Recognizing that disaster recovery (DR) includes more than just data protection, Continuity Software is adding high availability (HA) gap detection and reporting to a new version of its RecoverGuard software.

Continuity today announced RecoverGuard 4.0, 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.

The company is adding four new components to the RecoverGuard 4.0 release, including HA Cluster Verification, root cause analysis, deployment analysis, and a tool called the Comprehensive Availability Advisor.

The High Availability Cluster Verification capability provides gap detection for HA clusters and supports virtually all HA cluster implementations and technologies, according to Continuity’s founder and CEO, Gil Hecht.

On top of the software’s ability to discover and report on all DR and HA gaps and vulnerabilities, RecoverGuard 4.0 can now perform root cause analysis to identify which infrastructure changes have caused problems and suggest preventative solutions. Also, using new deployment analysis capabilities, RecoverGuard 4.0 finds and reports on unprotected IT assets.

The Comprehensive Availability Advisor automatically detects configuration drifts affecting DR/HA servers, including domain, DNS settings, installed products, patches, service packs, operating system version, kernel parameters, hardware, storage routing, and more.

According to a recent report from Forrester Research titled “State Of Enterprise Disaster Recovery Preparedness: Q3 2008,” DR testing has improved dramatically in recent years. The results of Forrester’s recent “Enterprise And SMB Hardware Survey, North America And Europe, Q3 2008” survey shows just 10% of respondents reported never conducting a full DR test, versus 25% in 2007.

Forrester analyst Stephanie Balaouras believes DR remains a difficult and expensive investment because it does not typically lead to a return on investment or dramatic improvements in operational efficiency.

Hecht says RecoverGuard 4.0 can reduce the overall costs associated with DR testing by giving customers complete visibility into their infrastructure. “This heightened level of HA awareness and management control, combined with RecoverGuard’s existing DR monitoring capabilities, will enable customers to completely eliminate all business continuity threats,” he says.

Hecht says previous versions of RecoverGuard were limited in that they could not peer into HA systems. “RecoverGuard was very focused on finding data protection problems in disaster recovery systems, but customers view data protection as much broader than just DR systems,” he says.

RecoverGuard for HA is now generally available. Annual license pricing is approximately $2,000 per protected server.

Continuity Software will be offering a live online demonstration of RecoverGuard 4.0 on Tuesday, March 24.