Every business, large or small, relies on information technology to underpin its operations. Indeed, IT delivers your competitive edge and your business differentiation; and in today’s Internet economy, customers and business partners use your systems around the clock. Just like internal users, they expect your IT service to be highly reliable, always there. They demand continuous availability.
However, virtualization, 7x24 business operations and big data are coming together to create the perfect storm for IT departments that are charged with keeping the business running. This is making it harder than ever to meet business continuity requirements. Why?
- Modern applications have multiple components that can span both virtual and physical platforms, making them complex to recover.
- Unprecedented data growth puts more stress than ever on legacy disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure.
- IT budgets are static or shrinking in today’s challenging economic conditions.
In the face of frequent and increasingly severe threats such as storms, hurricanes, earthquakes - or even mundane power or component failures - you need to meet ever more stringent service availability requirements in a much more fast-paced, complex data center. And you need to achieve this with less staff, less resource and less budget than ever before.
Introducing Neverfail Heartbeat Failover Engine
Neverfail’s Heartbeat Failover Engine was designed to keep users continuously connected to their critical applications in the face of any threat to system availability. It’s the only continuous availability solution that focuses specifically on eliminating the potential impact of system downtime on end users and the applications that they depend on.
Heartbeat provides immediate, ongoing and significant benefits:
Keeps users connected to their critical applications. Heartbeat automatically monitors application health in real-time to identify and fix problems before they cause downtime.
Protects complete applications. Heartbeat manages availability for all components of complex, multi-tier applications with integrated support for major Microsoft applications.
Provides a single availability solution for physical and virtual platforms. Heartbeat simplifies Disaster Recovery management through a single solution that spans heterogeneous server environments.
Reduces bandwidth requirements for Disaster Recovery. Heartbeat cuts bandwidth needs by up to 80% with integrated WAN acceleration capability, making it easier to protect “big data” applications.
Leverages existing investments in VMware vSphere infrastructure. Heartbeat’s integration with the vSphere management client, Site Recovery Manager and VMware HA extends the utility of these investments.
Continuous Application Protection and Health Monitoring
Heartbeat maintains multiple synchronized instances of any Windows applications and automatically monitors application health in real-time to identify and fix problems before they cause downtime. If a site-level disaster strikes, Heartbeat delivers industry-leading rapid site-to-site failover to keep businesses running.
Protects Multi-tier Applications Seamlessly
Heartbeat eliminates consistency issues that make complex, multi-tier applications difficult to recover by enabling any set of application components or services to be aggregated into a single failover unit. Out-of-the-box application intelligence automatically detects data sets, services and dependencies for popular Microsoft applications including SharePoint, SQL and Exchange, as well as other Windows applications. Best of all, it doesn’t matter how application components are distributed across physical or virtual platforms because the Heartbeat Engine works consistently across the entire range of physical and virtual server platforms.
Heartbeat incorporates WAN acceleration technology with real-time data de-duplication that reduces replication volumes by up to 80 percent. This translates into decreased WAN bandwidth requirements, reduced costs and increased WAN capacity for additional applications. While the cost of storage has come down over the years, the cost of bandwidth has not. Neverfail’s patented WAN Acceleration technology not only provides cost savings, but also ensures your project maximizes return on investment.
Heartbeat offers tight integration with a broad range of VMware technologies to protect and extend existing virtualization investments. The Heartbeat user interface includes a plug-in for the latest vSphere client so all management activities can be performed from within VMware vCenter Server. Heartbeat allows you to extend vCenter and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) workflows to include physical servers. Finally, Heartbeat’s real-time application monitoring system has been integrated with vSphere HA Clusters, so that virtual clusters become application-aware and can remediate application-level failures.
Integrated Continuous Availability
Heartbeat incorporates the full range of technologies required to deliver on the promise of continuous availability: real-time application monitoring, run-time system remediation with failover/failback automation, data replication, cross-platform support and WAN acceleration. Many organizations attempt to piece together continuous availability infrastructures by integrating point solutions. In the era of increasing complexity and stretched IT budgets, Heartbeat has pre-integrated all these technologies in a single, capable product so you don’t have to! Heartbeat offers the most accessible solution for customers with limited technical capabilities but who still demand the most comprehensive protection available.
Who Uses Heartbeat?
