Vision Taps SteelEye for Linux HA on iSeries
March 8, 2007 Alex Woodie
SteelEye Technology, a developer of high availability software for Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems, has teamed up with i5/OS high availability specialists Vision Solutions to sell cross-platform high availability solutions that protect virtualized Linux and AIX servers on iSeries servers.
One of the hallmarks of IBM‘s i5/OS server platform is its agility in supporting a variety of server operating environments, and the flexibility to run nearly any application that this brings to its users. Linux and AIX can run natively as guest logical partitions on the System i’s 64-bit Power5 processors, while Windows is relegated to PCI-based IXS cards that slide into the System i’s iSCSI bus, as well as Integrated xSeries Adapters, which connect larger Windows-based xSeries and BladeCenter servers sitting outside the box.
In all cases, i5/OS provides certain functions to these guest operating systems, most notably access to the System i’s disk, a critical element to every high availability and disaster recovery strategy. This makes it a little more difficult for developers of high availability offerings for Linux, AIX, and Windows to support these operating systems in a System i environment, which is why cooperation from IBM is important. In this case, Vision and SteelEye got the cooperation they needed from IBM to support i5/OS’s virtualized storage environment for Linux and Windows.
A little extra work was required for Linux. “Up to this point, support [for LifeKeeper for Linux] has been limited to Intel and AMD commodity chip platforms,” says Bob Williamson, vice president of marketing for SteelEye. “But about six months ago, IBM came to SteelEye and said they were seeing an increasing number of customers . . . who were moving away from Unix-based to more open or standards-based Linux and Windows servers.
“As they’re putting Windows and Linux on System i servers, they’re looking for data replication and high availability clustering, so IBM asked us if we’d consider porting to System i,” Williamson says. SteelEye representatives made the trip to IBM’s labs in Raleigh, North Carolina, to work on the port of LifeKeeper for Linux, and it was recently made generally available.
The products that are now supported on System i include LifeKeeper, its flagship application clustering product for Windows and Linux, and SteelEye Data Replication, a volume-based data replication solution that runs with LifeKeeper. The two products work hand in hand to replicate volume data and application data across two or more servers and to handle switch overs.
The company also offers an array of application recovery kits to tailor high availability to particular applications (including Exchange, mySAP, Domino, Apache, and IIS) and databases (SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, and a smattering of open-source products). Click here for the full list of supported apps.
The partnership between SteelEye and Vision primarily involves joint sales and marketing activities, and it only involves high availability and data replication products for Linux and AIX on iSeries. (SteelEye will sell you software for IXA- and IXS-connected Windows servers, but you won’t get it through Vision.) On the business front, the companies have pledged to share referrals. On the technology side, the companies have ensured that LifeKeeper and SteelEye Data Replication can target i5-based disk resources. But that’s about it at this point.
Vision still maintains a parternship with NSI Software (now known as DoubleTake Software) to sell Windows-based high availability solutions to its Orion customers.
When asked if there is any integration between LifeKeeper and Vision’s high availability solutions for i5/OS–such as a single management console that allows administrators to monitor the state of replication across the System i’s i5/OS, Windows, and Linux environments–Williamson said there is not any integration. “The products are separate,” he says. “But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. We’re going to wait and see what the uptake is on System i. It’s a world that’s new to us.”
Jim Herring, director IBM System i products, signaled his approval of the deal. “IBM is pleased to have SteelEye bring its product portfolio and data protection, disaster recovery expertise to the System i platform,” he says. “Enterprise deployments of Linux and Windows on System i demand a robust systems environment as well as data and application protection and disaster recovery of business critical applications.”
Pricing for LifeKeeper starts at about $2,000 per server for a standard implementation, and ranges up to about $6,000 per server to cluster advanced applications such as mySAP. For more information, visit www.steeleye.com.
This article has been corrected. The partnership between SteelEye and Vision does not include products for Windows servers, as previously stated. Vision still has a relationship with DoubleTake Software for Windows solutions. IT Jungle regrets the errors.