Whenever you are trying to come up with the best solution for physical to virtual (P2V) migrations, there are several things to consider. Depending on your downtime window, you sometimes have to get really creative. When the downtime window is very short, it also shortens the list of suitable methods to accomplish the P2V task. In that mix of options to have in your solution arsenal, Doubletake is a good one. I recently talked with Bob Roudebush from Doubletake about their new product suite.
Replication often happens at the hardware level with SAN mirroring but that can be costly or just not practical, depending on the project requirements. “Figuring out a way to replicate Exchange from one site to another is always a challenge. We do it with real time data replication with software. Because it’s software, some of the biggest benefits are the cost savings and no big costs with hardware.”
I asked about what host systems Doubletake works with currently and what is on their roadmap. “Our software works with virtual machines as well as physical. We’ve figured out with software what a SAN normally does. We have an edition of our product for ESX and one for Hyper-V, and XenServer is on the roadmap. The Linux version allows for block-level replication.”
Doubletake started out with a nice replication offering, but with this recent announcement, they’re seeking to become more. According to Bob, “The Company we’ve become over the years is much different than when we started. We aren’t just a point problem solver. We now have the ability to move data around in real time without the users knowing about it. For the first time, we are unveiling a workload product suite.”
The suite’s key capabilities include:
- Workload Portability (Double-Take Move): Move workloads between any combination of physical and virtual hardware (P2P, P2V, V2P or V2V) within datacenters for hardware refreshes, or across locations for datacenter migrations and consolidations.
- Workload Backup (Double-Take Backup): Continuously backup workloads and recover them on-demand to a new physical or virtual machine. Using CDP capabilities, recovery can also be done at the item level to any point in time.
- Workload Availability (Double-Take Availability): Ensure the availability of critical IT workloads for disaster recovery and business continuity using real-time replication and failover that can protect individual applications, entire servers or virtualized workloads running on VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V.
- Workload Flexibility (Double-Take Flex): Easily manage any workload by booting it from iSCSI SANs, regardless of hardware.
I think Doubletake Flex is an interesting product. Bob said, “The idea is to make it easier to manage a workload to boot from network instead of local disks. Using the standard hardware you can boot to the iSCSI SAN. Blade servers are a good example. You may not have a lot of storage, and you can boot to an iSCSI LUN. We have a central console and assign MAC address to LUNs and it contacts to our management server to see where it needs to boot from and then it boots from the iSCSI SAN. ”
So, whenever you are faced with a ridiculous downtime window for your conversions, make sure to check out Doubletake’s solutions.
I’d like to thank Bob for taking his time to discuss the new Doubletake product suite.