I had a chance to speak with Stephen Pollack, Founder, CEO of PlateSpin, the other day. Since it has been a while since we had a chance to chat, I looked forward to his refreshing, rather pragmatic, approach to virtualization technology. For those of you keeping score, PlateSpin - An Interesting Spin on Workload Management chronicled our last conversation. This time the topic was Platespin Forge, a new virtualization appliance recently announced by PlateSpin.
Here's how PlateSpin describes Forge:
PlateSpin Forge is a consolidated recovery hardware appliance that provides complete protection for up to 25 server workloads straight out of the box. In the event of production server downtime or a disaster, protected workloads can be rapidly recovered and continue to run on the PlateSpin Forge appliance until they can be restored to the production environment. Storage, applications and virtualization technology are all pre-packaged and ready to go, dramatically reducing the time and effort required to deploy and configure a recovery solution.
What is this really?It appears to me that PlateSpin has pre-installed several of their established products, PowerConvert and PowerRecon on an appliance server along with a clever, easy-to-use, Web-based DR administration interface.
Why did PlateSpin do this?Disaster Recovery is an important, albeit scary, topic for organizations of all sizes to consider. Almost everyone using information technology ought to have plans and procedures in place so that an outage due to any of the usual suspects, operator error, hardware failure or software failure, won't put them out of business.
Larger organizations have had DR plans in place (although in some cases, not really tested) for years. Medium and small organizations, on the other hand, often know about the issue but, haven't taken the next step of resolving it. PlateSpin, having products that can find virtual resources, move physical systems into virtual system and then copy or migrate these virtual systems elsewhere saw that it could create a solution.
Snapshot analysisThere are several suppliers, including Scalent Systems, Surgient, and VMlogix, that are offering tools to assist with disaster recovery planning. They're offering really powerful tools but, in most cases, these tools are not offered as a "once and done" appliance.
While PlateSpin's approach looks to be a clever use of their technology, it is not clear that it will be easy for the company to make the target audience aware of the existance of a solution to their disaster recovery problem. I suspect that PlateSpin's network of partners will work to get the word out and introduce small to medium companies to this concept.
Would your organization deploy a "DR solution in a box", such as PlateSpin's Forge?