|By Josh Mazgelis||
|June 25, 2014 03:18 PM EDT||
OK, I’m excited. The latest release of Neverfail IT Continuity Architect has landed with some of our most requested features and we just can’t wait for you to try it out for yourselves. When I got walked through a demo of the new features last week I knew this was going to be a big step forward for our new IT business continuity product.
If you’re not already familiar with IT Continuity Architect (sometimes called ITCA or simply “Architect”) then let me tell you briefly what it can do for you. Right from the start, Architect helps you establish exactly what you have in place today for computing infrastructure, applications, and most importantly, Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions for those applications and data. Once you define your Service Level Agreements (SLA) tiers for Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and start assigning protection tiers to your business applications, Architect creates a gap analysis between where you are with DR capabilities and where your SLAs state you want to be. Architect ensures that your IT recovery plans will meet business expectations and highlights any gaps in your protection plan so that they can be addressed quickly. Architect also provide ongoing monitoring of IT continuity, alerting you to changes in the environment, faults in DR implementations, and adherence to availability SLAs. There’s a lot more to it, but that should give you an idea of how IT Continuity Architect helps simplify an otherwise complex and time-consuming assignment.
Now, what is it that changed in this new release? I’m so glad you asked! There’s quite a bit, really, but these are the big things that really got me excited about this release:
- Virtualization platform agnostic deployment and management support
- Architect virtual appliance can now be deployed on any virtualization platform of choice (e.g. Hyper-V, Xen, VirtualBox, etc.) and no longer requires a VMware vCenter Server or VMware vSphere environment for installation. In addition, Architect can now also be managed from a standalone web-browser interface that eliminates the need for it to be accessed as plugin to the VMware vSphere Web Client.
- Role-Based access control
- Architect now supports role-based access controls that include “Administrator” level privileges that allow full access to all operations available within Architect, as well limited “read-only” privileges that enable users to view Architect inventory, configuration, and reports, but prevents them from changing any configuration.
- VMware vSphere thick client support
- In addition to being managed via a plugin to the VMware vSphere Web Client, Architect can now also be managed via a plugin to the traditional VMware vSphere thick client. Or, of course, you can skip the client and use the standalone web-browser interface mentioned above.
- Automatic discovery and tiering of common business services
- Upon deployment, Architect can automatically discover common business services and based on dependency assessment, auto-assign them to Protection Tiers. Application categories such as databases, communication, and web services can be automatically discovered by Architect.
- Linux blueprinting support
- Architect now supports blueprinting of Linux operating systems. A number of Linux platforms have been explicitly tested and certified against Architect. Other Linux platforms are also likely to be discovered and analyzed by Architect, even though they have not been explicitly tested as part of this release.
- Email based Alerts
- Architect now allows alerts generated by its monitoring services to be sent as notifications to configured email addresses. These primarily include alerts associated with any changes in SLA or availability status.
- Scheduling and Email Delivery of Reports
- Architect enables automatic generation of reports pertaining to dashboard summary views, alerts status and protection overview on a scheduled basis to be delivered via email to designated recipients.
- Network traffic accounting
- Architect can now capture and report on network statistics pertaining to incoming and outgoing traffic for all systems that can be successfully blueprinted.
- Inventory support for other non-certified BCDR protection technologies
- Architect now offers partial support for other BCDR protection technology solutions that cannot be automatically detected by its blueprinting process. This allows users to define custom protection technologies associated with these non-certified protection technologies, manually configure protection assessment as appropriate and assign these custom technologies to the respective entities. This allows for a more holistic protection assessment baselining process across the entire Architect discovered inventory.
- Filtering enhancements
- In the Architect Environment list page, users can now selectively filter the inventory list based on protection technology as well as operating system (OS) platform.
- Hidden entities
- Architect allows users to hide entities from the inventory that are not important for assessment of BCDR protection gaps or from an SLA management point of view. Users can also choose to unhide any hidden entities on demand as business needs change.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about IT Continuity Architect and worked on a lot of demos myself as well. These features really are great enhancements to the product. Being able to work independently of a VMware environment and being able to manually define protection types and capabilities for solutions that we don’t yet automatically classify are probably two of the biggest requests, right up there with automatic notifications and scheduled reporting. Whether you’re building DR plans for your own enterprise IT or private cloud, or if you’re providing BC/DR services to your clients or subscribers, Neverfail IT Continuity Architect helps make easy work out of a daunting task. Download a trial and get started today!
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