NSI Takes on Exchange Issues

New release of Double-Take Exchange Failover Toolkit bolsters failover reliability while simplifying management and protection.

NSI Software Inc. is preparing software capabilities designed to increase failover reliability and to simplify the complexities of Microsoft Corp. Exchange server management and protection that are frequently a heavy burden to systems administrators.

This week, NSI will introduce the newest edition of its Double-Take Exchange Failover Toolkit, which includes the XPW (Exchange Protection Wizard) to boost replication and failover for NSIs flagship Double-Take platform.

Slated to be available next month, the XPW offers a simplified four-click setup to lock down Exchange servers.

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The product is buoyed by a new "preflight-checks" capability that validates system readiness and configuration status, according to Dean Goodermote, CEO of NSI, based in Hoboken, N.J.

"You ought to be able to know that your e-mail is being protected all the time," said Goodermote. "We want to make sure even the lowest-level administrator can protect e-mail."

Later this year, NSI plans to release "Daytona," which is Version 5.0 of NSIs Double-Take and GeoCluster products.

The upgrade will feature a redesigned platform that focuses on a new user interface that is aimed at midtier and smaller environments.

Daytona will be optimized for easier integration by OEMs and partners, and the upgrade will work with third-party products that can use NSIs replication engine without having to invoke the Double-Take screen.

Due for release next year, NSIs "Rockingham" product is designed to burrow NSI integration even deeper into Exchanges engine.

XPW includes new EFO (Exchange Failover Utility) and DFO (DNS Failover Utility) features that offer a range of identity and Domain Name System-based failover functions designed to dramatically reduce manual administrator intervention.

Douglas Koenig, an analyst for Houston-based Lyondell Chemical Co., said that this month he will begin to deploy NSIs Double-Take on his organizations Exchange servers. Koenig currently runs the product on Microsofts SQL Server.

Since Lyondell has grown over the last few years through acquisitions, Koenig said replicating data stores and gaining failover assurance have gained importance due to required software standardization and conversions to the latest Exchange environments.

Koenig said he is looking forward to EFO to help solve issues encountered implementing Double-Take with Lyondells secure Microsoft Active Directory architecture.

"[Double-Take] provided challenges toward getting the security rights to allow failover to work. It took too many rights to provide failover correctly—rights that we didnt think we needed to give up for Exchange," said Koenig, who plans to install EFO early next year.

"Better management is really what were looking for, to make it a seamless failover," Koenig said.