Symantec is addressing the ever-present problem of configuration drift in disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA) systems with the debut of Veritas CommandCentral Disaster Recovery Advisor, a DR/HA software tool OEM’d from Continuity Software.

The main aim of CommandCentral Disaster Recovery Advisor is to identify configuration vulnerabilities in the data center and to ensure applications can be recovered in the event of an unplanned outage.

The software is agent-less, requires no configuration of its knowledgebase with more than 3,000 risk signatures. Disaster Recovery Advisor generates a vulnerability assessment through visibility into the application, server and storage environment across heterogeneous storage, server and software products.

CommandCentral Disaster Recovery Advisor is available now, with pricing starting at $3,000 based on the number of physical servers that are being monitored. Symantec is also offering a free risk assessment to help evaluate customers’ HA/DR preparedness. According to Sean Derrington, director of Symantec’s Storage and Availability Management Group, the software also works with Veritas Cluster Server, which is a result of a long-standing partnership with Continuity.

“We have been working with Continuity Software at an engineering level for quite some time, updating the knowledgebase and rolling that into the core software capabilities of the product,” says Derrington.

Continuity recently released RecoverGuard 4.0, a new version of its software with improvements in the areas of cluster system support, root cause analysis, and HA gap detection and reporting, all of which is aimed at monitoring and validating customers’ DR and business continuity (BC) restore point and restore time objectives.

Derrington says the majority of end users dread disaster recovery testing because it causes downtime and, often times, the DR tests fail.

Research conducted by Symantec last year shows that 30% of DR tests fail, 32% of organizations say testing will impact their customers, and 21% of those polled believe testing could negatively affect sales and revenue.

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