AvailabilityGuard/Cloud from Continuity Software

Minor configuration errors can sneak up on IT administrators and bring things crashing down. Sometimes these errors only show up when an application is moved to a cloud service provider. Continuity Software says that its AvailabilityGuard/Cloud makes it easier to find and resolve these issues.

Continuity Software recently announced AvailabilityGuard/Cloud to help the clients of its RecoverGuard disaster recovery technology learn of vulnerabilities and potential of service interruptions. This tool is meant to detect configuration errors across physical, virtual and cloud environments and notify the appropriate IT administrators of the problem so it can be corrected before everything comes crashing down.

What Continuity Software has to say about AvailabilityGuard/Cloud

AvailabilityGuard/Cloud was created in response to the rapidly increasing rate at which organizations of all sizes are deploying mission-critical applications in virtualized private clouds and consequently, the sharp rise in private cloud downtime and data-loss events.  While the benefits of virtualization are impossible to ignore, it has also become apparent that managing a private cloud infrastructure frequently involves manually-intensive processes that are prone to failure, often with a devastating effect on business service availability. With limited visibility across private cloud infrastructure layers, IT organizations have been unable to detect problems ahead of time and prevent them from disrupting the business.  Even the most sophisticated IT organizations are learning that ensuring continuous service availability and data protection across their private cloud environment is easier said than done.

AvailabilityGuard/Cloud extends Continuity Software’s proven downtime and data loss risk detection capabilities from the traditional datacenter environment to the private cloud.  The solution enables users to automatically discover and eliminate vulnerabilities well before they impact the business, leveraging the patent-pending Risk Discovery Engine™ coupled with the continuously updated Risk Signature Knowledgebase™ of known and emerging private cloud configuration issues.  Moreover, AvailabilityGuard/Cloud provides up-to-date management reports with high-level executive summaries followed by supportive drill-down reporting that make it easier for IT organizations to wrap their arms around even the most complicated environment.

Snapshot Analysis

Simple things such as a minor error in something like a storage volume assignment or pointer to a database buried deep within the configuration files of a complex workload can sneak up on an IT shop and bring even well tested applications to their knees. Finding these configuration problems can be very challenging. An error in the configuration of one product can cause problems elsewhere in the IT infrastructure.

As organizations deploy ever-more complex applications that include physical, virtual and cloud-based resources and rely on many different operating systems, virtual machine software products, application frameworks, database engines and the like, finding and correcting these issues is increasingly problematic.

Continuity Software would point out how minor errors such as storage volume assignments could corrupt hundreds of virtual machines, important databases and still not show up on management dashboards supported by VM-, network-, storage- or system-level  management products. My clients have told me of their experiences with this type of problem. In one case it took weeks to find and resolve the issue because the error appeared intermittently and so many systems, workloads and databases felt the impact.

Do you need this technology? That all depends upon how well defined and closely followed your organizations testing procedures are. If your organization develops and deploys complex workloads, it would be wise to consider this type of technology.

Is Continuity Software the supplier you should choose? Continuity Software's AvailabilityGuard/Cloud competes with products from quite a number of suppliers, including folks such as BMC, CA, HP and IBM. While its technology looks very attractive, your IT team needs to consider all alternatives before making a decision.

That being said, asking Continuity Software for a demonstration is certainly worth the time.

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