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Extending XenServer Availability

This is a big week for virtualization. But VMware isn't the only company with important news: Marathon Technologies has announced two new products for XenServer-based virtualization.

First is the everRun 2G availability solution that protects Citrix XenServer hosts. everRun 2G has a unique approach -- it applies continuous protection to the XenServer host. Brilliant! Why waste all the effort managing the protection of a bunch of Windows VMs? Protecting the host in this fashion is a first for the virtualization space.

EverRun 2G also doesn't require any configuration on the Windows VMs to be protected, as all protection is done on the XenServer host. EverRun 2G is licensed per protected host, with protection levels starting at $9,000 per host pair.

What appeals to me as a virtualization admin is that everRun 2G offers a lot of options in a space where customers are frequently locked into an array of requirements. EverRun 2G works with local storage, shared storage, or different storage systems for each host. Optionally, protected hosts can be located in geographically separate locations. For remote locations, this uses the synchronized option and accounts for the latency associated with the network separation. Protection on local networks works simultaneously on both hosts, resulting in zero impact during a failure.

Marathon has also has announced the upcoming release of everRun VM Lockstep, offering two levels of protection for XenServer VMs. The protection can be an automatic reboot (typical HA), or full fault tolerance for the VMs. Full VM fault tolerance is the lockstep functionality, in which all compute resources are executed in parallel on hosts.

Collectively, these are big steps forward for organizations, enabling them to build on the comparatively robust free offerings by Citrix and add top-level protection options to XenServer-based virtualization.

I like the flexibility here, and I'm going to see about getting my hands on something like this for a level of protection that isn't available on competing platforms. Tell me your take on the news, or share a comment below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 04/21/2009 at 12:47 PM


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