SteelEye's older LifeKeeper product monitored applications and provided high-availability, failover protection for two or more on-site clusters with shared storage, ensuring that one could take over for the other in the event of a data loss. And SteelEye's host-based Data Replication software copied data to a remote location, ensuring disaster recovery of applications and data from a remote location over a wide area network.
Now SteelEye's new Protection Suite for Linux Multi-Site Cluster combines both protection capabilities. By adding a remote node to a high-availability cluster and replicating data to it, SteelEye can now provide application failover and full data recovery in a single package.
Rather than being storage based, the software runs on servers. It's also an ideal candidate for medium-sized enterprises because it's far less expensive at $3,000 per server than storage-based technologies that can cost $100,000 or more, according to Bob Williamson, SteelEye's senior vice president of product management.
Although Windows-based products have combined both capabilities for some time, SteelEye's Protection Suite is the first total package for Linux, he said. The data replication component that links the remote site to the local clustered servers is based on Linux code that SteelEye developed and donated back to the Linux community, he said.
The product launch is particularly timely because Linux is now used more often for mission-critical applications, which increases the need for a more comprehensive recovery solution, Williamson said.
Competitors to the new offering include Novell's Heartbeat and Distributed Replicated Block Device (DRDB), a free open source download. DRDB, however, does not come with support.
Jean Bozman, a research vice president in the Enterprise Platform Group at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, said SteelEye's new offering is "definitely keying in on a lot of trends we see in the marketplace for replicating data and failing over servers.
"This is competitive for price and functionality," Bozman said. "It's an all-in-one solution for the x86 space at a much lower price point versus mainframes."
Steve Senk, the hardware support manager at Bay City, Mich.-based Dice Corp., said the security monitoring software company uses SteelEye software internally for its applications that need high availability and installs it on servers for its customers.
Dice currently uses SteelEye to provide real-time remote data replication for about 150 pairs of servers, he said.>"SteelEye is great," Senk said. "It's dependable to use and set up. We use it exclusively."