PHD Virtual Buys VirtualSharp, Adds Disaster Recovery To Product Lineup

Virtual machine backup and recovery software developer PHD Virtual Technologies has acquired VirtualSharp Software in a move to extend its customer reach with automated disaster recovery technology for virtualized and cloud environments.

VirtualSharp lets PHD Virtual handle both the data protection and disaster recovery requirements of customers ranging in size from SMBs to midsize enterprises, said Joe Noonan, senior product manager for Philadelphia-based PHD Virtual.

"With the acquisition, we can be the data mover on both the backup and the disaster recovery side," Noonan said.

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PHD Virtual, which was founded in 2005 and in which Citrix holds an equity stake, develops data protection software for virtualized environments. The company's current product line works in VMware and Citrix XenServer environments and is slated to be available for Microsoft Hyper-V environments sometime this year, Noonan said.

"So we will be one of the first data protection vendors to support all three major virtualization platforms without the use of agents," he said.

PHD Virtual offers virtual appliances to do data backup and recovery, with plug-ins that allow management of the backups to be done directly via VMware's and Citrix's management consoles, Noonan said.

VirtualSharp, on the other hand, orchestrates the replication of data to provide for automated disaster recovery, as well as for automatically testing replicated data to make sure it can be used to recover from a disaster, he said.

"When it comes to orchestrating failover and failback, VirtualSharp is unique," he said. "It has a deep, deep application-awareness in testing disaster recovery failbacks. Customers are used to testing disaster recovery systems only once or twice a year because of the complexity, which means potential issues in a real disaster."

VirtualSharp groups virtual machines to be replicated to known recovery points based on service levels and then tests failback of those recovery points on a regular basis, Noonan said. It's replication capabilities are completely independent from whatever backup software or hardware customers use, he said.

NEXT: Integration And Channel Plans For VirtualSharp

PHD Virtual's Noonan said his company will be integrating the data protection and disaster recovery technologies from both companies into a single product over the next 12 to 18 months.

However, he said, the VirtualSharp product will continue to be available as a stand-alone offering for customers using other data protection software. "We believe the two can and should be available separately," he said.

PHD Virtual also plans to introduce bundled pricing for customers and solution providers in the near future, he said.

Over 60 percent of PHD Virtual's sales go through indirect channel sales, whereas all of VirtualSharp's sales are through solution providers, Noonan said. PHD Virtual has met with partners regarding the two product lines and expects its direct sales force to take on the VirtualSharp line over time.