Knowledge Nuggets

Double-Take's H/A Journey: Highly Available To Highly Acquirable!

by Jeff Rhys-Jones on 3 January 2019 14:40pm : 1147

A brief history of (Double-Take) time

With over 10 years experience working on Double-Take software we at ACC are the ideal choice for anyone needing to purchase either licenses or expertise for high availability or server migration projects.

Double-Takes unique replication and migration capabilities are impressive (on one occasion we were able to use it to perform the worlds first 'Windows Update' transplant) but perhaps the most amazing thing about Double-Take, is that after such an epic journey through time (spanning nearly three decades), its core technology is still going strong today (under the Carbonite brand). Such longevity must be considered the ultimate hallmark of outstanding product performance & quality. Double-Take has more than stood the test of time, it has defied convention in that it has continued to improve and evolve through multiple acquisitions. Up to the present day, Double-Take technology remains the impregnable rock which IT managers across the globe cling to for server salvation in times of crisis!

The only downside of such a prolific product journey is that with the passage of time, and with so much change, a little confusion is unavoidable.

Double-Take products have come and gone. There have been multiple product (and company!) re-brands. It could be argued that the hardest part of deploying Double-Take for your server migration or high availability project, is working out what on earth that product you knew and loved from a previously successful project, is actually called today!

"What is (insert Double-Take product name here) called today" is by far our most frequently asked Double-Take query.

In a bid to clear up this confusion we have invested a little time in documenting this amazing products ancestry.

So whether you are searching frantically for Double-Take DR, Double-Take Flex, or perhaps Vision Solutions Double-Take SQL Move, and have hit a dead end - a quick read through our Double-Take product timeline should reveal all!

Once you have found the answer to your Double-Take quandary don't forget that if you would like us to help you on your voyage to high availability or server migration nirvana, all you need to do is get in touch! 

 

Key Double-Take Product Evolution Milestones: 1991 - present day

 

1991

Double-Take is born, created by NSI Software!

2000

Double-Take Version 4. Protects Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0, Server or Workstation but crucially protected applications which included Oracle, MS SQL and MS Exchange also.

GeoCluster functionality. Unlike MSCS (Microsoft Cluster Server) which required both sites to run from centralised shared storage, GeoCluster enabled cluster stretching from site A to site B but with without the requirement of a shared (single point of failure) storage pool.

2006

March: re-brands to Double-Take Software.

July: Launch of www.doubletake.com

2007

January: Double-Take Server Recovery Option announced for system state / fully server restore.

November: Double-Take 5 released.

December: Double Take acquires Time Spring.

Product line up for 2007:

  • Double-Take for Windows
  • Double-Take for Small Business Server (Shadow Caster)
  • Double-Take for Virtualisation

2008

Introduction of ‘TimeData’ product (using technology from acquired TimeSpring) for CDP. Double-Take Linux appears (replication only).

July: Double-Take acquired Emboot Software (netboot/I and Sanfly) (would later become ‘Flex’ product).

October: ‘LiveWire’ product launched (would become Double-Take Backup, then Double-take RecoverNow, and then Double-Take DR).

Product line up end of 2008:

  • Double-Take for Windows
  • Double-Take for Small Business Server
  • Double-Take for Linux
  • Double-Take for Virtual Systems
  • Livewire
  • TimeData
  • NetBoot/i
  • SanFly

2009 

November: Launch of new product line up:

  • Double-Take Availability (previously simply ‘Double-Take’)
  • Double-Take Backup (centralised 'many to one' replication solution)
  • Double -Take Move (single use version of Double-Take Availability specifically designed for migrations)
  • Double-Take Flex launched (from 2008 acquisition of emBoot inc.)

2010

February: Double-Take Cloud launched.

May: Vision Solutions agrees to acquire Double-Take.

VISION SOLUTIONS OWNERSHIP

November: Double-Take Backup re-branded as Double-Take Recover Now.

