Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Tue, Jan 26, 1999
PROTECT YOUR COMPANY CROWN JEWELS
This issue of W2Knews contains:
* IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO PREVENT DOWNTIME
(and spend 5 minutes reading my damage report )
When we opened the Sunbelt Office in the USA five years ago, I
did not know that Tampa Bay has a certain reputation. It is
called the "Lightning Capital" of the World. In my innocence I
assumed this referred to a hockey or football team. I was wrong
and soon helped out of my dream.
A unique atmospheric configuration gets us sunshine 95% of the
days in the year, but also very regular thunderstorms. During the
season it hits pretty much at the end of almost every day.
Statistically our area gets more lightning hits per year than
any other place on the planet. It's tens of thousands!
Anybody buying an electrical appliance costing more than about
twenty bucks also buys a surge protector for that TV, radio
or computer. That is no luxury but a must. I was once again
confronted with this phenomenon last weekend. On a particularly
dark Saturday night the sky was crackling with lightning and it
was thundering right above our heads. We experienced at least 8
brownouts in 30 minutes. I was wondering what the damage in the
office would be.
One of our Techs went in on Sunday and found the following:
- Two ports on our brand new 100Mb switch were dead
- 3 NIC's fried
- The network was down
- One board in our voice mail system burned out
- One 8-port hub in a suite down the hall was fried
And all that despite the fact we religiously protect all our
machines as good as we can. We had spares for almost everything
(except the switch) and after four hours of work on Sunday every-
thing was back up again. But what if the storm would have hit
on Tuesday morning 10am? I'm sure you understand where I'm
getting at: DOWNTIME.
In a small office like ours with about 35 computers and 25 staff
we calculated the downtime cost. It's a thousand bucks -per hour-
when Sunbelt USA sits on its hands waiting for the network or
server to come back up. And that is peanuts really. Mission
critical (web) servers can cost thousands -per minute- if they
So, you need to protect the "Crown Jewels" of your company and
guarantee your users access to that data. The costs of this is
relatively unimportant. You_cannot_afford_NOT_to_do_it. The
tool you choose to prevent downtime has to be the most reliable
and efficient. That is -really- the priority.
I sent you this NewsFlash because there is a new version of a
tool that we think is the best in the market to do just that.
This product is called Double-Take and the new V3.0 features are
making it the industry leader with I think a year's advantage
over any other tool out there.
For new subscribers: Sunbelt has no vested interests in any
particular product. We can basically sell what we want. So what
we do is pick the "Best of Breed" tools in each category so that
you can integrate those in your environment.
So, what is special about the new V3.0 of Double-Take? The developers
have been in this business for quite a while, first for Novell and
since '96 for NT as well. Double-Take is used by the three leading
disaster recovery companies in the world. They implement Double-Take
on the systems of their customers to get data off site to protect it.
NEW: MULTI PLATFORM
Early 1998 the developers took a hard look at the market and found
what was needed and wanted in the future. You told them that you
needed a whole slew of features, and that you also needed it
multi-platform. The code at that time was not really ready for that.
They decided to bite the bullet and rewrite a good chunk apart from
the patented algorithms that had proved to work great.
Having seen most of these tools, I can tell you that Double-Take
V3.0 is everything you ever wanted in a Fault Tolerance utility.
They really did a great job providing the features and flexibility,
combined with an excellent and efficient architecture. It is a great
solution that allows you to get data from one machine to one or more
other systems and fail over when your source machine dies for whatever
reason. You can now mirror data from NT to Solaris and back. Netware
soon to follow. One console for all platforms, nice & easy. It combines
great with Convoy Cluster Software too.
NOTE: From my perspective Double-Take is the NEW MARKET LEADER.
HIGHLY EFFICIENT ARCHITECTURE
Let me give you a simple example why I think Double-Take has solved the
problem smarter than some others. For instance the data that goes from
one server to another can be handled in different ways. On the source
side, Double-Take filters data before it goes to disk, sends it over
the wire and writes it on the disk of the target machine just a tiny
bit later than data gets written to the disk of your source machine.
Data gets only written once on the source and once on the target in
the Double-Take scenario. Now, let's look how for instance Octopus
does it: On the source, data gets written to the file, but also to
a log file on the source. Then the data gets transported over the
wire, and written to a log file on the target.
From that log file on the target it gets written to the mirror-file.
Result? Data gets written 4 times costing twice as many resources. You
want to keep those resources available for your users on mission
There are crucial differences in the architecture of these products.
We have created a detailed grid with a competitive analysis and I
suggest you study that carefully. Print it out in landscape and spend
10 minutes comparing the features. You will see why Double-Take V3.0
is technically the most advanced product: High efficiency, requiring
the least resources. Here is the grid, but there is more!
FREE RESOURCE PLANNING TOOL
One more highly interesting technical breakthrough you will get with
this new version is the free Resource Planning Tool. It will allow
you to install Double-Take (without a second server!) and actually
SEE how much bandwidth you are going to need to get data off that
machine. Very useful to say the least.
Replication can occur in the following configurations:
- One-to-One, Active/Standby (the target does nothing)
- One-to-One, Active/Active (the target is also source)
- Chained (A to B to C)
- Single Machine (replicate data c:\ to d:\)
HIGHLIGHT OF THE FEATURES
- Strong scripting features with Double-Take Control Language
- Full Function Command line and Text Client Interfaces
- Replication from Solaris to NT and back (Novell later '99)
- Connection Wizard that makes life -very- easy
- Detailed Statistics about the process
- You can backup open files on the target machine
- Support for Microsoft Cluster Server
- Multi-NIC support
- Throttle the load on your LAN or WAN
- Supports DES encryption
- Supports NT Event Logs and SNMP
- Drag and Drop configurations and fail-over
- And there is much, much more.
