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Forge Overview

Long Story Short:

Inexpensive Real-time failover capability locally, or to a
fully functional alternative Data Center, or both.

Every organization runs their operations using computers in general, and servers in particular. Every company runs the risk of expensive downtime if these servers go offline for any reason. Every company seeks to protect not simply the data held within these servers, but the entire server system itself in a method that would allow for minimal loss and very rapid total recovery under any circumstances.

By dramatically reducing the time, cost and specialized technical resources required to plan, provision, deploy and test a Data Disaster Recovery system, the PlateSpin Forge Appliance, or hosted PlateSpin Forge service, offers the most comprehensive, compelling and affordable automated server protection solution on the market today.

The bottom line is those responsible for protecting the firms critical operations, will not be stuck holding a suspect bag of tapes if the system goes down. Forge enables companies of any size to enjoy the same  high functionality, geographically distributed, low RTO and RPO system protection Fortune 500 companies have relied on for years, at a right-sized cost for today’s budgets.

Long Story:

The logical evolution of system protection for Physical and Virtual Servers


PlateSpin Forge is a consolidated recovery hardware appliance that protects both physical and virtual server workloads using embedded virtualization technology. In the event of a production server outage or disaster, workloads can be rapidly powered on in the PlateSpin Forge recovery environment and continue to run as normal until the production environment is restored.

Designed to protect between 10 and 25 workloads, PlateSpin Forge ships with all storage, applications and virtualization technology pre-packaged and ready to go. Organizations can also opt to leverage existing SAN storage for the recovery environment. For larger implementations, multiple PlateSpin Forge appliances can be deployed and centrally managed through a “single pane of glass” management console.

By dramatically reducing the time and specialized technical resources required to plan, provision, deploy and test a recovery environment, PlateSpin Forge puts workload protection and recovery within reach for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as departments and branch offices within larger enterprises. With PlateSpin Forge, organizations can begin reliably protecting their physical and virtual workloads in a matter of hours as opposed to months.

The Value Proposition
  • Recover multiple workloads using a single recovery appliance
  • Consolidate workloads for a 10 to 1 or 25 to 1 workload protection ratio
  • Power on recovery workloads with a single click
  • Rapidly restore workloads to the same or different hardware
  • Quickly run DR “fire drills” to test restore times and disaster readiness
  • Easily monitor and report on key replication and recovery functions
  • Improve RTO and RPO without costly hardware/software redundancy
  • Single pane of glass visibility across multiple appliances

Workload Protection

Whole Workload Replication
PlateSpin Forge enables data centers to protect the entire server workload including data, applications and operating systems within a single bootable recovery environment. In contrast to data-centric recovery approaches, whole workload protection provides a context for recovered data and allows organizations to avoid the common hassles of manual system rebuilding and disjointed system and data restore. Organizations can affordably protect physical and virtual workloads with a single technology investment. Workloads can be protected locally or remotely across a wide area network (WAN).

Block, File and Snapshot Replication
High-speed block-level replication protects transactional workloads such as email servers and database servers. With block-level transfer, only the portion of a file that has changed is replicated, making it ideal for incrementally synchronizing large database workloads without application interruption. Block-level replication also enables efficient offsite data transfers. File-based replication provides a simple, noninvasive solution for moving or copying less critical workloads while maintaining server uptime. Replication snapshots that combine file-based replication with Volume Shadow Copy Service on Windows Server 2003 enable point-in-time replication with no application interference.

Rapid One-Click Failover
In the event of a disaster, recovery time is just a matter of powering on PlateSpin Forge's virtual standby workload. Upon receiving a failure alert by email, Blackberry or within the Web-based user interface, the administrator can rapidly recover workloads with a single mouse click.

Failback Flexibility
Leveraging PlateSpin's multiplatform Workload Portability™ technology, PlateSpin Forge provides flexible restore options. Workload failback can be rapidly executed to any physical or virtual host regardless of manufacturer, make or model.

Multiple Recovery Points
Platespin Forge supports multiple recovery points which allow enterprises to roll back to the last known good state of a protected workload. This feature enhances business continuity by eliminating the risk of recovering a corrupted workload. Administrators can customize the number of recovery points to achieve an optimal balance between storage allocation and protection requirements.

