Arcserve UDP vs. Company Vm – Part 2

In this second and final post comparing Arcserve UDP and Company Vm, we will focus on some very important differences in our respective backup and recovery technology. Let’s first remember that Company Vm focuses only on data protection for virtual environments, and by definition, creates serious gaps in their ability to support hybrid environments.

Support for physical systems is a built-in capability with Arcserve UDP. While many production environments may be highly virtualized, not everyone is 100% virtualized yet, nor do industry analysts seem to believe it will ever be the case. This underscores a very real need to offer support that protects physical systems in addition to virtual servers, or customers have no choice but to run multiple solutions, which is counter-productive and doesn’t deliver coherent restores across the environment.   Arcserve UDP supports both physical and virtual sources, and rrestores to physical and virtual destinations.

In terms of flexible recovery options, Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) is a “must-have” in a data protection solution, and allows you to quickly recover when a complete system fails. Customers often resort to “adding on” other BMR products when their “virtual system only” product does not offer this capability. With Arcserve UDP, customers get instant BMR to support local and remote bare metal recovery of Linux physical machines. Instant BMR provides better restore capability and an improved end-user experience by enabling instant access to a target machine prior to the entire recovery process being finished. This feature empowers users to instantly regain access into a failed physical Linux node, and is a first of its kind.

Let’s talk about tape. Tape is not a primary backup medium anymore as most end-users today have adopted disk to disk strategies (i.e. backing up to disk vs. tape). However, there are still many reasons to use tape as a secondary backup medium for long term retention or archival requirements. Company Vm’s V9 technology introducedadvanced” tape support, including parallel processing, concurrent copy sessions and GFS Rotation schemes (Grand Father, Father, Son). However, you can’t “improvise” tape support; it takes years to master it – and Company Vm’s support is very basic. In contrast, Arcserve UDP offers actual advanced tape features, such as: multiplexing (2-32 jobs), multi-streaming, device group and media pool, GFS rotation and synthetic backup, append media, media maximization, media pool manager, tape library option and auto library detection and configuration, bar code support, auto inventory, auto eject media, monitor blank media quantity, tape management and tape vaulting, auto tape cleaning and configurable block size for tape. We could go on, but hopefully you see the stark differences in our tape support.

As far as remote office protection, it’s important to protect business data no matter where your employees are located, and to protect those data nodes in an efficient fashion. Company Vm’s solution requires a separately installed WAN Optimization service (and that’s for their Enterprise edition only). In comparison, Arcserve UDP’s Recovery Point Replication is included in all the versions of our solution, and our Gateway feature provides fast WAN Transfer that makes it highly efficient.

There are also differences in how Arcserve approaches cloud backup and replication, compared to Company Vm. Cloud backup and replication allows for the backup product console to connect to a cloud-based service provider. This lets you replicate VM copies or backup points offsite into the cloud as a disaster recovery solution.

With Arcserve, the target Hypervisor is cross-compatible, and the source and target Hypervisor can differ in this instance. Also, Arcserve supports this on physical servers at the source which allows for physical to virtual (P2V) to the service provider. With company Vm, one of the limitations is if you’re replicating from Hyper-V, your service provider must provide Hyper-V. Not very flexible, is it?

Finally, in contrast to Company Vm’s software and cloud partnership only, Arcserve UDP is available as a software solution but also as an appliance, in addition to the Arcserve Cloud.

Arcserve UDP Windows Remote BMR with WDS

 

With the new release UDP6, so comes the functionality of instant Linux BMR (Bare Metal Restore) which allows you to recover physical hardware remotely and instantly. This feature would be also be great for Windows environments not yet available.

A great solution for the remote recovery of physical Windows servers is to use Windows Deployment Service (WDS) integrating Arcserve UDP 6 Restore Capabilities with WDS, allowing for remote physical restore. It is no longer a requirement to have an engineer standing in front of your data centre rack to run system state recoveries on your physical system.

In this post I explain how I have created such an implementation and tested it!

The prerequisites are a Windows server and DHCP server (I used Virtual Servers in my testing but it applies to physical servers too).

The process would be to access your physical server through remote BIOS (e.g. ILO, IPMI or IDRAC or similar) and setting the server to network boot, at which point the server will PXE boot the Arcserve Windows BMR ISO files.

I used one server for the implementation: Server 2012 R2, running Arcserve UDP Console and RPS roles. I added Windows roles WDS and DHCP.

Installation guidance for WDS and DHCP:

How to install and configure Windows WDS

Installing and configuring DHCP

 

This one server had an Arcserve agent, so I created a BMR ISO for X86 and X64 compatible with ADK 8.1. You can create both Windows 8 and Windows 7 compatible boot kit ISOs for Server 2008 and 2012 physical server spreads in your environment.

*One important thing to note: if you run WDS and DHCP on the same server then some properties need to be altered on WDS as they both listen on the same port.

Port

Once your BMR ISOs are created, browse to their location and mount ISOs.

Then open WDS MMC through Server Manager: under “Boot Images” browse, select add boot image and follow the wizard.

How to add boot images

 

Unfortunately WDS can’t use ISO format boot images and requires .WIM.

Browse Image location to:

ISO:\AMD64\SOURCES\BOOT.WIM for X64

ISO:\X86\SOURCES\BOOT.WIM for X86

Name your images as this will be displayed at your boot screen.

Add Image

Once the image has been created and stored, you can begin a network boot. (Log into server remote BIOS interface, initiate boot from network device.)

DHCP will assign an IP address and discover PXE proxy “WDS Server”.

Press F12 to Boot into PXE.

PXE

You can now see available images to boot from.

Boot

arcserve

After boot select you will then see the Arcserve Bare Metal Recovery screen.

This is great for large workstation environments and multiple remote sites.