SunGard Dives Into Virtual DR

Disaster recovery specialist teams with VMware to launch virtual replication service

August 6, 2008

3 Min Read
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Disaster recovery specialist SunGard Availability Services has unveiled its Virtual Server Replication offering, pushing virtualization as a way for businesses to protect critical applications.

The service will provide enterprises with an affordable way to implement second-site recovery for virtual and physical IT environments, with failover within six hours, according to the vendor.

Unlike the other products we offer, the Virtual Server Replication solution will not be hardware-based and will provide all the back-end solutions, like networking and power, needed to ensure data is kept safely,” says Bob Parker, SunGard’s director of product development. “Basically, our customers need to tell us how many servers they’d like to replicate, and we’ll work with our agents to replicate the data to our virtual targets.”

The service follows the company’s recently announced partnership with VMware that will see both companies work together to create fully managed virtualization-based offerings. The goal is to help enterprises regain lost data as quickly and efficiently as possible, according to SunGard.

SunGard’s new virtualization service can be deployed in under 30 days, which was key for at least one customer.“We turned to virtualization because our data center faces a constant need to add more servers while also being limited by the physical space available without expensive expansion,” says Mark Zwartz, IT manager at Chicago-based real estate firm JMB Companies, in a statement released yesterday. “While it took us one year to get our high availability site up and running, SunGard came in and had our virtual recovery site ready to go in three weeks.”

But SunGard isn’t the only company in this space, and organizations are joining the fray at an astounding rate. Agility Recovery Solutions offers a solution called ReadySuite, which apparently restores power, technology, space, and connectivity in 48 hours. Elsewhere, networking giant Cisco delivers disaster recovery solutions over WANs, and also allows for remote data replication through a SAN environment.

That said, some analysts believe virtualization is the next step in disaster recovery and SunGard is moving in the right direction to take the lead.

“There are a larger number of companies in the disaster recovery space that are implementing solutions like this, and I think the key driver is disaster recovery, not server consolidation,” says Dan Golding of Tier 1 Research. “This is a positive move for SunGard, but let’s not forget that it’s not the only company working on virtual disaster recovery solutions.”

But as Golding points out, virtualization is also a key component in the industry due to its ability to work from anywhere on any kind of server hardware, regardless of its complexity.“Server consolidation and virtualization are in the same breath now because of ROI, but the real benefit, aside from saving a little money on virtualization, is that suddenly disaster recovery solutions are becoming independent and can be used on any server hardware anywhere,” he says. “This is what companies like SunGard and its competition are moving towards and what makes this product just the first step in many more to come.”

The SunGard Virtual Server Replication Service is available now and will be priced between $1,000 and $1,200 per month, per source host or number of virtual or physical servers replicated, plus the costs associated with replication bandwidth.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Agility Recovery Solutions

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • SunGard (NYSE: SDS)

  • Tier 1 Research

  • VMware Inc.

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