CA upgraded its ARCServe data protection suite today, adding a disk backup product with bare metal restore and optimizing its backup, replication and high availability (HA) applications in version 15.
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CA ARCserve D2D is the new application, and works independently or with ARCserve Backup 15. Unlike ARCserve Backup, D2D doesn't support data deduplication but CA Recovery Management senior VP Adam Famularo says its block-level incremental backup reduces storage capacity. D2D does a full backup the first time and incrementals with every subsequent backup.
D2D also does bare metal recovery to dissimilar hardware and its single snapshot backup can restore files, volumes, databases or the entire system to physical and virtual servers in one pass. The application supports end user file restore, and has what CA calls a Web 2.0 interface -- it launches inside a web browser with a management GUI that displays the progress of backups/restores and links to support resources.
Gartner Inc. analyst Dave Russell says interface of the D2D product could be what sets it apart from competitors.
"It's in the same vein as HP Data Protector Notebook or IBM's CDP for Files, but the interface is cleaner," he said. "It's very straightforward; they did a lot of work with Web 2.0 technology to make it dynamic and updatable."
In ARCserve Backup 15, CA added granular restores of Microsoft Active Directory and SharePoint. CA also visualized the SRM-type reporting it added in ARCserv 12.5, showing backup status for all servers and geographic locations in one GUI. CA also added support for Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010, and improved backups of virtual servers, making it the same process as backing up physical servers.
Replication and high availability enhancements
With this release, CA is also dropping the XOsoft brand from its Replication and High Availability applications. New features for ARCserve Replication 15 include more granular levels of data replication -- such as continuous or periodic -- to balance resource utilization, support for Exchange 2010 and replication of compressed or deduplicated files.
ARCserve High Availability 15 now can replicate and failover an entire physical or virtual system including the operating system, system state, applications and data. It also supports Exchange 2010 and lets customers group servers collectively for failover to a remote location.
CA acquired XOsoft in 2006, and kept that brand until now. "The XOsoft brand was fairly well known, but ARCserve has more brand recognition because it's been around for 20 years," Garnter's Russell said. "And there's more integration between the products now, so the rebranding makes more sense."
All of the applications are available individually or part of a suite.
Beta users give the new ARCServe products high marks for their interfaces, which they say make them easier to use.
Kernel Thomas, manager of networking services for TheStreet.com, is an ARCserve Backup 12.5 customer and says he's been using the version 15 beta for about two months. Thomas says he finds the SRM reports most helpful. He also intends to use ARCServe Backup's data deduplication, which he considered sluggish in the previous version.
"The alerting feature tells me if a server is too busy, so I can fine-tune the backups," he said. "Also, the storage resource feature will tell me what's going on with my servers. I'm using it to find out where we're underutilizing or over-utilizing storage so we can make improvements. I've played with some other features, and I'm starting to get alerts where processors are fighting during backup so we can focus on those."
Thomas says dedupe will help streamline his backups. "In the earlier version, we found it was a little sluggish but this version runs better," he said. "In the older version, the interface was slow to respond. With this one, the interface is much faster and smoother, so we're looking to try a lot of features we didn't try before."
Eric Evans, communications coordinator at Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation in Canaan, CT, is a Symantec Backup Exec customer but says he used ARCserve D2D for bare metal restore when he upgraded a server and added solid state drives (SSDs).
"It was easy to set up and use, I didn't have to second guess on any configuration options," he said. "I had previously used Symantec System Recovery, and it had convoluted options for bare metal. I had to try it two or three times before I got the right configuration. With ARCserve I got it on one shot. Going forward I would like to have it in place on all of our servers. You can't beat the recovery time, you can throw a server on any box you have laying around in a pinch."
Evans says he'll keep Symantec Backup Exec for tape backups for now, but intends to use D2D for disk and eventually solid state storage. "I'll use it to backup certain critical machines," he said. "I can't afford to do it on everything we need to back up, but if solid state prices come down enough, I imagine this will be the only type of backup we'll be doing."