Double-Take Share appears. Share was a cross database 'translation/transformation' solution, previously going by the name of Replicate 1, previously OmniEnterprise from Lakeview Technologies. Lakeview was acquired by Vision in August 2007. Lakeview did not create OmniEnterprise themselves, they acquired the technology from arch rival Praxis International Inc in October 1998!

2012

DoubleTake 6.0 launched.

2013

DoubleTake 7.0 launched.

2015

Double-Take RecoverNow becomes Double-Take DR

2016

February: Double-Take SQL Move appears (MS SQL Migration solution) - this product is regularly confused with Double-Take Share. SQL Move is essentially Double-Take replication technology accentuated with Powershell scripting. The products main use is to facilitate the migration of SQL Databases from older to newer editions with minimal downtime.

May: Clearlake Capital acquires Vision Solutions “Behdad Eghbali, a Managing Partner of Clearlake. “We are pleased to partner with Vision’s highly talented management team, led by Nicolaas, to continue to grow and build out both the Vision Power Systems and Double-Take Software businesses.”.

November: Double-Take Move For Linux launched.

Late 2016: Double-Take 8 launches.

Product line up at end of Vision Solutions ownership:

  • Double-Take Availability (Windows & Linux)
  • Double-Take DR
  • Double -Take Move (Windows & Linux)
  • Double-Take SQLMove
  • Double-Take Share

2017

CARBONITE OWNERSHIP

January: Clearlake Capital sells Double-Take part of Vision Solutions to Carbonite. Double-Take Share remains at Vision Solutions.

August: Clearlake Capital sells majority share of Vision Solutions and SynSort to Centerbridge Partners.

October: Carbonite introduce Carbonite Availability, Carbonite Move, Carbonite Cloud Migration. Double-Take DR (formally RecoverNow and Backup) is discontinued.

December: Carbonite introduce Carbonite Recover (DRaaS) – a backup as a service solution to Carbonites own cloud.

Product Line up at end of 2017:

  • Carbonite Availability
  • Carbonite Move (also includes SQL Move)
  • Carbonite Cloud Migration
  • Carbonite Recover

2018

May: Carbonite Move re-named Carbonite Migrate.

Carbonite Cloud Migration becomes integrated inside Carbonite Migrate.

Product line-up at end of 2018 (Double-Take technology based)

  • Carbonite Availability
  • Carbonite Migrate
  • Carbonite Recover

The three Double-Take technology based products nicely compliment Carbonite's other backup solutions that cover endpoints and traditional server backup. These capabilities were previously missing from the Double-Take range.

These solutions are currently:

  • Carbonite Endpoint
  • Carbonite Server Backup
  • Carbonite Server VM

The final line up results in an incredibly strong & capable product portfolio, meaning that at last it is now possible to purchase award winning solutions for H/A, Migration, Cloud Backup, Endpoint Backup and Server Backup, all from the same vendor.

Some may say this is great for 'one throat to choke', but I prefer to take a more positive attitude of: 'one back to pat!'

Behind every great product... is a great company

 

Ever since ACC started, it's been a core ethos to not only test products, but the companies behind them. There is only one way to accurately achieve this in our view, and that is to actually buy and use the product ourselves, just like a customer would. 

It is only with proper fully immersive 'road testing' of a product, used with your own equipment and data, that we can get a real-life feel for product reliability, ease of use and support. Also using the product internally on an almost daily basis results in far superior product knowledge, which reduces pressure on the vendors product support team. Finally when a customer asks for a recommendation, it's extremely satisfying to be able to look them in the eye and say, if we use it, we rate it. This is a very powerful sales argument.

But we did not simply get here by ourselves. So we think it's only fitting that, after posting up a slice of Double-Take product history, we also post up a mini 'roll of honour' to thank those key & truly exceptional people involved with Double-Take over the years that assisted and inspired us as partners & evangelists. We thank you all!