You will find an excellent White Paper with the 'Theory Of
Operations', and a new Double-Take V3.0 PowerPoint presentation at
this page: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm
That's also the place where you can download the 30-day eval.
Keep in mind, it's only a matter of time before some disaster
strikes. When it does, will you be sufficiently protected?
Download that eval! http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm
An abbreviated copy of the Press Release that went out this week
with more specifics. Read the 'Additional Benefits Section'!
"AWARD WINNING SERVER REPLICATION SOFTWARE NOW COVERS UNIX"
HOBOKEN, N.J., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- NSI Software announced today
version 3.0 of Double-Take, the company's award-winning server
replication and server failover software. In line with NSI Software's
strategy for embracing the burgeoning SAN/NAS market, a key feature
of the new version is cross-platform replication.
This initial multi-platform, cross-platform release of Double-Take
will include Microsoft Windows NT (MSFT) and SUN Solaris (SUN)
servers. High-Availability through system level monitoring and
failover from NT-to-NT and Solaris-to-Solaris is also a primary
feature of the software.
"Customers have asked for a flexible, centralized, easy to manage
server/data replication package -- with Double-Take 3.0 we have
delivered that package and raised the bar on new features," Said John
New, vice president of marketing for NSI Software. "The ease of
centralized management, the ability to host native data from any
supported NOS (Network Operating System) on any other NOS is truly
remarkable, and will go a long way toward helping customers
consolidate and optimize their data protection and disaster
DATA REPLICATION FEATURES IN DOUBLE-TAKE 3.0
Double-Take's patented real-time data replication provides the following
capabilities on top of the previous generation's award winning feature
-- Cross Platform Storage Management with Unified Management Console GUI,
-- Integrated, Multi-OS scripting language and full command line control
of all features;
-- Industry leading security with multi-level administration and
on-the-wire encryption of data;
-- Ability for Windows NT, UNIX and (soon) NetWare servers to "host"
non-native data from other NOS file systems, completely preserving all
file attributes Fault Tolerance Features in Double-Take 3.0
When Double-Take's replication features are used among like operating
systems, the software provides the following high availability and
-- Disaster recovery for stand alone (Solaris & NT) or MSCS clustered NT
-- Selective data replication and failover allows selection of data to be
protected by volume, directory or even individual files;
-- One-to-many server replication (One target machine can host many failed
machines, good for disaster recovery -- if a site goes down with
multiple servers, the target, off site machine can immediately stand in
for the failed machines.);
-- Open file replication support insures that large open files --
typically databases and e-mail applications -- recover with all data
intact and with users able to access the applications and data as
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS USING DOUBLE-TAKE
+ Double-Take can be used to consolidate tape backup operations:
By using Double-Take to "host" data from many production file
seRvers, the target server can then serve as an "offline," continuous
+ Loosely coupled server-to-server communications over existing network,
whether Ethernet, Token Ring, etc. Source and Target servers have
bandwidth control, automatic bandwidth throttling by user-defined
thresholds, and efficient use of existing available bandwidth to insure
the most effective and efficient processing of data possible. There is
replication scheduling that will trigger either based on time (e.g.
every night at 9pm connect and sync) or based on replicated data size
(e.g. when XX megabytes are queued, make the connection and sync).
+ WAN-efficient operation makes disaster recovery and off site hosting
of live data economical, reliable, and with new on the wire encryption
+ Using cross-platform replication eases storage management, backup
management and disaster recovery by providing one intuitive interface,
whether you choose graphical, text based, command line or scripted.
+ Additional versions of UNIX will be added throughout 1999, with
priorities given to the most popular, widespread versions within NSI's
current customer base. Those customers include third-party developer
and OEM arrangements with IBM and IBM Business Recovery Services,
Hewlett-Packard, SunGard, Dell Computer Systems and Compaq Computer,
among others. AIX, HP-UX and SCO are likely next versions available
+ Novell (NOVL) NetWare will be added to the cross-platform implemen-
tation by Q2 1999 -- but in the meantime, Double-Take version 2.6
offers a superb NetWare-to-NetWare server replication and server
failover solution. NSI Software is committed to providing continued
support for NetWare.
+ VERIFICATION. Everybody knows that doing a backup is useless unless
you can do a restore when you really need to. But who has time to
actually test that? With DT V3, there is a verification function that
may be scheduled as you wish. If a discrepancy is found, the Double-
Take can be told to either report the problem or report and fix the out
of sync data. This way you are regularly assured that the data on your
source machine matches that of your target machine. Very cool...
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Double-Take 3.0 for Windows NT and Solaris is available now through
all authorized NSI Software resellers and distributors. Introductory
pricing starts at $1,495 per server.
Double-Take(R) is the first multi-platform and cross-platform real-
time data protection product for Windows NT, Unix and NetWare. Working
in real time at the operating system level, Double-Take replicates
selected data or complete file systems from one or more source servers
to one or more target servers across existing LAN or wide area links.
This patented technology is used to provide high availability for
network servers, to centralize tape backup or to provide offsite
High availability solutions involve an advanced set of recovery
techniques that reduce recovery time and eliminate or decrease the
amount of information lost in a disaster or disruption. As businesses
increasingly depend upon the availability of information, business
recovery companies are developing offerings for this new approach.
These techniques, which involve electronic transfer, may be used in
lieu of conventional recovery plans for critical backup data. They
shorten the recovery window by eliminating the need for physical
transport of information, which may take 24 to 48 hours.
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Allright, I think you have got the picture ;-)
Download that eval! http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm
(email me with feedback: [email protected])