More than 2,500 companies, including UNISYS, Cisco and Fox trust Neverfail to protect their businesses. Our customers can sleep easier at night because Neverfail Heartbeat can detect and respond to the broadest range of failures automatically, taking the most appropriate action to keep a business running, no matter what threat they face. In addition, Neverfail’s industry-leading technology has been licensed by companies like VMware and SolarWinds to strengthen and support their own offerings.
The Business Requirement
Neverfail’s Heartbeat Failover Engine keeps your applications continuously available. This means there will be no user downtime for applications protected by Neverfail. Period. To do this, Heartbeat protects businesses from the broadest possible range of threats. This requires understanding how and why applications fail - and what to do to mitigate these problems.
The Neverfail Heartbeat Failover Engine logical architecture (Figure 1) outlines the key components of the product. For more information, download the whitepaper Neverfail Heartbeat Failover Engine Architecture.
Proactive Monitoring and Protection
As hardware has become more reliable, failures are more likely caused by software defects or operator error. While components can fail without warning, many application problems can be detected in advance and fixed before they cause downtime. Unlike recovery-based systems which simply to react to failure, Heartbeat Engine protects applications proactively - before a failure ever occurs. Neverfail Heartbeat Failover Engine uses a broad range of instruments to monitor the health of an application eco-system, from the availability, capacity, and consumption of system-level resources to application-level behavior such as response times, service and database availability. These parameters are interpreted by a rules-base system that identifies potential application failure signatures in real time before a failure actually occurs and determines what remediation actions and escalations to take.
Like unhappy families, every application that fails fails in its own unique way. Neverfail provides a range of plug-ins for common Microsoft infrastructure and applications. These plug-ins contain the intelligence to identify when any given component is likely to fail. Heartbeat can also easily be configured to protect custom applications for which no plug-ins is available. In short, any application running on Microsoft Windows can benefit from Heartbeat Engine’s state-of-the-art protection.
Replication, Switchover and Failover
The most important assets requiring protection are the application’s files and databases. Heartbeat protects these through real-time replication of all relevant data including configuration information and registry settings to a hot-standby server that will immediately assume operations if the primary system is compromised for any reason. When a potential application or server error is detected, a set of pre-determined rules are executed which can, for example, be configured to raise system and email alerts and perform a managed switchover to a hot-standby instance before the primary application actually fails. These preventative and protective actions are performed very rapidly and with zero data loss.
Of course, some failures will occur without warning. In this case, Heartbeat will automatically perform a failover - typically less than one minute. To assure continuity, all datasets on the hot-standby system are automatically rolled back to their last consistent point. Neverfail replication can also be configured to keep either one or two hot-standby systems continuously synchronized with the production application, so that local failures may be fixed with failover to a local hot-standby instance, while site-level outages trigger failover to a remote disaster recovery. Once problems with the production system have been resolved, failback is also a fully automated and non-disruptive activity.
Any Application, Any Platform, and No Single Points of Failure
Modern applications can be complex multi-tier, multi-component beasts, and are consequently complex to recover. Taming this complexity is where Neverfail comes in. Since Heartbeat can aggregate any arbitrary set of application components into a single unit for the purpose of failover and failback, multi-tier, multi-component applications can be easily protected. But what if some components are deployed on virtual servers whilst others run on physical servers? Heartbeat works consistently across any hypervisor and any physical server and with no dependencies on shared storage, so there’s no single point of failure. Heartbeat can protect your critical applications wherever they reside so they’re always available.
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Internet Information Server
- VMware vCenter Server*
- SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Monitor*
- Lotus Domino
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server
- Conceivium MobileMonitor Agent for BlackBerry Enterprise Server
- Good Mobile
- Captaris RightFax Server
- Captaris RightFax Connector for Exchange
- eTrust EZ AntiVirus
- McAfee GroupShield for Lotus Domino
- McAfee GroupShield for Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft Antigen for Exchange
- Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange
- Sophos PureMessage for Exchange
- Symantec Mail Security
- Trend Micro ScanMail
Neverfail Heartbeat Failover Engine provides Application Continuous Availability for any Windows application. For many major enterprise applications, Neverfail includes plug-ins that make it simple to quickly configure and deploy Heartbeat on those application servers. Any other Windows application can be protected in a few simple steps by configuring Heartbeat to monitor and failover those applications as well.
Plug-ins for the following applications are available for Heartbeat:
*Neverfail licenses its technology to VMware and SolarWinds. Please contact the respective vendors for pricing and licensing information.
“We chose Neverfail for continuous application availability because it is the only solution on the market that protects our key business applications with simple one-click failover and failback between sites.”