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RackWare expands software into cloud disaster recovery

RackWare turns its cloud application migration software into an automated DR tool by adding failback, failover and building on migration.

RackWare added failover and failback to its cloud migration software released today, turning the RackWare Management Module (RMM) 3 into a disaster recovery tool.

The new version of RMM can synchronize data changes and fail over and fail back physical-, virtual- and cloud-based server workloads.

RMM is a Linux-based application that runs on RedHat or CentOS server, and that has been used as a cloud management, migration and auto-scaling product. The first version provided migration and protection for physical servers, and RackWare added automatic scaling and a policy engine to version 2. RMM can move data between physical and virtual private and public clouds.

RMM 3 clones captured images from the production site, then pushes them out to a local or remote disaster recovery site either in a traditional or cloud environment.

The policy-based software then takes incremental snapshots and periodically synchronizes the production images with the remote images so the host image and disaster recovery image are in sync.

"The failover to the DR site can be done any time, and a failback is done when the site is restored," said Todd Matters, RackWare founder and chief architect.

Disaster recovery failover and failback is automated. "We can make it an easier affair, a more digestible affair than in the past," Matters said.

RMM includes an auto-scaling capability, in which additional resources are provisioned when the servers are overloaded and resources are scaled back as workloads are reduced.

"This is not a software as a service (SaaS) solution," Matters said. "The customer purchases the software and license and it can run any place. It can run in the cloud and in the environment that the customer owns and manages."

The software supports Amazon, OpenStack, RackSpace, IBM SoftLayer and SunGard clouds. Customers can purchase RMM based on a per-workload perpetual license, and buy subscriptions from the private cloud providers.

Jim Rapoza, Aberdeen Group's senior research analyst and editorial director for IT infrastructure, said products like RackWare appeal to customers that have invested in traditional disaster recovery and want to use the cloud as an extra layer of redundancy. It also appeals to customers who cannot afford expensive DR implementations.

"It's actually attractive to both groups," Rapoza said.

Aberdeen's research shows that the high cost per hour of downtime is a major driver in disaster recovery adoption for small and large companies. In survey-based research, Aberdeen found companies earning under $50 million in annual revenue can experience an average cost of $8,580 per hour of downtime, while companies with between $50 million and $1 billion in annual revenue have the potential for $215,637 in average costs per hour of downtime. Companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue calculate a $686,250 average cost per hour downtime.

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