SteelEye first to ship disaster recovery features for XenServer

SteelEye's Linux host-based replication scoots past Symantec as the first to integrate disaster recovery and high availability with Citrix's virtual server software.server software.

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SteelEye Technology Inc. will become the first vendor to integrate its disaster recovery application with Citrix XenServer when it starts shipping the SteelEye Protection Suite for XenServer Friday.

Symantec Corp. will offer the same capabilities with its Veritas Virtual Infrastrcture, but that's not due to ship until this fall.

The SteelEye Protection Suite for XenServer bundle combines its LifeKeeper high-availability software and Data Replication. SteelEye integrated this package with Xen APIs so the software requires only one agent on each physical host.

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To deploy the replication and high-availability bundle, a customer installs an agent on each physical host running XenServer virtual machines and points it at a target physical host at the other end of the wire for replication. After that, they can manage data protection policies through the XenCenter management console.

LifeKeeper and Data Replication can perform either asynchronous or synchronous replication for Windows or Linux. That sets SteelEye apart from most host-based replication products, such as Citrix's other replication partner Marathon Technologies, according to Taneja Group analyst Eric Burgener.

"SteelEye also doesn't need a dedicated replication channel, which Marathon recommends," Burgener said.

SteelEye and Citrix will also offer an optional piece of software that allows the migration of running virtual machines, as well as the migration of machines across resource pools. This integration brings Citrix's server virtualization capabilities more into line with VMware's.

The bundle costs $2,495 per physical server with XenServer Standard Edition and $3,995 per physical server with XenServer Enterprise or Platinum. The licenses are perpetual and work with unlimited virtual machines. Support costs 20% of the total annual license price. "It looks like the SteelEye folks did their homework when it comes to pricing … their $2,495 price for XenServer is reasonable and in line with their competitors," said Burton Group analyst Chris Wolf.

SteelEye also allows unlimited migration within a certain time period, costing $500 for 15 days or $1,495 for 90 days.

Until now, only VMware offered disaster recovery among server virtualization vendors. VMware remains ahead of XenServer with its Site Recovery Manager single-pane-of-glass disaster recovery management console.

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