Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to be briefed by Virtualsharp about their DR management solution for VMware environments. There are two things that I like about this story: the product and their new cloud offering.

The product

The product is pretty new, Virtualsharp started development of this product in 2007, for a specific project, but then they added features and functions and launched it as a public available package at the end of 2008.
At the end of 2011 the product was enhanced with an improved GUI, host based replication, automated failback options, application aware snapshots and more.
I liked this product very much because the goal is not only to manage data replication but also to constantly monitor all the DR process and requested SLAs: the DR can be tested continuously through a “DR sandbox”. You have a full picture from the dashboard and, if an issue arises, you can drill down and navigate through resources to understand and solve the problems in few minutes.
There are many options to manage the DR! You can manage how VMs starts on the second site, launch scripts, verify the state of a service before launching the following one, change IPs and so on.
This level of granularity grants a true Disaster Recovery option up to the application level with minimum effort. The icing on the cake is the complete set of reports you can produce to certify and document the state of your DR plan.

The cloud

Last month, Virtulasharp released a new version of the product suitable for service providers. This new version adds multi tenancy, a web interface and a role based access control. The new solution is perfect to implement a DR as a service offering.
Some providers (in the UK) have already began to offer this service and others will soon join. The goal is to offer a DR platform on a per VM cheap monthly fee.

Bottom line

The product is worth a look, especially for those companies that need a real DR assurance for their environments (banking, finance, and public companies in general). On the other hand the cloud option could be very effective for SMB enterprises.