DxEnterprise® on Windows: Enterprise-Critical Smart Availability Software for Microsoft Windows

DxEnterprise® frees you from the datacenter complexity and suffocating licensing costs of Windows Server OS sprawl. You get complete enterprise workload and data portability from any host, to any host, anywhere with just an application stop and restart. DxEnterprise (DxE) ensures the best execution venue for all instances and containers—bringing total optimization to your environment. And you can cohesively manage any workloads on any Microsoft-supported version of Windows Server.

The Only Instance-Level Encapsulation Technology with Data Tier Portability

DxE leverages a first-of-its-kind abstraction technology that enables workload and data portability (what we call InstanceMobility) and high availability for any Windows Server container, SQL Server instance, Oracle Database instance, file share or service. Our pioneering Vhost technology creates a framework for orchestrating datacenter management, high availability/disaster tolerance, lowest downtime modernization, and policy-based SLA management. DxE leverages native Windows file system (NTFS) and shared or replicated storage technology to coordinate access to a pool of disk resources in the cluster, for consistent disk presentation no matter which host the Vhost is active on—including persistent disk resources for highly available stateful Docker containers. DxE supports Azure shared disks which allow organizations to build highly available clustered SQL Server instances and easily migrate their existing on-premises deployments to Azure. DxE can support any current version or edition of SQL Server, Oracle and OS across any bare-metal, virtual or hybrid infrastructure.

Simplify Workload Management

With DxE software, you can easily create logical host abstractions called “Vhosts” that decouple applications and containers from your datacenter’s infrastructure. More importantly, DxE helps you manage these Vhosts to protect your business from infrastructure, OS or application faults. In less than 30 seconds, workloads can be dynamically moved from one server host to another with a consistent application endpoint regardless of where the instance or container is running. Now, instead of deploying just one instance per host, you get no-risk deployment of multiple instances per virtual or bare-metal machine and can reduce your total OS and host count. And for Docker deployments, you get true HA and mobility for your containers between hosts while maintaining state upon container movement.

Easy Onboarding with Minimal Prerequisites

DxE is lightweight software that installs in just 6 clicks, and layers seamlessly onto new or existing bare-metal, virtual, cloud or hybrid deployments. The intuitive interface lets you go from standalone to clustered in minutes. If necessary (for instance, for troubleshooting purposes), our double-click uninstall leaves your host exactly as it was, and you can seamlessly upgrade DxE to the most current release with no impact to running workloads. DxEnterprise also supports Cloud Witness in Azure, enabling customers to easily use Azure cloud services to act as a cluster witness to avoid split-brain scenarios.

DxE Supports Nearest-to-Zero Downtime

In a native Windows clustering configuration, the typical OS upgrade option is to build a new cluster, then go through the complex and resource-intensive process of migrating the application instances to the new cluster. With DxE, each cluster node can be upgraded in place without rebuilding the cluster. No more long downtime windows while applications are migrated. No more barriers to OS upgrades of your clustered environments.

The lightweight Vhosts created with DxE move only an IP address, network name and disk resources from one Windows server to another, not the entire operating system configuration and application installs. For application, OS or infrastructure updates, simply update non-active managed application installations first, and then move the instance to the updated node. This allows for application, OS and/or infrastructure updates at the speed of an application stop and restart to the updated node.

You get:

  • Safety of parallel deployment
  • Known good failback target
  • No application outage during update
  • Patch during working hours

Datacenter Monitoring, Management and Self-Healing

DxE is self-healing for both health and application performance to meet quality-of-service (QoS) and service-level agreement (SLA) requirements. DxE lets you embed conditional logic as an extension to the management framework to enable workload coordination for any event-handling or customization. Applications will always behave the same way regardless of where they’re active

Our intelligent resource manager can automatically load-balance application instances to ensure performance even when the cluster may be in a degraded state, and you can protect every instance with independent, portable QoS controls. The software also provides high-level traffic-light alerting. Management is intuitive and flexible, using our graphical interface, Windows PowerShell or DxMobi, our mobile app for Android or iOS smartphones. For deeper troubleshooting, DxE is fully compatible with any datacenter monitoring or management tool.

