Double-Take Offers Any-To-Any Server Migration

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Fail-over vendor moves to physical and virtual server migration

Server replication specialist Double-Take said it can now migrate physical and virtual servers in any direction, online and without the need for down-time. The company also announced software to boot workloads from an iSCSI SAN.

The new Double-Take workload optimisation suite can migrate running workloads – running server images, that is – between any combination of physical and virtual hardware for data-centre migrations and consolidations or for hardware refreshes, said Ian Masters, the company’s UK sales and marketing director.

He added that backup element uses CDP (continuous data protection) technology to protect workloads and recover them on-demand to a new physical or virtual machine. They can also be recovered to any past point in time, he said.

The new software is mostly a repackaging of Double-Take’s existing technology – as Masters observed, if you can replicate a server and do real-time fail-over, it’s a relatively short step from that to server migration. Additional elements come from its acquisitions of CDP developer Timespring and iSCSI specialist emBoot, he said.

“We are the first to let you migrate real-time and online,” Masters claimed. “We give you the ability to do it between dissimilar servers and dissimilar storage, for example from direct-attached storage to an iSCSI SAN, and also between dissimilar virtual machine technologies.” The first release supports VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V.

“Others can’t do it in real-time,” or if they can, they can only migrate virtual servers, he added. “We don’t need down-time because we’re using our fail-over technology.”

Masters said the workload optimisation suite has four main components: DT-Move, for migration; DT-Backup; DT-Availability, for replication and fail-over; and DT-Flex for iSCSI boot. Using them together would allow administrators to provision new servers from an existing boot image, or replicate servers to a second SAN for resilience, for example.

He added that as well as enabling servers to boot from iSCSI, DT-Flex can turn a Windows server into an iSCSI SAN. It will compete here with the likes of LeftHand, now owned by HP, and EqualLogic, owned by Dell.

Flex allows multiple servers or desktops to boot from a single image, with personalised overlays if needed. “We believe we can save 40 per cent on desktop support that way,” Masters said.

Customers taking the entire Double-Take for Windows suite also gain access to the migration capabilities, or they can be licensed separately. Masters said that a 60-day licence to migrate as many machines as you want, though only one at a time, is £376.

The iSCSI server software is £2272 a year including maintenance, plus £300 per booting client server or £72 per client PC, he added. Both DT-Move and DT-Flex are available now.

DT-Availability and DT-Backup will be available later this year, and will replace Double-Take’s current software products in those areas, the company said.