Citrix, Microsoft Partner to Offer Disaster Recovery for Virtual Environments

In its Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix is integrating its StorageLink Site Recovery feature, which gives users greater disaster recovery capabilities for their Hyper-V-based virtual data centers. Users can test out disaster recovery scenarios and manage their DR services through a single console.

Citrix Systems is adding disaster recovery capabilities to its data center virtualization platform for Microsoft's Hyper-V technology.

Citrix's new Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V includes Citrix StorageLink Site Recovery, a set of tools that enable users to set up, test and manage disaster recovery capabilities through a single console, which company officials said will become increasingly important as more enterprises move mission-critical data center applications into virtualized environments.

The disaster recovery capability, announced Dec. 15, includes new features that enable customers to test various disaster recovery scenarios, and users can integrate the services into their existing systems management software, according to Citrix.

The StorageLink Site Recovery capability will be available in Express and full-featured Platinum editions of Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V, the company said.

The Express Edition, which will be available for download Dec. 23, will enable customers to recover an unlimited number of Hyper-V virtual machines on up to two host servers at no additional charge. For enterprises that need coverage for more than two physical machines, they can upgrade to the Platinum Edition, which is available immediately.

The new disaster recovery capability is another example of the partnership between Citrix and Microsoft in the server and desktop virtualization spaces, according to Lou Shipley, vice president and general manager of virtualization management for the data center and cloud division at Citrix.

"We will continue this partnership to extend our StorageLink Site Recovery solution to include additional business continuity services," Shipley said in a statement.

VMware is the leader in data center virtualization, but according to a survey by market research firm TheInfoPro, businesses are willing to look at alternatives, in particular Citrix and Microsoft offerings.

According to TheInfoPro, about 75 percent of businesses surveyed said they are currently using VMware. However, about two-thirds said they have tested other hypervisors, and of those, 27 percent said they plan to use an alternative product, while another 20 percent said they may use one.

Only 2 percent of VMware customers said they plan to switch to another virtualization platform, while 9 percent were considering it.

According to Bob Gill, managing director of server research for TheInfoPro, what the numbers show is that while VMware users are happy with their products, they are more than willing to look at alternatives and to create a heterogeneous virtualization environment, with more than one provider.