High Availability at Lower Cost and Dramatically Reduced Complexity

Between Microsoft’s rising software licensing costs and the continued push within IT organizations to do more with less, high availability is becoming harder to realize. With DxE, the cost of software licenses and Windows infrastructure can be dramatically reduced and uptime increased. You can reuse existing infrastructure and you don’t need specialized training in Microsoft’s high availability technologies.

DxE expands on native Microsoft high availability configuration options. While native options require strict configuration—such as the same OS for all members of the Windows cluster—DxE has no such limitations. Cluster nodes can run a variety of OS versions, even across multiple different virtual, bare-metal, or cloud infrastructures, to simplify datacenter management and upgrade requirements.

Optimum high availability can be achieved in the cloud by integrating Azure shared disks with DxE. DxE enhances Azure shared disks by enabling organizations to build highly available clustered SQL Server instances in Azure, while achieving peak consolidation and cost savings through safe instance stacking – all without WSFC.

Feeling Trapped by SQL Server Licensing Limitations?

DxE eliminates the licensing limitations that Microsoft has put in place for Windows clusters and virtualization. Using native features, SQL Server supports only a two-node cluster when using SQL Server Standard edition, requiring SQL Server Enterprise edition as well as Windows Server Enterprise for any clusters with three or more nodes. DxE allows you to use any edition of SQL Server, from Express up to Enterprise, in a cluster containing as many nodes as you wish. You maintain full license compliance, while saving 60% or more in licensing costs. So you can choose SQL Server Enterprise edition for just those instances that require its capabilities.

The traditional deployment model for Windows Server applications such as SQL Server has been 1 application instance per OS. This often results in rampant sprawl—rendering the environment a management nightmare that costs a fortune to run and maintain.

DxE changes all of this with the ability to encapsulate and manage workloads at the instance or container level. On average, DxE enables an 8-15x reduction in Windows Server OSes by safely stacking instances/containers. Fewer OSes to license and manage means more time and resources for your team to pursue value-added activities in your environment.

Data Persistence for Stateful Docker Workloads

Containers present unique challenges for stateful applications like RDBMSes. When moving or restarting a container, the application state (data) is lost. DxE solves that issue of data persistence for containers. When moving a managed container between hosts, DxE will ensure the data is active wherever the container is running. Learn more here.

Highly Available SQL Server Availability Groups

Availability groups can be difficult to manage, especially when using cumbersome and restrictive cluster orchestration technologies such as WSFC. DxEnterprise for Availability Groups (AGs) enables SQL Server AGs to be made highly available within and between Windows and Linux nodes and across any type of infrastructure. In addition, it supports cloud-native SQL Server AGs in containers, including Kubernetes clusters, enabling organizations to easily build highly available SQL Server availability groups that span multiple SQL Server containers. DxE for AGs also integrates security into AGs by creating the networking tunnels between the nodes that are required for cluster communication and AG replication. DxE’s Express Micro-Tunnels then transmit TCP payloads via UDP for superior performance and security. Learn more here.

Optimize SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery

DxE supports Extended Vhosts (exVhosts) for SQL Server AGs, enabling organizations to optimize their SQL Server environment by combining local high availability (HA) and AGs for remote data protection. ExVhosts allow SQL Server admins to create AGs that span across independent HA instances all within the same cluster, unlike typical SQL Server HA/DR environments that require separate clusters for HA instances and AGs. DxE uses Stacked-Clustering and optional Express Micro-Tunnel technology to further reduce the potential for database transaction losses, meeting near-zero RTO, and accelerate RPO by boosting SQL Server AG performance by 3x. With this advanced technology, there is no need for VPNs and SQL Server workload management is simple with easy to manage end-to-end automatic fault detection and failover. Learn more here.