Stratus Enhances Disaster Recovery in Avance Software

In its Avance 1.5 offering, Stratus is adding upgraded disaster recovery and business continuity features. The high-availability virtualization software lets SMBs connect two x86 servers and run them in a synchronized fashion. With Avance 1.5, businesses can separate the two connected servers by up to 3 miles, protecting the data against localized disasters. Avance 1.5 also features easier management capabilities and iSCSI SAN support for Dell EquilLogic PS5000E storage offerings.

Stratus Technologies is adding business continuity, disaster recovery and administrative enhancements to its Avance high-availability software.

Stratus on May 4 is rolling out the latest version of Avance, which the company introduced a year ago to give SMBs a highly available virtualized environment platform for their x86 systems.

The software offers several advantages over cluster environments, including greater uptime, better protection against data loss and less complexity, said Lee Kaminski, Stratus' product manager for Avance.

It also eliminates the need to have anyone on-site.

"We have the ability to completely manage Avance remotely [on both virtual and physical machines]," Kaminski said.

The software includes an embedded XenServer hypervisor and runs Windows and Linux operating systems. The software runs over two systems that are connected by an Ethernet link. Those nodes are synchronized and mirrored, and Avance manages the mirroring of business processes between them. If one system goes down, everything automatically fails over to the other system with no interruption.

"We handle that in an automated way," he said.

Once the first node is repaired, it's put back online and everything between the two nodes are synced up again.

In Avance 1.5, Stratus is offering its Split-site feature, which lets the paired servers to be separated by as much as 3 miles, which protects against data loss if there is some sort of disaster at one site, such as a fire, lightning strike, structural damage, hardware problems or theft.

"This is the first step toward disaster recovery," Kaminski said. "We're starting to move the boxes apart."

In addition, the new release also offers easier remote management features, such as a single-node installation capability, and iSCSI SAN (storage-area network) support for Dell's EquilLogic PS5000E storage offering. Dell is a reseller of Avance, he said.

Avance 1.5 also lets users boot a Windows virtual machine from a CD or virtual CD, and offers host-level RAID 0, 1 and 5 support and improved documentation.

Avance 1.5 is available now, starting at $5,000.