Start-up Replicate Technologies claims to able to fix configuration errors in virtual environments to prevent faults from wreaking havoc on performance.

Replicate was founded in 2006 by CTO Rich Pelavin, who previously worked as director of engineering at Cisco and is now headed up by former Univa co-founder and COO Rich Miller. The company built its business on the premise that configuration errors cause most downtime, and Miller said that about 15 percent of corporate IT departments continue to report at least one configuration error per day and about half experience one per week, representing about four hours of downtime.

"We have established an immediately available body of knowledge and set of best practices that reflect the specific and customised view of data centers to predict and prevent faults," Miller said. "We can help staff that might not be experts in virtualization more quickly and easily identify errors that could result in downtime."

Replicate Datacenter Analyzer (RDA) 1.0 is a virtual appliance that works in VMware Infrastructure 3 environments. The software installs on an ESX Server, integrates with VirtualCenter and distributes small software probes that collect data via discovery mechanisms to help IT managers get a complete view of configurations. RDA discovers the environment, models the physical and virtual resources, and applies 20 pre-packaged analyses to gauge the data center's security, resiliency and connectivity.

Miller says RDA 1.0 can spot latent issues by using a catalogue of knowledge modules in which best practices for data centre configurations have been embedded. It can also direct alerts regarding problems to the appropriate IT staff member and suggest resolution based on the intelligence Replicate built into the software.

"We can be so detailed about the nature of the problem that the IT organisation can cut back on determining where the root of the problem is and who is responsible for fixing it," Miller explains.

Replicate might find itself competing for budget dollars with companies such as CiRBA, Miller says, but the "heavy network and configuration" angle will differentiate the company going forward.
Replicate is offering a free version of the software that offers a limited number of data gatherings and doesn't deploy agents, but it can be used indefinitely. RDA 1.0 is available now and is priced at $500(£306) for annual subscription per managed dual socket server.