Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability product comparison.
Very few things can be worse for a business than server failure, because it almost always results in data loss and ensues extra cost. This means that traditional data backup and RAID are not enough, no matter how often backup copies are made. That’s why it’s best for IT specialists to add continuous data protection (CDP) products to their environment.
There are quite a few CDP solutions available today and it’s not easy to choose the one that will be perfect for your business. Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability r15 are two products that are worth considering. Both have an extensive list of features and provide comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery for physical and virtual servers. In this review we will compare the two solutions and highlight their features and benefits.
At a glance, Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability have a lot of similarities. Both products offer full system high availability, application and data protection in real time, flexible deployment options and intuitive management.
Both solutions can capture disk writes at the file system level of the host, which allows transparent and reliable data protection. In addition to that, both products combine contiguous replication with Failover capabilities. This is essential for successful disaster recovery, high availability, and centralized backup options on physical and virtual Windows servers.
Similarly, both Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability have flexible exclusion options for files and folders. These options help save bandwidth when replicating non-critical data.
One more thing that both products have in common is command line support in addition to the GUI options. This means that both solutions are designed to suite all types of users – from the not-so-tech-savvy ones to true IT professionals.
Despite all of the above-mentioned similarities, it’s important to remember that both products have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as unique and interesting features.
Double-Take Availability has several strong points. One of them is its advanced technology that ensures near-zero data loss. Another attractive feature is Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) integration that allows the scheduling and recovery from up to 64 point-in-time data copies on physical or virtual targets.
Double-Take Availability also has clustering features that are worth noticing, especially the ability to turn Windows Server clusters into shared nothing clusters. This approach to clustering allows scaling to hundreds of nodes and ensures that production nodes don't suffer performance losses due to node or network failures.
In turn, CA ARCserve High Availability r15 includes new application and platform support, such as support for Windows, Linux and UNIX servers. Its scenario group management groups together scenarios for multiple systems and can protect a variety of distributed platforms, such as repositories, Web applications, and SharePoint.
Another ARCserve’s extremely useful feature is offline synchronization, which is a great alternative to LAN and WAN synchronization when there is a need to quickly transfer large Microsoft Windows data sets and databases. This makes it possible to avoid network utilization and thus significantly speeds up copying data while replication is under way.
In addition to that, the latest release of CA ARCserve High availability (r15.2) provides custom application protection, multi-streamed replication engine, and enhanced customer support.
Advantages of CA ARCserve High Availability
When given the choice, a lot of IT professionals will prefer using CA ARCserve for their business. Generally, this is due to the amount of options offered by CA and the product’s high quality. Here is a closer look at ARCserve’s features and benefits.
CA ARCserve Replication and High Availability (RHA) is based on asynchronous real-time replication plus automated application switchover and switchback. This technology allows the product to deliver cost-effective business permanence for virtualized Windows server-based environments. CA ARCserve RHA replicates data to a local or remote server, which makes it possible to recover the data in case of a disaster like a server crash.
The Full System HA has the potential protect any type of server, regardless of the type of application. Full System HA is application-independent, which means that it lets you transfer a physical machine, containing all system status information, to a Hyper-V enabled replica that supports active server’s guest operating system. Data is replicated to a virtual hard drive (VHD) file that is then stored on the virtual machine. At switchover the physical machine gets disabled and the VHD file is mounted as a disk on the Hyper-V server virtual machine. After that the new virtual machine is booted and integration services are deployed. All this makes CA ARCserve High Availability one of the most reliable products available today.
One of the most important benefits of CA ARCserve High Availability is that it performs volume-level synchronization and not file-level synchronization. This approach is safer and has been proven by independent tests to achieve better performance.
In addition to that, CA ARCserve r15 offers the following advanced features:
• multiple replication types
• offline synchronization
• scenario group management
• SharePoint Farm High Availability
• Microsoft Exchange 2010 support
• Enhanced Microsoft IIS support
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4 support
• data rewind for CDP
• CA Universal Agent
• no-reboot deployment and maintenance, and more
An additional bonus is that CA ARCserve offers multilingual support, which makes it ideal for companies with offices in more than one country.
There is every reason to expect more advanced features from CA in the near future and we look forward to the release of CA ARCserve Beta r16. Hopefully, the new release will support more virtualization architectures. The current release supports only Hyper-V.
Licensing and Pricing
Both Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability have a free trial period. You need to contact Vision Solutions (the publisher of Double-Take) by filling in a form on their website and request a 30-day trial. CA’s trial software is easier to find and is hassle-free to use, as it can be downloaded straight from their website. The trial period lasts for 30 days and begins as soon as the software is activated.
Both CA and Vision Solutions offer comprehensive support options, such as email, phone and chat support. There are also knowledgebase articles and whitepapers, as well as individual support options. It’s worth mentioning that CA went one step further and created a very helpful forum where CA staff and community solve problems together and share useful advice.
Pricing information for both solutions is available upon request.
Preventing data loss is crucial in the modern business environment and both Double-Take Availability and CA ARCserve High Availability are excellent programs to do that. However, CA offers more features and options, not to mention Windows, Linux and UNIX server support. In addition to that, independent test have proven ARCserve High Availability to be exceptionally reliable and not encounter any outbound message losses during Failover. On the other hand, businesses that are using Windows servers and are looking for the most cost-effective solution should look into purchasing Double-Take Availability.
When making a decision, remember that the choice depends on your environment and has to be reliable, cost-effective, and highly customizable.