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Continuity Software Boosts Disaster Recovery IQ

All too often organizations conduct disaster recovery (DR) checkups annually, but in truth the periodic changes to an enterprise's software and hardware inventory demands that DR compatibility be conducted throughout the year. Today, Continuity Software is announcing their RecoverGuard 5.0, which lets organizations test their DR profile throughout the year to prevent possible outage and DR failures. The newest version of the software improves SLA management and adds extended cluster support along with a 200 GUI enhancement. It also plays better with today's IT management systems. However, missing from the mix is support for virtualization.

When you make changes to production gear, you have the challenge of making the necessary changes in the DR system. "There's a 75 percent failure rate as recovery configurations are 'out of sync' with their production configurations," says Doron Pinhas, CTO, of Continuity. "With RecoverGuard 5.0 we're able to prevent those errors." RecoverGuard uses a database of signatures to identify changes that need to be made in the HA/DR system. The current release adds some 800 new signatures.

Critical to the new release of RecoverGuard is SLA Management. With the SLA Management console, the customer is given a highly detailed graphical overview of DR/HA SLA compliance within the organization that allows the customer to balance the importance of each application against its associated expense. Customers can then establish required levels of protection, define policies and track and remedy violations/breaches/risks. Being able to measure and maintain SLAs is essential, particularly for clusters, because all too often the high availability clusters do not maintain identical configurations over time. "The average cluster suffers unexpected downtime on the average of 8 hours a year," writes the Taneja Group in its review of the Continuity software. "If failover is occurring as planned, this average may be acceptable. But all too often, failover does not happen as it should--not because the secondary systems are failing, but because of serious configuration drift between systems that should be identical."  The new release provides out-of-the-box cluster support for Microsoft Failover Cluster, IBM PowerHA, HP Serviceguard, Solaris Cluster, Linux clusters and HP PolyServe.

Additional changes tightly integrate RecoverGuard into the overall IT management infrastructure. The company claims to over bi-directional integration with all major CMDBs and full integration with Active Directory provide unified user management. Reporting has also been improved. Extended host configuration, database storage utilization and NetApp filer replication reporting are now included.

With so many changes, it's easy to miss the biggest hole for the new release - virtualization support. There is no effective means within RecoverGuard to determine the risk profile of a given VM, for example, from a DR perspective. Pinhas says that Continuity will address with a future announcement with VMware. Nothing was said about Hyper-V or Xen.
Pricing for Continuity is based on the number of physical servers an organization wants to scan. In general, the company charges $2,000 per server per year.