Steve Marfisi

Our main technical contact at emBoot - makers of one of our favourite products, NetBoot/i which we used for a number of Boot From SAN deployments. Steve did a truly awesome job in helping us get our head around what was then quite an innovative concept. emBoot was acquired by Double-Take Software in 2008, and so was the initiator to our introduction to Double-Take. This must have been quite a challenging time for Steve but he stuck it out so great credit to him. Netboot/i and SanFly would later become Double-Take Flex, a product which to this day we feel was rather misunderstood at Vision Solutions and therefore it eventually was EOL'd and retired. A great shame!

 Ian Masters

As we came over from emBoot, Ian was one of the first people to welcome us into the Double-Take family and therefore can take much of the credit in changing our perception of the acquisition of emboot from negative to positive. With 10 years of service to the Double-Take cause from 2006 to 2016, and many many product seminars attendances (!) we would like to thank Ian for his excellent partner management.

Mark Adams

Mark started out with Double-Take in 2005, and has only just recently moved on. Mark was our main go-to contact at Double-Take, Vision Solutions and Carbonite for sales related matters and it was this consistency of contact which kept us both loyal and interested in fighting the Double-Take cause. He was certainly always 'Highly Available' when we needed him!

Andy Ebbs

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyebbs/

Since 2006, Andy has been the fountain of all technical knowledge related to Double-Take for us as partners. The title of 'Sales Engineer' may seem somewhat of an oxymoron to some, but actually his ability to clearly communicate technical benefits and requirements to partners was crucial to our partner 'buy in'. Immense product knowledge at the enterprise level, and one of the best SE's n the business. 

Luke Smith

https://www.linkedin.com/in/luke-smith-7b4a9551/

Luke only started with Double-Take in 2016 (when with Vision Solutions) so compared to others, he's a relative newbie! Luke has big shoes to fill from those before him, however he's doing a fantastic job for us now we are Carbonite partners. He deserves a large slice of credit for inspiring us to write this blog!


Comments

Steve Marfisi - 10 January 2019 13:00

Jeff, interesting read, and great trip through memory lane! A little correction is in order, Ian Masters did not come out of emBoot, but was already with Double-Take at the time. He was a huge help and resource us for anything we had to do into the European market. Amazing that you’ve been at accyottta this whole time! I still think the Flex iSCSI boot technology was a great piece of software. We had working proofs of concept for wireless network boot over 15 years ago! You can find me at Fossie Consulting, where I’ve got a small team doing IT managed services at a nice steady pace here in Guelph, Ontario.

Jeff R Jones - 10 January 2019 14:00

Hi Steve! Ah thank you for the observation! It was actually a poorly written sentence, as I when I said 'Coming from emBoot, I was referring to us and not Ian - meaning we (ACC) came to Double-Take from emboot thanks to the acquisition. But it read totally wrong I agree, so I have updated / clarified this! Thanks for getting in touch and great to hear from you again! Jeff

Derek Cheek - 20 February 2019 18:32

Love the recap and timeline of where we have been and seeing where we are going! I've been a part of the ride from early on with the DT teams, and have spent a lot of time with all of the team mentioned above... Its been a great ride and looking forward to where Carbonite takes us!

Jeff R Jones - 20 February 2019 18:41

Hi Derek! Glad you liked the blog and thanks for the kind comments - this was a fun blog to write and research. We will keep on top of products and update this blog as we go!!!

Ian Masters - 21 February 2019 10:54

Hi Jeff, What a wonderful trip down memory lane! Do you know I actually started working with Double-Take in 1998 when Sunbelt Software, distributor, replaced Octopus Technologies with NSI Software. Sunbelt was acquired by NSI in 2006, then the rebrand to Double-Take Software and ultimately listing on NASDAQ later that year. I parted company with them only in 2016 after the acquisition by Clearlake Capital. I was one hell of a ride, one hell of a company and the technology is certainly still going strong.

Jeff R Jones - 21 February 2019 11:05

Hi Ian - great to have you on here & good to hear from you. Perhaps the start of a DoubleTake veterans group!!! :)

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