Aelita recovers failed Windows 2000 Servers

Aelita Software Corp. is updating its automated system recovery software with more efficient remote repair capabilities and added support for Windows 2000.

The company, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, has shipped ERDisk 5.0, which includes three options for restoring downed Win 2000 machines and a new compression technology that conserves network bandwidth during remote repairs of servers and workstations on a network.

ERDisk 5.0 is used to create emergency repair disks – copies of boot disks and configuration files for individual machines – that are then stored in a central repository. ERDisk is similar to Microsoft’s utility for creating recovery disks but takes it a step further with an automated agent that regularly updates the data from each machine at set intervals.

It also performs system repairs over a network.

In Version 5.0, Aelita has added support for Win 2000, including three options for repairing machines that have crashed completely or have corrupt applications. Repairs can be conducted remotely over the network using files stored in ERDisk’s central repository or copied from the repository onto a floppy disk.

A third option, called Advanced Restore, lets administrators copy repair data on any media, including a CD-ROM or DVD disk, and use the disks to upload files onto the downed machine. The Advanced Restore option works in conjunction with an ERDisk-generated boot disk.

Fast recovery

“Part of our standard is to be able to recover servers in a given period of time, which is three hours from dead to being able to put data on the server,” said Mark Decker, team leader for NT administration at BF Goodrich’s Aerostructure Aerospace Group in Chula Vista, Calif.

“We’re whittling that down, but it was a burden to go out and create these disks on a periodic basis.”

Decker said the next focus is the compression in 5.0. “The goal is to whittle down the bandwidth usage. We want to be as thin and lean as possible.”

The 5.0 compression can reduce file size by three to five times, making it easier to move data-over-WAN connections. The compression is used in conjunction with agents that can grab recovery data off computers, compress it and return it to ERDisk’s central repository. When the data is needed to recover a downed server, the data is decompressed automatically by the ERDisk repair wizard.

“To remotely update the repair data for 1,000 workstations now takes less than an hour,” according to Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO of Aelita.

ERDisk is available now, and pricing starts at US$99 per server and US$10 per workstation.

Review box:

Aelita Software Corp. ERDisk 5.0

Platforms: Windows

Cost: US$99 per server and US$10 per workstation

Pros: automated agent, system repairs over a network

Cons: none noted