Double-Take Goes Hyper-V

Adds support for Microsoft's virtualization to its DR wares for SMBs

June 11, 2008

3 Min Read
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- At Microsoft's Tech-Ed event today, Double-Take Software announced added support for Microsoft Hyper-V, in a move that demonstrates the growth of virtualization in disaster recovery for SMBs.

Virtualization works well with disaster recovery because it decouples the logical items from the physical ones, so a company can move information more easily from one location to the next,” said Bob Roudebush, director of solutions engineering at Double-Take Software.

Double-Take has supported VMware with its DR products since February 2008. But thanks to its focus on SMBs, the vendor has a large number of Microsoft’s Windows shops among its claimed 12,000 customers.

So it's no surprise that Double-Take has built products that support Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V server, which is slated to ship in August 2008. It's also no surprise that Double-Take is seeking to add functionality missing from Hyper-V's current purview.

“Because Hyper-V is a new product, it does not offer many of the more sophisticated functions found in VMware,” noted Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.Double-Take is trying to fill in some of those missing pieces. Besides developing a version of its product solely for HyperV servers, the software supplier has added Hyper-V support to its existing physical to virtual (P2V) protection and migration solutions, such as the Double-Take Virtual Recovery Assistant. And Double-Take has added Hyper-V compatibility to its GeoCluster product, which provides failover clustering.

Double-Take's new wares are designed to integrate into existing data centers and are capable of supporting P2V full system replication or virtual-to-virtual (V2V) replication, the vendor says.

Double-Take thinks its products will be appealing for a few reasons. Disaster recovery systems are often based on high-end enterprise class storage arrays or SANs, which often cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consequently, they have often been priced too high for many small and medium businesses. Double-Take has been focused more on the lower end of the market with product pricing starting at about $5,000.

In addition to spotting demand for DR among SMBs, Double-Take has noted the use of virtualization as a key element of disaster recovery in today's data centers.

In the past, Double-Take execs say the firm has built up a significant base at the lower end of the market -- companies with 100 to 1,000 employees. Since Microsoft is such a major player in that space, it makes sense that Double-Take would support its virtualization initiative.On the downside, the success of Double-Take's latest products will be closely tied to the success of Hyper-V. That's likely to take a bit of time.

Historically, Microsoft has been able to identify emerging markets, stumble a bit on entering them, and then dominate -- or attempt to dominate -- them as they evolved. At the end of 2007, for instance, the company unveiled Hyper-V and has since been pushing for traction with its virtual machine snapshot feature, which enables customers to examine a picture of a virtual machine’s performance and fine-tune it, if necessary.

Double-Take is banking on Redmond's eventual success in the virtualization space. How long that takes, though, given the establishment of VMware and the growth of Citrix XenServer as a competitor, remains a question.

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  • Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS)

  • Double-Take Software Inc. (Nasdaq: DBTK)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • VMware Inc.0

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