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Infrascale develops 15-minute disaster recovery appliance

Infrascale's Cloud Failover Appliance is designed for small businesses that need a disaster recovery plan and can't afford a second site.

Infrascale Inc. claims its new Cloud Failover Appliance (CFA) can fail over virtual machines, servers and applications...

from the cloud within 15 minutes.

CFA can be a software or physical appliance, and is designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking for disaster recovery in the cloud.

The appliance also backs up data to the cloud, and provides WAN acceleration, deduplication and encryption for data in transit and at rest. It has an option for private-key encryption and double blind encryption, so data can be viewed or decrypted in the cloud. 

CFA supports laptops, desktops and mobile devices, as well as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Windows or Linux platforms. According to Infrascale, CFA can fail over 200 VMs concurrently.

"The walls between backup and disaster recovery are coming down," said Ken Shaw, CEO at Infrascale. "With traditional disaster recovery, the recovery point objective is within minutes. Now, we have a converged solution that provides recovery point objective and recovery time objective within minutes."

Shaw said Infrascale conducted a survey of 400 CIOs and found that only 10% used failover capabilities for data protection. The main factor preventing the companies from adopting some form of disaster recovery was cost.

"Traditional disaster recovery requires double sites and that is super expensive," he said.

We have a converged solution that provides recovery point objective and recovery time objective within minutes.
Ken ShawCEO of Infrascale

Shaw said Infrascale customers can choose to do backup or failover on-premises, to an Infrascale data center, or to Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon Elastic Block Store or Microsoft Azure public clouds. A 1U appliance contains two solid-state drives and two Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) hard drives, and can handle from 4 TB to 600 TB of storage. The appliances run Infrascale software that conducts the backup and failover processes.

An administrator can begin the failover process by clicking on a backed up VM. CFA clones the VM's Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) from its cloud copy and prepares the VM to boot in the cloud by rehydrating the deduped VMDK. It boots up the VM, assigns an IP address and injects drivers into it, if necessary, to allow it to run in the cloud.

George Crump, president of IT analyst firm Storage Switzerland LLC, said the push-button recovery of multiple servers is Infrascale's competitive edge over other disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) vendors.

"The software provides a simple interface to drive this process, including the eventual failback to production," Crump wrote in an analyst brief. "Other DRaaS providers require that the customer send the provider an email or even call them on the phone prior to a recovery happening."

Crump said the ability to concurrently boot multiple VMs "allows IT planners to recover multiple applications simultaneously."

Infrascale is providing "failover in a box," said Jason Buffington, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass.

"A lot of organizations don't have a secondary site," he said. "Infrascale is serving a different market. It's designed for a business that has small to midsized needs."

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