Don Boxley, Co-Founder and CEO of DH2i, chatted about a new release of the DxConsole, and the benefits of server-side application virtualization and how it can reduce or eliminate database disasters. We came to the conclusion that this approach can be far better and more efficient than placing the entire database server in a virtual machine.
DH2i's DxConsole is technology that is designed to decouple an enterprise application instance from a physical server or virtual machine. It provides client systems transparent access to the application regardless of its location. DxConsole makes it possible for each instance of the encapsulated software to be easily moved to another physical system or virtual machine. The newest release offers features supporting movement to and from on-premise and cloud data centers.
DxConsole is infrastructure agnostic, allowing applications to run with native access to the resources of the underlying host and shared storage pool.
Here's what DH2i says is new in this version of DxConsole
New DxConsole 2014 HA/DR Features/Benefits:
- Binding to Fixed/Static Public Addresses for Cloud Servers Support – Users can now make any cloud or managed service provider target into a cluster member; this eliminates the Microsoft clustering requirement to add a backup domain controller – i.e., extra virtual machine (VM) in the cloud – which adds time, expense and management complexity.
- Multi-Subnet Support – Failover clusters can now be distributed across local or geographically dispersed sites without the requirement of stretching the virtual local area network (VLAN) across the sites. Any node can now join the cluster and have any IP address. Users can now avoid the issues associated with VLAN-stretching such as deployment complexity, inherent security risks, and limited flexibility once implemented.
- Explicit Cluster Membership Support (import/export/define cluster member) – Enables user to define the cluster, and support a geographically disparate cluster.
- Multiple Address Support (IPv4 and/or IPv6) – Extends cluster flexibility, as either or both can now be supported in same cluster; user equipped for future as IPv6 increases in prevalence.
- Cluster File Share Witness Support – Up to three files share witnesses now supported; enables user to increase data protection by eliminating issues such as “split brain” (multiple nodes writing to same storage, causing data corruption).
New DxConsole 2014 Management Capabilities:
- Expanded Global Alerting and Filtering – Alerting in response to any cluster event, including across disparate sites. Alerts can be custom timed and filtered (i.e., by severity level, as it happens, etc.).
- Virtual Host Filtering – Simplifies large cluster management of SQL Server instances.
- System Database Relocation for Managed SQL Instances – Dramatic time savings during planned relocation operations (from one storage target to another).
- Embedded SQL Instance Start/Stop Scripts; Automatic Replication – Saves time during adds/updates and ensures operation consistency.
IT architects have a tendency to rely too heavily on their favorite technology, rather than selecting the best approach to the job. It appears that many have become overly fond of virtual machine technology and apply it where other forms of technology would be better. (See "When is virtual machine software the wrong choice?" for a more detailed examination of this issue.)
DH2i's DxConsole is an example of what might be seen as a better approach. Rather than encapsulating an entire system into a virtual machine, it is often better to just encapsulate the database so that it can be more easily managed, and move from system to system as needed to keep up performance. The company can offer many examples of customers addressing their needs for higher availability, and better levels of management while reducing their costs for both hardware and software using server-side application virtualization.
Just ask them about the cases in which the disaster never happened and work went on as expected when something went wrong in a SQL Server environment. They have many entertaining stories.