Double Take becomes a part of Vision Solutions.
Double Take software was acquired earlier this year by Vision Solutions. I had a chance to be introduced with Christian Tata from Vision Solutions and he replied on some of my questions I asked about.
@vladan. So let me introduce yourself. What’s your name and what’s your position at Vision Solutions and which part of the process you’re in – developpement/testing/deployement/marketing?
Christian Tata: My na me is Christian Tata and I am VP of Market Development at Vision Solutions – my responsibility is around how the Double-Take products are developed to meet the needs of customers, as well as striking the right partnerships with other companies around the virtualisation and business continuity markets. My role is a mix of managing product development and marketing to make sure that people know what we do, and that we are making the right choices around how to take the products forward in future.
Double-Take Software was acquired by Vision Solutions earlier this year, so the Double-Take products are now part of a wider set covering virtual platforms, Windows, Linux, AIX and IBM Power systems.
@vladan. Another of my questions is that my website is strongly SMB oriented. Which solutions can Double-Take provide for SMB?
Christian Tata: Double-Take Availability is aimed at those organizations that require protection for their critical applications – almost all businesses have at least one application which they can't work without. Virtualization makes it cheaper to provide protection to applications, as you don't need as much physical kit in place. With Double-Take, we see four typical scenarios in the SMB space:
– migrating to a virtual platform – Double-Take can reduce the time taken to move over to a virtual platform for the first time, or help with migrations from one virtual platform to another, such as VMware to Hyper-V or vice versa. This is very useful for both end-users and the service providers that work with them, as the amount of time taken during a migration can be cut dramatically.For a partner or customer, time is money.
– companies that want to protect their main servers and replace tape DR or other DR approaches. Here, Double-Take is used to replicate data across to a second site, where virtual servers act as the target machines. This is cheaper than traditional DR, as less equipment is needed and hardware does not have to be the same spec as the production machines. This P2V DR scenario that we are seeing most often in the SMB space, as companies look at where they can see the most value from virtualization in the short term.
– instead of VMware SRM – Site Recovery Manager is a great approach for DR, but it relies on having two SANs in place to replicate data, which puts it beyond the reach of most SMB organizations from a cost perspective. Using Double-Take is therefore a good alternative here, as it can replicate the data between different SANs, or from a production SAN over to a NAS or other different storage platform at the second site. It also works very well in low bandwidth conditions – typical for a SMB organisation to have.
– when you have mixed hypervizors in place. Companies have bought VMware for their production site because it offers a great platform for server consolidation and improved availability. However, some businesses have branch offices in place where VMware is too expensive a choice, so they have Hyper-V or another virtualization product installed instead. Getting data from these branch office virtual machines back to the main data centre is therefore a good job for Double-Take, as it can work independently of the underlying virtual infrastructure.
@vladan. Double-Take is more known in the “physical world” for the BCDR solutions. What’s the Flagship product in the virtual area and for which Virtualization platform it’s destined. (Xen, Hyper-V, vSphere…)
Christian Tata: We do have a strong background in the physical IT market, but our product works just as well with virtual machines. A lot of organizations have moved over to virtual environments, and then bolted on DR as those platforms have taken on more critical workloads. I would argue that you should use one tool to protect all your workloads, rather than having different products for physical and virtual machines: it takes less time to manage, and should cost you less as well. We are well-placed for this trend as it develops.
There are several options for how to use Double-Take in virtualized environments:
– within the guest VM – Double-Take is installed within the VM, and acts the same as it would on a physical machine. Double-Take Availability can run within machines that are hosted on VMware, Hyper-V, Oracle VM or other virtualization platforms; this provides real-time data replication for the machine
– on a VMware host – Double-Take can protect a VMware host by integrating with the APIs available from VMware to run scheduled snapshots and replicate them over to a second site. This does not provide the real-time protection that working at the guest layer does, but it does ensure that you only have one connection to manage and it covers all the operating systems that might be resident within that host with no exceptions.
– on a Microsoft Hyper-V host – Because Hyper-V is effectively part of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Double-Take can run at the host level as well. In this environment, Double-Take can provide full real-time data replication at the host level. This is a good advantage for Hyper-V to have.
These different options can be used to support different fail-over and recovery plans, depending on how organizations have their IT network set up and the objectives they have around DR.
@vladan. Let’s say I have an l Exchange server 2010 running in a VM for 150 clients. Can Vision Solutions provide a solution for high availability with/without downtime? VMware has Fault tolerance but only in the higher-end licensing packages not destined for the SMB market.
Double-Take can be installed within the VM and replicate data across to a second (virtual) machine locally for high availability. If the primary machine fails, then the secondary machine will automatically start up and take over the service. The amount of downtime that users would be exposed to during this is about five minutes; most users would not notice that length of failure.
@vladan:Thanks for all those replies. I hope it clarifies few questions that my readers were thinking of.