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VMblog's Expert Interviews: DH2i Talks The Digital Journey Ahead for Today's Enterprise Organizations


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with DH2i's Co-Founder and CEO, Don Boxley, to discuss enterprise organizations' "digital journeys" as well as a critical shift taking place in the industry as an increasing number of organizations think more about "smart availability" over "high availability."

VMblog:  In your discussions with IT leaders, what feedback are you hearing in regards to their digital journey?  What opportunities do they see and what concerns them?

Don Boxley:  Whenever I talk to IT leaders about the opportunities they see in the industry these days, our conversation inevitably ends up on containers. Containerization technology is going through the same cycle that virtual machine technology went through at its inception, and it might surprise you just how soon they will be crossing the threshold from discovery/adoption to production deployment. 

As far as concerns, many IT leaders attest to a struggle their companies are facing with growing management pain. More and more solutions are being brought into an already disparate and complex environment. I hear the most about struggles with SQL Server environments and other heavy-duty databases. Any given environment seems to inevitably end up running multiple versions and editions that all have to be managed differently. This results from the unique requirements present in the large variety of frontend applications that most IT organizations support.

When you juxtapose this trend with another apparent trend-the end users' decreasing tolerance of downtime-it becomes very clear very fast that the direction many IT organizations are headed is not sustainable and something needs to change.

VMblog:  What advice are you offering in terms of how to speed and optimize transformation?

Boxley:  Instead of continuing to try and manage all sorts of disparate solutions within your environment-whether that means hiring more staff or working longer hours-try looking for new technology and tools that can simplify management in your current environment and increase overall agility. Oftentimes that means going against long-established conventions at your organization, but I can almost guarantee that you will find new and innovative solutions that can provide a great deal of simplification to your operation. If you are working with a Windows, Linux or Docker environment, Smart Availability is a great place to start.

VMblog:  More and more industry analysts are touting "smart" availability over "high" availability.  What's the difference, and why should we care?

Boxley:  We like to think of the difference between Smart Availability and high availability as embodying both a significant difference in mindset and a bigger difference in the technology. Many IT pros are stuck in the mindset that high availability software only includes is a solution for mitigating unplanned outages-and their schema for the technology is that it will always be complex to manage and cost a fortune to license. A "smart" approach to availability turns these paradigms upside down. Generally, it encompasses the confidence that availability technology isn't an inconvenient, hard-to-manage necessity in your environment. Instead it is an invaluable tool that cannot only minimize planned and unplanned downtime, but also help facilitate the optimization of your environment as a whole-from a total downtime perspective, a utilization perspective and cost perspective. 

From a technical standpoint, Smart Availability software blows traditional HA solutions out of the water. Built-in, intelligent automation goes past just making sure that virtual machines are replicated and up and running. Smart Availability focuses at that the workload -level to ensure that all native and containerized workloads are running at their best execution venues-performing at an optimal level on the infrastructure at which it makes the most sense. Smart Availability also employs easy modernization capability in which you can failover workloads into OS or application updates in just a matter of seconds. Lastly, Smart Availability technology mitigates growing complexity and simplifies future growth by unifying the management of Windows, Linux and Docker workloads in a single highly available, management environment.

VMblog:  You recently launched DxEnterprise version 17.  Could you tell us a bit about it and how it addresses our aforementioned conversation?

Boxley:  That is correct. Our DxEnterprise software has been around and helping customers get HA, consolidate and save money in their SQL Server on Windows environments since 2011. The recent release of DxEnterprise v17 marks the first time that we are bringing the capabilities of our software to Linux and Docker environments in addition to Windows. 

DxEnterprise Smart Availability is the perfect answer to the growing complexity many IT leaders are concerned about because it provides the means to drastically simplify management of a highly available environment by unifying Windows, Linux and Docker-native and containerized workloads. It also provides the ability to minimize total downtime. Our Vhost InstanceMobility technology allows users to transparently move workloads from any host, to host, anywhere, at anytime.   DxEnterprise allows managed workloads to easily and quickly move between differing server versions/types or OS distributions on their respective platforms.  Another common use case for DxEnterpise is the easy failover of workloads into OS and application updates in seconds-completely eliminating the need for long migration projects that incur a lot of application downtime.

Lastly, the built-in, intelligent, management capability of DxEnterprise v17 provides peace of mind that native and containerized workloads are up and running where it makes the most sense in your environment. Not only can DxEnterprise ensure that SLAs and other business requirements are met, but it allocates these workloads across the managed infrastructure where they can perform at an optimal level.

VMblog:  Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Boxley:  We believe DxEnterprise v17 has the power to help many organizations with their availability needs concerning Windows, Linux and Docker-especially those with heavy-duty RDBMS workloads-so we are offering 30-day trial licenses for organizations to try out DxEnterprise v17 free-of-charge and we encourage any firm with high availability requirements to look into this opportunity.


Published Friday, September 29, 2017 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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