Double-Take Software has introduced a disaster recovery service that lets organisations switch mission-critical workloads to a cloud-based backup while their production system is repaired.
The new offering can dramatically reduce downtime, yet is cost-effective enough even for smaller companies, the firm claimed.
In the event of failure, customers can run their recovered workload from the cloud while at the same time restoring the original workload to their production system.
Double-Take chief executive Dean Goodermote claimed that the offer is unique in providing a backup replica using the public cloud rather than storing it on a customer's own infrastructure.
"A customer runs Double-Take on their production server, and this is continuously replicated to Amazon's cloud. When or if there is a fail, a virtual machine is spun up and you have an image of it as it was right before it went down," he said.
"You can carry on operating from this while you start to download the image back to your production system."
Using Amazon's EC2 means that customers pay only for the capacity they need, and can avoid the cost having to build their own disaster recovery site. Capacity can also be scaled up easily if a customer's infrastructure expands.
The service is designed for Windows, protecting applications and services such as Microsoft's Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server that run on top of Windows Servers.
Double-Take Cloud can be configured to make the switchover automatically in the event of a failure, but most IT departments opt for manual switchover, according to Goodermote.
"Most of those guys want to have control and know that they are switching over," he said.
While switching over to a live replica should lead to a minimum of downtime, it does take a certain amount of time to spin up the virtual machine, Goodermote said.
Once the initial replication is complete, Double-Take Cloud only transfers changes to the cloud, minimising the bandwidth required.
Double-Take chose Amazon as its cloud platform because it handles images well, and the platform is global and scales well, according to Goodermote. " Amazon seemed like the logical choice," he said.
However, Goodermote added that Double-Take does not want to be on just one platform, and is likely to expand its support to other cloud providers in the future.
Pricing for Double-Take Cloud starts at £95 per server per month in the UK.
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