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FalconStor automates disaster recovery testing, failover

FalconStor has upgraded its RecoverTrac disaster recovery tool to automate the failover process for disaster recovery testing and failback for quick recovery.

FalconStor has added automatic disaster recovery testing and failback for physical and virtual servers to the RecoverTrac technology built into its Network Storage Server (NSS) and Continuous Data Protector (CDP) products.

RecoverTrac 2.0, launched this week, automatically recovers physical servers, virtual servers and server clusters at remote DR sites. Besides replicating data to a remote disaster recovery site, RecoverTrac automates resumption of storage, servers, networks and applications in pre-determined order.

RecoverTrac works in test and failover modes. In test mode, it verifies that remote operations will work while maintaining regular business operations at the primary data site. It starts remote hosts and enables them to access snapshots of appropriate storage volumes. Customers can use the test mode to debug and validate server and application operations and data accessibility, and make sure the correct dependencies are set for proper DR execution.

In failover mode, RecoverTrac assumes a disaster has impacted the primary data center. It will start physical and virtual hosts and applications at the DR site, and reverse the direction of remote replication.

RecoverTrac is a licensed feature with NSS and CDP. It supports VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual server platforms.

Shawn Mears, network engineer at FalconStor partner GDL Solutions, said the Markham, Ontario-based MSP will use RecoverTrac to replace manual testing for its customers. Mears said many of his customers have auditing requirements to test their DR periodically, but manual testing is a drawn-out process.

He said the time it takes to test depends on the amount and type of data involved, but his customers “will be saving hours with automated testing, that’s for sure. Another main thing is the ability to schedule failback. That was always our big worry. Before RecoverTrac, we could bring them back manually but when the site came back up and running, it was a long process to manually failback all the data.”

IDC analyst Robert Amatruda said the ability to failback from physical to virtual servers and vice versa is another key challenge facing organizations.

“DR is a costly and time-consuming process, and is prone to errors on the human side,” said Amatruda. ”The real challenge is that products designed for the physical world are falling short of extending DR capabilities into the virtual world and back to physical again.”

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