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NetIQ aims PlateSpin Recon at backup, DR analysis

NetIQ's latest version of PlateSpin Recon sizes up backups and disaster recovery needs to help customers plan and optimize those processes.

NetIQ Corp. is extending its server consolidation analysis capabilities into storage to help customers develop more effective backup and disaster recovery plans. The vendor recently released PlateSpin Recon 4.0 software that provides a more granular analysis of storage in physical and virtual server resources.

Mike Robinson, NetIQ's senior product marketing manager, said the latest version of PlateSpin Recon's sizing tool offers deeper insight into how customers can optimize their disaster recovery and backup process by maximizing server consolidation with more specific data to help better protect data. It also allows users to more accurately plan for backup and recovery scenarios.

"Recon 4.0 brings the ability to monitor changes and the rate of storage usage so organizations can properly size it for backup and disaster recovery," Robinson said. "Recon pulls data that looks at network usage, CPU utilization, disk utilization and memory utilization. Recon tracks how resources are used."

PlateSpin Recon 4.0 tracks various metrics across the infrastructure stack, from the application to the storage. It reports on storage disk size and the type of connection, partitions, mount points, partition type and size, volumes, file system, free and used space, and the type of storage, such as if it is local or part of a storage area network.

Other metrics it tracks include the number of processors and cores, MHz speed, the computer name, domain, version of the operating system, along with the make, model and speed of the network adapters, connections and host name. PlateSpin Recon remotely collects hardware and software inventory data, performance metrics for source and target servers, and generates reports to identify the best source and target candidates.

"Recon 3 had the ability to see how much storage is being backed up, but what is more difficult to find is the rate of changes to servers. Recon 4 adds the ability to monitor the rate of changes in servers," Robinson said. "The monitoring shows how much networking or CPU or memory is used as opposed to what is available."

For instance, an organization could have 1 TB of available storage while using 800 GB. That means 800 GB of that 1 TB must be available for backups.

"But that is only a part of storage," Robinson said. "You have to know how much of the data is changing that needs to be backed up. Recon can build scenarios and models until you get the utilization rate that you need."

The latest version of PlateSpin Recon helps identify resources that are poor disaster recovery candidates, such as workloads with unsupported operating systems, workloads with unsupported volumes or file systems, workloads with large volumes, or those that have a high rate of data change.

It monitors the rate of change of actual disk blocks so customers can set more efficient replication frequencies and achieve better recovery point objectives. It also provides model scenarios that report on specifics needed for a new disaster recovery environment, and offers recommendations on the frequency of backups.

The latest version supports platforms, which include most versions of RedHat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu, Novell Open Enterprise Server 11 64-bit, Novell openSUSE, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Windows 8, VMware ESXi, VMware vCenter and Microsoft Windows 2012 Hyper-V.

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