What it does

Called ‘Recovery Nodes’, the hypervisor-based appliance essentially hosts virtual servers, which are standing by to start up when a protected server goes down. You can also bring the server up on a ‘test network’ in the appliance just as easily and confirm the recoverability of the application (something that’s not easily done with backup). With one click, users can start the failed server as a virtual server from the current image that’s been backed up on the onQ appliance. In fact you can skip the physical server recovery entirely and run it on the appliance. In a typical deployment, one onQ appliance can support 15-20 Recovery Nodes, but obviously configuration will vary with applications and the infrastructure. Also, since the appliance holds all the prior changes, you can restore the server or a set of files to a prior state, not just the most current state.

Why this matters

Backup system upgrades are driven by backup windows that are too long. But a business can fail because their recovery window is too long. When a ‘bare metal restore‘ for a critical server requires hours or days, the fact that the backup window was met isn’t much consolation. In data protection, it truly is ‘all about the restore’. For companies that are looking into backup appliances, for a little more they can get business continuity - and bypass this painful lesson. The onQ appliance can eliminate the fire drill of the typical server recovery process and simply restart applications on virtual servers which are resident inside the appliance.

The onQ appliance starts at ~$12,000 and sells through the VAR channel. According to Marketing VP, Cliff Hannel, they’re seeing a lot of interest from companies ready to get off of tape and are looking for a DR solution. These people are concerned about the cost and complexity of backup systems and off-site storage, especially when they include the time to recover and restore servers in the equation.

Storage Switzerland’s Take

Historically backup has provided a somewhat false sense of security. Companies did have copies of their data stored, but many found out there was a sizable gap between restoring backed up data and actually continuing the business. And the problem was even more severe for smaller companies. QuorumLabs’ onQ appliance closes this gap and gives companies of any size the ability to restore critical applications in a few minutes and have true business continuity about as easily as putting in a backup storage device.

Eric Slack, Senior Analyst

Briefing Note

Storage Switzerland is at SNW in force again this year and as in years past we will be doing our best to bring you continuous updates from the event. These reports are quick summaries of our meetings at the show.