Axcient Adds Virtual Server Feature To Storage Appliance

Axcient's new ServerAlive feature brings backup and disaster recovery to a single platform, said Justin Moore, founder and CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based storage vendor.

ServerAlive works with Axcient's onsite backup appliance as part of the company's RapidRestore platform, Moore said.

With RapidRestore, a company's operating systems, applications, and data are backed up to both the onsite appliance for quick restores of the data and to the vendor's SmartCloudDR storage cloud for disaster recovery.

With the addition of ServerAlive, if a server fails, the customer can click on its image to have it up and running within 15 minutes as a virtual server on the local appliance, Moore said.

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The server can be failed back to a physical box via a bootable CD or a bootable USB device, Moore said. The company is also working on a remote boot fail-back that is expected to be available in the near future for servers with motherboards that include the Pixie Boot function, he said.

Axcient could provide a fully-automated failover, Moore said. "But our IT guys decided it's better for the customer to have control," he said. "In situations where there's a power failure or someone trips over a power cord, you don't want to have to do a bare metal restore and then deal with how to capture changes to the data."

ServerAlive, like the company's RapidRestore and SmartCloudDR, is built from the ground-up by Axcient as part of an integrated offering, Moore said. This lets the company offer customers a single interface, easy bug fixes and other improvements, and unlimited licenses for the technology, he said.

Axcient currently tests Server Alive on a regular basis with what it calls "Failover Friday," Moore said.

"Every other Friday, we pull the plug on our servers and run them with ServerAlive," he said. "We test it with an Exchange server with a couple TBs of data. We run it on a virtual server, and then fail back to different physical hardware."

Axcient is currently in the process of selectively signing new channel partners, Moore said. "Ultimately, a company has only so many resources, and we don't want to sign up 4,000 partners and leave them to their own devices to see whether they are successful or not," he said.

ServerAlive has been in beta testing for about three months, and is now available for production use. It is a software upgrade to the company's existing onsite storage appliances.

For a 250-GB onsite appliance, customers pay about $150 per month, which also includes 250 GB of offsite storage in the company's own co-located data centers.

Those data centers were recently certified as SAS-70 Type 2 data centers, which allows data to be stored for compliance purposes, Moore said.