Symantec adds disaster recovery capabilities to Veritas Cluster Server

Updated VCS lets virtual machines failover without downtime

Symantec Tuesday announced the latest version of its Veritas Cluster Server (VCS), which adds the ability to reduce virtual machine recovery times by using VMware's vMotion data migration capabilities.

The new version of VCS, slated to be generally available on Oct. 22, also allows administrators to failover a virtual machine (VM) experiencing problems to another new VM in the case of an application, OS or ESX host failure without requiring a VM reboot.

"Today, if an OS corruption issue happens on a VM, you're toast. You can't failover because it's too severe. But with [the new version of] VCS you can move it to another healthy virtual machine within the cluster," said Mike Reynolds, a senior product marketing manager at Symantec. "That allows the application to continue operating without downtime. It also reduces recovery times significantly by eliminating VM reboots."

The previous iteration of Symantec's VCS did offer high availability for VMs if hardware failed, but not if an application failed, Reynolds said.

"So why go with us versus something native with VMware? We give you protection of hardware and software under same management tools," Reynolds said. "You can centrally manage application availability ... for physical and virtual servers."

The vMotion capability to migrate a VM also allows an administrator to perform business application upgrades or a patch to a primary physical server with no downtime. An administrator can failover the VM from a primary server to a secondary one, perform the upgrade and then fail the VM back to the primary server, Reynolds said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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