SAN Integration
PlateSpin Forge integrates with existing storage area networks to easily accommodate current and future recovery requirements. Enterprises can benefit from PlateSpin Forge’s unique workload protection capabilities while taking advantage of existing storage within their SAN environment. Powerful dashboard and management capabilities allow enterprises to seamlessly protect a greater share of workloads across the SAN. PlateSpin Forge supports both iSCSI and fiber channel SANs.

Efficient Workload Protection Over the WAN
For enterprises that maintain a geographically- dispersed recovery site, PlateSpin Forge provides highly efficient workload transfer over the WAN. PlateSpin Forge’s Server Sync feature enables incremental synchronization for migrating large workloads with no need for a full refresh, optimizing bandwidth efficiency.

Protection for 64-bit
Windows Workloads

PlateSpin Forge provides file-based protection for critical 64-bit Windows workloads such as Microsoft Exchange 2007. As enterprises increasingly adopt 64-bit Windows servers, PlateSpin Forge provides a future-proof disaster recovery investment for protecting new and existing workloads.

Events, Tasks and
Actionable Alerts

PlateSpin Forge creates, distributes and logs events to facilitate better management of the disaster recovery plan. Users can be notified of events through email so they don't have to actively monitor systems to stay on top of the disaster recovery plan. When an event occurs that requires user interaction such as executing a workload failover, for example, a task is created with actions associated with it so users know exactly what needs to be done to quickly rectify the issue. Finally, event logging provides a comprehensive audit trail to validate, review and report on the disaster recovery plan.

Protection Tiers
PlateSpin Forge provides the ability to logically group workloads by RTO, RPO and level of criticality. Protection tiers help to elevate recovery planning from the technical level to the business service level.

Recovery Resource Pooling
Because a single PlateSpin Forge appliance can recover up to 25 workloads, organizations can share a pool of recovery resources. Recovery resource sharing brings dramatic cost savings since organizations do not need to invest in dedicated duplicate hardware and operating system licenses.

Workload Protection Metrics
Through purpose-built, preconfigured reporting, users can quickly access all the pertinent metrics needed to report on the health of their recovery and protection plans such as actual versus target recovery objectives, replication window sizing and protection logs for auditing purposes. All reports can be exported into Microsoft Excel for further analysis or raw report data can be queried through a simple ODBC connection.

Centralized management console
PlateSpin Forge provides “single pane of glass” visibility across multiple PlateSpin Forge appliances, allowing enterprises to cost-effectively scale their recovery environment to match current and future needs simply by plugging in additional appliances. The centralized management console reduces administrative efforts and brings peace-of-mind that all server workloads are protected in the event of an outage.
Ease-of-Use

“Plug In and Protect”
Server Workloads

PlateSpin Forge provides complete protection for up to 25 physical or virtual workloads straight out of the box. All necessary hardware, storage, consolidated recovery software and virtualization technology are prepackaged, preconfigured and ready to go, significantly reducing the time and effort required to deploy a disaster recovery solution.

Simple Web-Based Management
PlateSpin Forge includes an intuitive Web-based interface for managing, monitoring and reporting on all aspects of workload protection and recovery. An ever-present dashboard enables users to view the status of their protection plan at all times. The Web-based interface is extremely easy to use, dramatically reducing the time, effort and training required to ramp-up and remotely administer the recovery solution.

Easy Test Failover
Unprecedented one-click test failover allows the data center user to rapidly test the integrity of workload replication. With a mouse click, the user can take a virtual snapshot of the recovery workload, power it on within a private internal network and quickly validate the recovery plan. Because the failover test is fenced off from the production network, the user can work freely without having to be concerned with conflicts or the integrity of the production environment. Since tests are performed on a disposable snapshot that can simply be removed when testing is complete, there is no need to run a full replication as with most other replication solutions.

Failover Preparation
In the event of a possible production failure, users are able to power up the recovery workload in a fenced off network while the failure is confirmed. Users can then go live with the workload and rapidly "drop the fence" to bring the recovery workload online to failover for the production system or simply shutdown the recovery workload if the failure is a false alarm.

Remote Control
With no boot CDs or physical contact with the primary or recovery workloads required, PlateSpin Forge provides a single control point, saving time and costs associated with having to interact directly with production hardware at production or remote recovery sites. This can be particularly valuable in branch office scenarios where central control of a multi-site environment is critical. Additionally, replication agents are automatically deployed and updated.
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