I recently had an interesting chat with Bob Williamson, VP of product marketing and management at SteelEye Technology, about his company's new SteelEye Protection Suite for VMware Infrastructure 3, built on technology that supports clustering physical and virtual servers for high availability, continuous data protection, and disaster recovery. "VMware would like you to believe that you have high availability just by incorporating virtualization, but that's simply not the case," Williamson said. "Virtualization actually increases the potential for downtime."
If you're using VMware to take advantage of the cost and management benefits of server consolidation, ensuring availability of the virtualized environment is critical. The SteelEye Protection Suite gives you a complete solution to protect all components of VMware Infrastructure 3, and the suite complements VMware's high-availability technologies (VMware HA) by delivering advanced data replication and high availability clustering technologies to monitor and automatically recover any piece of the VMware environment.
Whereas VMware HA protects virtual machines (VMs) from hardware failure, SteelEye LifeKeeper provides protection against OS and application failures within the VM. LifeKeeper monitors applications and all their dependencies, including file systems, device drivers, IP addresses and data connections, to ensure that any failure is automatically detected and recovered. Recovery can include restarting the application within the same VM, migrating the application to a VM on the same server, migrating it to a VM on a different server, or performing failover to a physical server.
A primary application in Windows is Exchange Server, the most critical back-office application that companies need to protect. SteelEye's solution is particularly appropriate for Exchange disaster recovery. "The Exchange solution supports active-passive clustering, cascading failover, shared-storage clustering combination with replication--the best variety of clustering solutions available," Williamson said.