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Marathon Releases Virtual HA, Fault Tolerance

Imagine your banking application running in a "tandem" setup -- on virtual machines instead of hardware monoliths. That's what Marathon Technologies, a longtime vendor of Windows-based high availability software, envisions with EverRun VM, a package that supports not only high-availability in XenSource virtual environments, but instantaneous fault tolerance.

This official unveiling follows months of white papers, talks, and mini-announcements about EverRun VM by Marathon. The company says EverRun VM is now in beta with a series of customers that includes Louisiana Public Broadcasting/PBS. And a roster of Citrix platinum solution providers are lined up to take orders, including MTM Technologies, Choice Solutions, IQ Sys, and ADN.

There is nothing new about virtual HA. VMware offers it in VMware High Availability (HA), and Symantec in Veritas Cluster Server for VMware. But at least one analyst says Marathon's approach is "unusual" because it guarantees no downtime if there is a failure.

Instead of pointing to another virtual machine on an adjacent or remote host if underlying physical resources fail, Marathon treats multiple virtual machines as one. All actions are synchronized between a local VM and one running on a remote site (distances up to 100 miles can separate VMs). When and if there is a failure of underlying hardware, there is no pause for failover to the remote VM, because activity has been replicated all along.

"We virtualize the complete environment to look like one environment," says Gary Phillips, Marathon CEO. "There is one log-in, one point of management... It is fully synchronous data protection."

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