A Spanish company claims to have developed a way for companies to improve the predictability of their disaster recovery plans and has brought the product to the UK.

VirtualSharp software creates a virtual datacentre on the fly to ensure delivery of IT after a major breakdown, such as a cyber attack, terrorism or a natural disaster. "We wanted to shift the paradigm on disaster recovery", said Virtual Sharp CEO Carlos Escapa. "In traditional disaster recovery, SLAs were measured in time. But time objectives are not commitments, organisations wanted to know how quickly they could get services up and running after a disaster – they wanted more predictability."

As befits a former regional manager for VMware, Escapa said that the answer to this problem lay in virtualisation. "The hypervisor and storage layers would give us the opportunity to create the D centre on-the-fly," he said. The company had called the product a disaster recovery orchestrator, he added.

The VirtualSharp product, ReliableDR, uses virtualisation to generate what Virtual Sharp calls Virtual Verification Containers (vVCs) but are, in effect, mini-datacentres. Snapshots of Virtual Machines (VMs) are loaded into the vVCs, and the orchestrator verifies that the IT service is functioning according to recovery policies.

Escapa said that by creating these snapshots on a regular basis customers have much more peace of mind. "As long as the tests are successful, then you always know you have a recoverable point you can go back to." He said that the VirtualSharp offering allowed customers to measure how long disaster recovery would take, typically between eight to 15 minutes. In addition, IT services could be treated individually and different policies could be applied to each service, dependent on how business-critical they were.

Currently, ReliableDR only works with VMware hypervisors although Escapa said that the company was looking to support other virtualisation vendors in future. He said also, that the company was set to introduce disaster recovery as a service at some point in the future.

The company has opened a UK office and, according to Escapa, already has garnered some interest from British customers.