Double-Take Software Targets the Utility Data Center

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Data protection specialist Double-Take Software is preparing to join the likes of Microsoft, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM in the promising utility data center market, according to Chairman, President and CEO Dean Goodermote.

The company is best known for its real-time data replication and rollback software but has also moved into data migration and the cloning of virtual servers. That move was almost by accident, as customers found they could deploy server replicas for more than just failover and fault tolerance, Goodermote said.

A utility data center, or dynamic data center, adapts to the demands placed on it by automatically moving and reassigning resources. For example, processor resources could be taken from one application and used to start extra virtual servers for a higher-priority application.

"We can convert physical servers to VMware and back, or convert them to Microsoft's Hyper-V," Goodermote said. "We want to play in the dynamic infrastructure, filling in gaps for the virtualization guys: We can launch virtual machines, create SANs (storage area networks) on the fly, boot desktop PCs over the SAN," Goodermote said.

"I don't know if it will be competition or co-operation (with Microsoft, EMC and others), but we have 150,000 copies of our software out there, and we want to give people ways to use it for more things," Goodermote said. "You'll have it on your servers to use for replication, then discover over time that you can use it for migration and cloning, too."

He acknowledged that Double-Take is missing some of the management and visibility tools it will need here. "We can plug into MOM (Microsoft Operations Management) now, so it might be complementary to that, but we're going to continue to develop our own capabilities," he said.

Among the company's other planned developments is the addition of data de-duplication.

Goodermote also sought to alleviate concerns over Double-Take's recently announced third-quarter revenue.

Although revenue was up 12.4 percent from a year earlier, it was 7 percent lower than expected. The company claimed this was due in large part to U.S. customers delaying license purchases.

Goodermote said Double-Take has tried selling additional functions, such as data replication, as separate licenses. He added that while this increased license sales in the short term, the company found that bundling add-ons with the core product had a better long-term effect as it improved its customer renewal rates and therefore its recurring revenue.

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