as Network Appliance’s Data OnTap platforms. The software also supports all major database and cluster environments, as well as Windows, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, and Linux operating systems.

Bob Laliberte, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), says a very high percentage of disaster-recovery implementations have some kind of problem. “Take a disaster-recovery environment that is put in place today and tested. Typically it will work. Now fast-forward three months: How many moves, additions, and changes have been made in that production environment over three months?” he says. “Clearly, companies don’t have time to do a disaster-recovery regression test after each change; it’s just not feasible.”

Laliberte says most companies test their disaster-recovery systems every six to twelve months, while other companies test more frequently. “In most cases, they fail, and the company corrects those failures only to have different ones affect them six months later,” he says.

Laliberte believes there is a critical need for disaster-recovery testing systems. “Why wouldn’t you invest in a system to monitor your multi-million dollar disaster-recovery environment that your business depends on? At least that way when you come in to work and see the light on, you can fix the problem immediately, instead of waiting for the next disaster-recovery test,” he says.

ESG estimates that remote recovery operations currently fail at a rate of 40% to 60%.


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