Virtualization Pro

Mar 4 2008   11:23PM GMT

Coming soon: Application High Availability (AHA)

Kutz Profile: Akutz

Scott Lowe recently blogged about things that he loves but are not yet available. VMware, it seems, is getting as bad as Apple in announcing products far ahead of their release dates. This generates great market buzz and sends stock prices soaring (or in the case of VMworld Europe leaving them as low as they have been), but it does little to satiate the desires of systems administrators, it only serves to increase want and provide little respite. Well, then I am about to send you into the Sahara with the promise of an oasis, only to find a sign-post that says “Coming Soon!” at the end of your journey.

Please join me in anticipation of VMware Application High Availability (AHA).

AHA has not been announced by VMware, but it is coming. How do I know this? It is next logical step for their HA portfolio. ESX 3 brought us server HA. 3.5 introduced us to VM HA. And the recent announcement of the VMsafe all but secures the eventual release of AHA.

What is AHA? Simply put, you will be able to right-click on a VM from the VI client and indicate that if Microsoft Exchange fails then the Exchange service should be restarted, or the VM should be failed over to another ESX server. Or perhaps you want to monitor the Apache web server — just check a box. How will VMware achieve this level of fine-grained control? Allow me to refer to the VMsafe product page:

Process execution
VMsafe provided in-guest, in-process APIs that enable complete monitoring and control of process execution.

This API will allow VMware to monitor and control processes within the guest OS. That, my friends, is how AHA will work.

AHA will allow VMware to take even more market share away from companies like Sun and Microsoft, both who have their own clustering technologies. Why cluster at the OS-specific level when you can create clusters the same way no matter the OS or application underneath!

VMsafe is set to debut later this year, and I am quite certain that alongside VMsafe, or shortly thereafter, we will see VMware announcing and releasing its application level high availability software. I hope you aren’t too parched : )

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