NEC debuts HA software for virtual servers

By Kevin Komiega

—NEC Corporation of America has announced an enhanced version of its system continuity software that offers application and data protection for server virtualization platforms, including VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer.

The ExpressCluster software provides high availability (HA) and disaster recovery for both data and applications on x86 servers running Windows or Linux in virtual, physical, or mixed virtual-physical environments. The software monitors and recovers applications in the case of a failure and protects data through real-time transactional data mirroring.

Available in three versions—for SANs, LANs, and WANs—the software features automatic system recovery and real-time data protection with unified management of all protected applications and data stores. It also supports workload migration with no client reconfiguration, and supports low-bandwidth network and active-active configurations.

ExpressCluster SAN's new features include the aforementioned support for hypervisor products from Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware.

NEC also updated ExpressCluster WAN, offering a hybrid disk resource option providing local high availability and remote disaster recovery.

Operating systems and application support has been upgraded across the board with all ExpressCluster products supporting Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Exchange 2007.

All of the ExpressCluster products also support iSCSI storage systems.

ExpressCluster has been the top HA software product in Japan for some time, garnering approximately 40% of the market over the past five years. George Wu, NEC's director of software business, says the time is right for NEC to make its move in North America.

"The rising business impact of downtime, increased system failure risks due to complexity, natural, and man-made disasters, and regulatory compliance are all causing the market to grow," says Wu. "Our competitive differentiators are that we provide integrated application and data recovery and we have aggressive pricing."

Wu says the new ExpressCluster SAN for hypervisor products will be priced starting at $1,995 per physical hypervisor host server and will be generally available in July.

NEC ExpressCluster products are currently sold exclusively through VARs and other channel partners.

This article was originally published on June 17, 2008