Servers Travel Back in Time with Symantec

Tech Analysis: Version 6.0 of Symantec's LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite can bring corrupted servers back from the dead, but its Restore Anywhere feature adds a nifty twist.

Symantec Corp.s LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0, like its predecessors, specializes in resurrecting corrupted or damaged systems. However, Version 6.0 gains an important new ability: It can migrate servers.

Worms, viruses and administrator errors take down more production servers every day. Patching is often all thats needed to salvage a server, but when patching cannot fix the problem, LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0 can restore a failed server back to its last usable state.

For example, if a worm knocks out a server at 5 p.m., an IT manager can restore the server to the way it was at 4 p.m, an hour before the worm hit.

LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0, which began shipping last month, is priced at $1,695 and includes the Restore Anyware and LightsOut Restore options, as well as the LiveState Recovery Manager.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0.

In eWEEK Labs tests, we found that the Restore Anyware option could quickly migrate a servers operating system and applications to a totally different server platform.

In tests, we migrated a two-processor Dell Inc. PowerEdge 2550 with 1GHz Intel Corp. Pentium III processors and five SCSI drives to a Micron Technology Inc. PC with a single 2.6GHz Pentium IV processor and a single IDE hard drive.

Using LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0, it was fairly easy for us to create an image of the Dell PowerEdge servers operating system (Windows Server 2003) and store it to an external hard drive. The image can also be stored to network-attached storage devices or a file share.

The LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0 CD-ROM is bootable, and it is used by the target server to locate and deliver the image of the server that was backed up.

After the image is transferred to the replacement server, Windows Installer starts up when the server is rebooted and detects the hardware in the new server. IT managers must make sure they have all their necessary device drivers before attempting a rebuild. Without correct drivers, the replacement server will either fail to boot up or will run at severely degraded performance levels.

In our tests, the entire migration process took roughly an hour and a half, which is much faster than rebuilding and patching up a server from scratch.

Currently, the LiveState Recovery Advanced Server Suite 6.0 backup software works only with Windows-based systems. We hope Symantec widens its scope in the near future.

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