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Acronis Backup & Recovery adds file backup, virtual machine protection

Acronis adds traditional backup features to its Backup & Recovery 11 image restore application, enhancing file backup and virtual machine protection.

Image-based recovery specialist Acronis Inc. extended its file backup and virtual machine protection capabilities, and enhanced its cloud backup offering today with the launch of Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.

By adding core data backup features to the bare-metal restore application, Acronis is trying to appeal to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by putting backup and disaster recovery (DR) in one application.

Backup & Recovery 11 adds the ability to catalog and search for specific files across tape, disk or the cloud as well as simultaneously back up virtual VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines. It also uses a single agent for ESX hosts, supports Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) for Hyper-V, and backs up virtual machines directly to storage without going over the network.

Acronis expanded the cloud backup service it launched last August, increasing the storage space in Backup & Recovery 11 Online to 500 GB for workstations, 1.5 TB for servers and 4 TB for virtual machines. While most backup applications will move data off to cloud storage service providers such as Amazon S3, AT&T and Nirvanix, Acronis hosts its own cloud service with data centers in the United States and Europe.

Acronis is also pledging support for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server in the second half of the year. Its Exchange module will provide bare-metal recovery and granular restores of individual emails or mailboxes.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 costs $1,399 per server. The vendor charges a separate license for data deduplication.

“Most customers have traditionally used Acronis for DR,” Acronis VP of business development Izzy Azeri said. “We didn’t have rich support for traditional backup. With [version 11], we’re introducing more traditional backup features such as the ability to catalog all data and search data on-site or in the cloud.”

Acronis’ backup features don’t go beyond what established backup vendors already offer, but it allows SMBs to have their image restores for DR and backup in one application. Taneja Group analyst Ashish Nadkarni said larger organizations can afford to use separate products—often from different vendors—for DR and backup, but SMBs might find that cost prohibitive.

“The individual components of the Acronis product are not anything new or unique,” Nadkarni said. “Others are doing cloud-based backups, Exchange and SQL backups, virtual infrastructure backups, and DR offered as a service. But look who Acronis is going after—SMBs—and what it’s offering. It’s simple to set up, and all in one location. It addresses core concerns for SMBs. Almost everybody’s on VMware and Exchange, and their data center footprint is small, so they may need something cloud-based.”

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