Brian de la Pascua is a data center specialist working in the Storage and Availability Management Group. He started with Veritas twelve years ago as a Netbackup Engineer, then moved onto the Storage Foundation and High Availability products. Brian joined Business Critical Services as a consultant for four years. He has been working in the Storage and Availability Management Group for the past three years helping architect solutions for Symantec customers' data centers.
For some years now, we have been on a journey with our customers - helping in them to overcome their data centre challenges, which varied considerable from one industry to the next. I joined Veritas 12 years ago, before it became part of Symantec, and at this time, the data centre was a predominately SUN environment and native tools were not seen as enterprise class. Back then, we worked with customers to help them to go to market safely, enabling them to have their data wrapped in software that not only protected and virtualized their data, but also gave them fault tolerance. Over time, the landscape has changed considerably and we have witnessed a shift towards commodity-based architectures, like Linux, which leveraged open source platforms. Most recently - over the past five or so years - we have seen the data centre truly transformed through virtualization. Customers rightly want to consolidate to lower their IT costs. Virtualization is possible in many guises, from the high end IBM P series servers which make high compute truly flexible, whilst delivering massive performance to the VMware wave which has engulfed the X86 market place. Many, if not all, customers have embarked on this journey, but we have seen in the past couple of years that organisations virtualization efforts have slowed down or in some cases stalled. One of the major reasons for this is that many organisations are risk averse and while they may be prepared to virtualize their test and development and non production systems, most are not prepared to take the next steps. The reason for this has been was the inability to monitor applications in the virtual world, something that we are all used to being able to do in the physical IT space. Most organisations aren’t prepared to deploy solutions where application visibility is lacking. In fact, Symantec recently commissioned a study that revealed that there is a discrepancy at present between project goals and reality, noting that CEOs and CFOs are concerned with moving business-critical applications into virtual or cloud environments, due to challenges including reliability, security, availability and performance. Symantec has entered into a partnership with VMware to address customers’ worries in their VMware estates through Symantec’s Application HA. Application HA is a solution which integrates with VMware Vcenter to enable seamless monitoring and protection of applications in VMware estates. Application HA will monitor and restart failed and leverages cluster agents, making it simple for organisations to monitor a variety of industry applications as well as their homegrown applications in a simple and standardized format. Finally, not only does application HA integrate with VMware HA and Vmotion, but it also integrates with VMware’s Site Recovery Manager, to provide a measurable, auditable disaster recovery solution. This solution has only been possible because VMware have opened up their APIs in Vcenter to enable a truly integrated, manageable and very powerful HA solution that leverages Symantec’s 20 years experience in the High Availability space. Please visit Symantec’s Application HA page to find out more. Alternatively there is a Taneja report which discuses Application HA.