Novell has announced the general availability in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of PlateSpin Forge, the innovative disaster recovery hardware appliance for protecting physical and virtual server workloads. PlateSpin Forge is a purpose-built consolidated recovery solution that includes pre-packaged and pre-configured hardware, software and VMware virtualisation to accelerate deployment, simplify configuration and reduce total cost of ownership.

Using VMware virtualisation software as the foundation for the solution, PlateSpin Forge offers a unique combination of simplicity and cost-effectiveness that makes it ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as departmental or branch office use within larger enterprises.
“Organisations are looking for cost-effective solutions that allow them to extend disaster recovery capabilities to more servers in their infrastructure,” says Patrick Malaperiman, vice-president: sales EMEA at PlateSpin. “Until now, organisations have had to choose between costly and complex clustering and high-end replication solutions or suboptimal lower-cost alternatives like tape backups that can be slow and cumbersome to test and restore.
"Offering a comprehensive, affordable and easy-to-use hardware appliance for protecting the majority of workloads in the data centre, PlateSpin Forge offers a new way for organisations to implement, manage and test a disaster recovery infrastructure for protecting both physical and virtual data centre assets.”
Stephanie Balaouras and Christopher Voce of Forrester Research, comment: “Consolidation was the primary driver that fueled the first wave of server virtualisation adoption, and affordable resiliency will fuel the next wave. Virtualisation has lowered the cost of providing resiliency to a low enough point that firms are all but obliged to consider deploying virtualisation to support a much broader set of applications than they might have in the past.”
Parag Patel, vice-president: alliances at VMware, adds: “With VMware virtualisation, PlateSpin Forge helps provide a simplified solution that makes effective disaster recovery within reach of small and medium businesses."
Providing complete system and data protection in an easy-to-implement package that includes hardware, storage and software, PlateSpin Forge puts full workload protection and recovery within reach for all organisations regardless of size or recovery budget. Moreover, the turnkey PlateSpin solution reduces the time and specialised technical resources needed to plan, provision and deploy a recovery environment. With PlateSpin Forge, organisations can begin protecting their physical and virtual workloads in hours instead of months.
In terms of total cost of ownership, PlateSpin Forge offers an affordable alternative to traditional recovery infrastructures and host-based replication solutions which typically require costly one-to-one hardware and software redundancy. By consolidating whole server workloads – both system and data volumes – on
to the purpose-built PlateSpin Forge appliance, organisations can achieve a 25 to 1 workload protection ratio without incurring the expense of duplicate hardware and software licensing costs.
Key features of PlateSpin Forge include:
* Plug In and Protect Workloads – Each PlateSpin Forge appliance provides complete protection for up to 25 physical or virtual workloads straight out of the box. All necessary hardware, storage, software and VMware virtualisation are pre-packaged and ready to go, significantly reducing the time and effort required to deploy and configure a recovery solution.
* Rapid One-Click Recovery – In the event of a disaster, recovery time is just a matter of powering on PlateSpin Forge’s virtual standby workload. Upon receiving a failure alert by email, Blackberry or within the Web-based user interface, the administrator can rapidly recover workloads with a single mouse click.
* Failback Flexibility – Leveraging PlateSpin’s multiplatform Workload Portability technology, PlateSpin Forge provides a highly flexible restore capability. Workload failback can be rapidly executed to any physical or virtual host regardless of manufacturer, make or model.
* Simple, Integrated Management – PlateSpin Forge includes an intuitive Web-based interface for managing, monitoring and reporting on all aspects of workload protection and recovery. An ever-present dashboard enables users to view the status of their protection plan at all times. The Web-based interface is extremely easy to use, dramatically reducing the time, effort and training required to ramp-up and administer the recovery solution.
* Workload Protection Metrics – Through purpose-built, preconfigured reporting, users can quickly access all the pertinent metrics needed to report on the health of their recovery and protection plans such as actual versus target recovery objectives, replication window sizing and protection logs for auditing purposes. All reports can be exported into Microsoft Excel for further analysis or raw report data can be queried through a simple ODBC connection.
* Whole Workload Replication – PlateSpin Forge enables data centres to protect both system and data volumes within a single bootable recovery environment to avoid the common hassle of disjointed system and data restore. Organisations can schedule incremental workload replication to achieve different recovery point objectives (RPO) based on the criticality of server workloads. With PlateSpin Forge, organisations can affordably protect physical and virtual workloads within a single technology investment. Workloads can be protected locally or remotely across a wide area network (WAN) to facilitate off-site recovery in the event of a so-called “Big D” disaster.
* Easy Test Recovery – Simple one-click test recovery allows the data centre user to rapidly test the integrity of workload replication. With a mouse click, the user can take a virtual snapshot of the recovery workload, power it on within a private internal network and quickly validate the recovery plan. Because the test snapshot is fenced off from the production network, the user can work freely without having to be concerned with conflicts or the integrity of the production environment. Since tests are performed on a disposable snapshot that can simply be removed when testing is complete, there is no need to run a full replication as with most other replication solutions.
* Failover Preparation – In the event of a possible production failure, users are able power up the recovery workload on a fenced off network while the failure is confirmed. Users can then go live with the workload and rapidly “drop the fence” to bring the recovery workload online to failover for the production system or simply shutdown the recovery workload if the failure is a false alarm.