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Neverfail launches vAppHA for VMware vSphere 4

Neverfail is one of a number of product suppliers addressing availability and disaster recovery requirements of applications. This time, Neverfail is offering a product, Neverfail vAppHA, to enhance VMware vSphere environments.

Neverfail briefed me on a product,  vAppHA™ for VMware vSphere™ 4, they were intending to launch at VMworld and I misplaced the briefing materials.  Those launch materials recently reappeared when I had to send one of my computers off to the shop for repairs (an interesting tale to be sure.) Low and behold, several important papers had migrated under that machine and were playing hide and seek with me. I've written about Neverfail in the past (see Neverfail and VMware - addressing availability and Emerald Queen uses Neverfail for Exchange for more information.)

This time, the company is addressing the availability and disaster recovery requirements of VMware vSphere environments.

What Neverfail has to say about vAppHA™ for VMware vSphere™ 4

Neverfail® announced Neverfail vAppHA™. Neverfail’s unique application-aware availability framework has established itself as the protection tool of choice for continuous availability of Tier-1 Microsoft applications. vAppHA integrates this same technology with VMware High Availability (HA) and VMware VMotion™, components of VMware vSphere™ 4, to help ensure the deepest level of protection against application outages. vAppHA continuously monitors and analyzes the health and state of Tier-1 applications running within virtual machines. If vAppHA detects availability or performance issues with applications, such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server databases, it uses the VMware vSphere 4 APIs to restart the virtual machine or migrate it to a different host using VMware VMotion.

But wait, Neverfail had more to say.

Benefits and features of Neverfail vAppHA include:

  • Integrated with VMware vSphere™ 4 – Neverfail vAppHA integrates with VMware HA and VMware VMotion™ to protect businesses against the impact of application-level and host-level failures.
  • Automatic switchover – Neverfail vAppHA automatically works with VMware vSphere 4 to switch application services over to other servers to avoid application downtime when an application failure or outage is detected.
  • Protection across all layers – Neverfail vAppHA detects and remediates issues at the application eco-system level by leveraging Neverfail’s existing set of application plug-ins. In the integrated solution, VMware vSphere 4 provides protection from infrastructure failures with Neverfail extending the benefits of VMware’s high availability technologies to protect against application failures.
  • Low TCO – Neverfail provides a low total cost of ownership while delivering the widest scope of protection for businesses. Availability rules and policies for Tier-1 Microsoft applications, such as Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint, and RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure, come pre-configured, eliminating the need for manual configuration.

Snapshot analysis

Reliability and availability are critical components of a cloud computing environment. There are, of course, many ways to address this need ranging from fault tolerant computer systems, such as those offered by Stratus, for environments needing continuous availability, to various software-based solutions. Each have their place in an overall availability/DR plan.

Neverfail competes with suppliers such as Citrix, Marathon Technologies, Microsoft, VMware and a host of start ups having interesting technology to offer. Neverfail has partnered with a number of these companies as well. Neverfail's demonstrations never fail to impress me because the fail over appears to be smooth and take minimal time.

Will Neverfail's products (or those offered by its competitors) really keep applications running in spite of system, software or operational failures? Will the response be fast enough to prevent customers from leaving or staff members from losing productivity? "Yes and No" is the answer. Each approach being offered in the market today has strengths and weaknesses. It is very likely that different approaches might be needed for different applications. Unfortunately, quite a few organizations truely understand the requirements of each of their applications.

Neverfail's products appear to offer a good solution for many environments and are certainly worth consideration. As with products offered by competitors, they aren't always the right solution.