If you haven’t had a chance to read my interview with Peter Levine from Citrix, a quick synopsis of the article is how Citrix has positioned XenServer to be the high performance and high availability platform that actually complements a Hyper-V deployment.
I wanted to build on that idea by exploring further the features that help make XenServer highly available. I recently had a chance to talk with Steve Keilen, VP of Marketing, and Jerry Melnick, CTO of Marathon Technologies. Jerry and Steve did a great job providing details of the three levels of HA that will be available for XenServer.
I was able to attend some Marathon training at my company, New Age Technologies, and got to work with one of the Marathon engineers with the everRun VM product. It is unbelievably easy to use. To enable HA is literally a right-click and enable on the VM you want protected.
According to Jerry, “Marathon provided base technology to provide heartbeat and host notification. It’s basic, and was built jointly with Citrix. It is part of the XenServer 5.0 and is a parity feature with VMWare HA. XenServer HA is included in the Enterprise and Platinum versions for no additional cost.”
Here are some details on each of the three levels of HA XenServer will have available via the Marathon partnership.
Level 1: XenServer HA :
- Basic failover/Failback
- Heartbeat between two servers
- Some Downtime Acceptable
Steve points out, “The second part of importance is the everRun VM would be compatible with XenServer HA. everRun VM has the notion of the administrator being able to dial up the level of availability depending on the service level agreement.”
Level 2: everRun VM:
This level offers component level fault tolerance
- Zero downtime – Subsystem failures (storage, network)
- Zero data loss
- Automated setup and fault tolerance
- Automated fault management
- Guaranteed recovery
- Geographic redundancy
Level 3: everRun Lockstep:
This level is scheduled to be available in Q109. It builds on all the features of Level 2 and goes to the next level by adding in not only component level failures, but system level failures too.
- Zero downtime from any failure, (Systems, storage, network)
- Zero data loss
- Maintain application state
- Maintain memory state
Steve adds, “By using everRun VM customers can have better than just auto restart, they get the fault tolerance from a competitive perspective, above and beyond what VMware’s HA offers. To upgrade levels, it will be a license key change, not a major software upgrade.”
After we finished talking about the products, I asked Jerry and Steve what I ask many people in the virtualization related industry. “Where do you think this is all heading? What will virtualization look like in 3 years, 5 years and further out?”
Both Jerry and Steve agreed that everything is going to be virtualized. It is not a question of if, but when.
Jerry summarized, “Major drivers around virtualization are management flexibility. For example, Marathon runs XenServer with everRun in house on 20-30 servers. The datacenter manager grins from ear to ear with the cost savings, availability, consolidation and ease of management. Those things are going to drive it. He can create app environments on the fly. From a practical use, it’s so compelling. The ROI is a no-brainer.”