Database files are likely the biggest and most complex in an organization. Protecting them with a business continuity/ disaster recovery strategy is essential.

DH2i Co., a small U.S. company came up with a solution several years ago called DxConsole for Microsoft SQL Server, allowing instances of that database to be easily moved across physical and virtual environments for disaster recovery.

However, the solution required a storage area network.
This week the company announced a new version for those who don’t have shared storage but need high availability.

DxConsole HADR Edition sits on top of any data replication solution and allows IT administrators to shift SQL Server data and associated applications across on-premise or cloud storage.

“If they can replicate their storage they have the same instance mobility that our DxConsole shared storage customers have,” said Don Boxley, founder and CEO of DH2i.

“For many SQL Server customers, instead of having to spend hundreds of thousands or millions on replicating data sites, they can leverage the cloud to build a disaster recovery as a service they can control.”

SQL Server customers have other choices for the same capabilities – for example, Windows Server Failover Clustering — but Boxley says they are more expensive.

The HADR Edition come with multi-subnet clustering, so users don’t need to stretch a VLAN from one site to another; automatic failover of SQL Server instances; and a service level framework to ensure whatever SLA’s have been promised can be met.

Essentially, Boxley said, the limit on data recovery time is how much time the customer wants to spend on infrastructure, not the software. So organizations that don’t have a disaster recovery solution can start small – say, 30 minutes recovery – and if they want faster times have to buy more capacity.

The tiny company – it only has 17 customers, including one in Canada – has big ambitions. Boxley likes to say it aims to “jailbreak” applications so customers can move them around at will.

But the average selling price of DxConsole runs into six figures, Boxley says. Both versions of DxConsole cost US$5,000 per physical processor, or US$625 per virtual CPU (minimum of four).

The company also has a free tool called DxTransfer which can migrate SQL Server data from one host to another.

The software is sold either direct or through partners. Boxley said he is negotiating with an unnamed Toronto for Canadian distribution.

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