The last mile of virtualization

Are you looking for REAL application availability? Are you using VMware or HyperV, and want the extra level of availability, or do you want to bridge the gap or get the missing link?

Hypervisors such as Solaris LDOM, IBM LPAR and KVM, VMWare and Hyper-V are all cool technologies. VMware themselves offers you great availability with VMware HA, VMotion, SRM, FT and DRS, making sure that your Site, Hosts and your VM’s are always available. clip_image001[6]On the right side here I’ve listed the VMware high availability options.

Take a look. VMware is excellent at keeping VM’s alive at all costs. Literally Smile

But what about the application awareness. What happens with applications running services, processes, files and applications within a VM. 

Traditional clustering, is not usable with DRS or VMotion, and Writing monitoring scripts keeps you maintaining them forever.

Neither vSphere HA nor FT has application awarenes

“How do you know if some sinister server has dropped one of the services or killed off a process or two?”  This is where other third party solutions, that does not cost a fortune, comes in handy. Even VMware themselves have thought that they would lessen the gap a little by creating their own solution included in the enterprise plus package. And as we all know, that software package does not come for free.

Symantec ApplicationHA


What is it?

  • Symantec ApplicationHA is using technology from Symantec (Veritas) Cluster Server, VCS, a 12 year+ prooven HA technolimageogy
  • requires 1-2 vCPU and 2-4Gb RAM
  • it is using Veritas agents to monitor and control the applications
    (services, processes, files, disks, volumes, filesystems, network)
  • it runs together with and protects over 24+ different applications such as MS SQL, Oracle, SAP, DB2, Websphere MQ/AS, Siebel CRM, WebLogic, Exchange, Sharepoint Apache and IIS .
  • It also supports protection of your customized home-made applications that  enterprise businesses always ‘needs’, also referred to as Generic appliations
  • it is compatible with Vmotion, DRS, DPM, SRM, HA, and Snapshots as well as Windows, Linux, Solaris, and AIX in the VM’s
  • it is managed directly from a vcenter Tab (example. push install) or from Veritas Operations Manager (VOM)
  • supports 2000+ VMs
  • What does it do?

  • either restart an application’s failed components in a predefined order
  • reboot the OS if the previous remediation step fails
  • restart the VM via the Application Awareness API.    or..
  • recover the last know good backup in case of corruption.
  • What does it cost?

    ApplicationHA is typically priced at $300-350 per VM

    The Bad-stuff

  • Can’t be managed via the web client as an add-in, it only has the only uses the vCenter Plugin
  • You need to buy something from Symantec, not VMware. It could be scary to trust a company you haven’t dealt with before Smile

    VMWare vSphere App HA

    What is it?

  • A dedicated VM / virtual appliance that you deploy on the vCenter Server.
    The appliance needs min. 2 vCPUs, and 4GB RAM to run (6GB recommended) .
    typical 400 agents would require 4 vCPUs and 8Gb Ram
  • Requires a Postgres database that requires 4 imagevCPUs and 4GB RAM (recommended 6GB)
  • Managed via the vSphere Web Client, ie. vsphere ESXi and web client v5.1 U2 or higher as an add-in
  • The virtual environment in which you deploy vSphere App HA must be monitored by vCenter Hyperic ie. vCenter Hyperic 5.8.1
  • It supports around 5+applications, such as SQL, sharepoint, oracle, apache, and IIS
  • What does it do?

  • restarts failed application components
  • uses Application Awareness API in VMware HA to reset the VM if the application restarting does not complete (no graceful shut of OS)
  • What does it cost?

    VMware AppHA is part of the suite vSphere Enterprise Plus typically priced at EUR 3,145.00 + 1 Year support EUR 785.99. Ref HERE

    The Bad-stuff

  • Heavy mgmt footprint: Typical 10 vCPU an d18GB RAM
  • Does not support SRM
  • limit of 400 deployed agents and Config of the agents requires some modification to an agents configuration file
  • Can only run in Windows and Linux environments, does not support AIX and Solaris
  • Supports too few applications (5) and versions, and has no support for Multiple Applications Control (Tiered restart)
  • No VM agent deployment / No Agent packages
  • high cost (both in licensing and resources)
  • t hasn’t been around for as long as Symantec has (typ. 12+ years), version 1.0 product
  • No appliance = No protection!

    How’s that for application availablility? Devil

    I might be biased and make an impression that Symantec is the real deal, and VMWare is very limited, but for some, the vmware solution might be enough. One is definately better than the other, uses 1/6th of the resources, and costs a lot less. You decide your own level of high availability and to what cost.

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