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VergeIO's IOguardian protects VM data loss with syncing tech

The IOguardian capability for VergeIO's OS enables virtual machine replication and data syncing without the continuity lag common with disaster recovery software.

VergeIO's hyperconverged infrastructure software now offers a backup appliance capability for continued operations and restorations in case of virtual machine failures.

The new IOguardian software appliance, available today, uses snapshots to restore missing production VM data in real time from backup VMs. This capability enables recovery from a VM outage or loss without the downtime of using traditional backup or disaster recovery software.

IOguardian runs on customer-owned servers without the need for matching hardware, enabling the reuse of hard drives to replicate VMs in flash storage. Customers can use the backup capability by licensing an additional server per each IOguardian instance, as the new software is part of VergeIO's data center operating system, VergeOS.

The flexibility in licensing IOguardian matches VergeIO's overall design ethos to let customers choose how to deploy hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), according to Mike Matchett, an analyst at Small World Big Data.

IOguardian builds on the snapshot and data protection technology added to the platform in the past few years, which includes a journaling capability akin to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Zerto data protection, Matchett said. But IT teams might not need every single VM under their control to have near-instantaneous recovery, he added.

"This is an extension of the things they're already doing, with a little bit of added functionality," Matchett said. "In practice, how many VMs are that critical?"

Send me a digital angel

Customers should consider IOguardian's backup data a "third copy," enabling customers to repopulate their production VMs as needed, VergeIO representatives said.

VergeOS takes snapshots hourly, but customers can choose to increase the snapshot rate by allocating more RAM to the software.

Aside from recovery, a customer can use VMs within the IOguardian server for production workloads while attempting to recover the primary server with the asynchronous restoration capability.

IOguardian doesn't protect against ransomware -- VergeIO offers IOfortify to do that -- nor should it be considered the only disaster recovery option, according to the vendor. Although customers only need to license on a per-server basis, the vendor suggested they consider running an IOguardian server both on premises and off site to ensure protection against catastrophe.

Most HCI or storage products use erasure coding for data replication and deduplication, said Scott Sinclair, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

Having immediate replication of data using snapshots rather than spreading out smaller pieces of data can speed up recovery significantly in the case of data center outages, he said. Using a separate server for immediate recovery -- as pitched by VergeIO -- could be an overcorrection, but enterprise IT teams would likely argue many workloads are important enough to keep running at all times.

"At the scale [enterprises] operate now, we need to be anticipating dual failure scenarios," Sinclair said. "We're talking about a very unlikely scenario in which two full-time systems go down, but it still happens."

VergeOS is licensed by servers used rather than by features or capacity, and it offers a predictable pricing model, which might entice customers to take the financial plunge on more capabilities, he said.

"IT organizations are well served by predictable pricing plans," Sinclair said.

It all comes back to you

VergeIO's HCI platform competes with offerings from the likes of Nutanix and VMware, Matchett said. Virtualization remains a popular use for HCI in most enterprises, especially given its data center dominance for delivering apps in the past two decades.

If VergeIO has a competitor in the long run, it's cloud.
Mike MatchettAnalyst, Small World Big Data

Still, enterprises are taking advantage of cloud for infrastructure and born-in-the-cloud technologies such as containers. As cloud platforms mature, customers might not need on-premises virtualization, he said.

"If VergeIO has a competitor in the long run, it's cloud," Matchett said. "But that's a long way down the road."

Plus, Broadcom's acquisition of VMware late last year has made waves in the SMB and lower-end enterprise markets. Changes to VMware's software licensing standards and subscription pricing have some SMB and smaller enterprise customers considering other options, he said.

"People are looking for a Plan B," Matchett said. "There are a lot of companies on that smaller end of licensing that Broadcom is looking to shed."

Tim McCarthy is a news writer for TechTarget Editorial covering cloud and data storage.

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