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.

Top 20 Moments in the History of Backup and Disaster Recovery

History

13.7 billion years BC – The universe begins as a singularity; those who believe in the “big bang” theory suggest the disaster is on-going…

3.8 billion years BC – The start of life on Earth. The first cell is thought to have arisen from self-replicating RNA what developed later into DNA. DNA is a store of biological data, the genetic information that allows all modern living things to function, grow and reproduce. Put another way, you are the backup of your parents. Say hi to the therapist for me.

65 million years BC – Dinosaurs, not backed up.

Dino

13.7 billion years BC – The universe begins as a singularity; those who believe in the “big bang” theory suggest the disaster is on-going…

3.8 billion years BC – The start of life on Earth. The first cell is thought to have arisen from self-replicating RNA what developed later into DNA. DNA is a store of biological data, the genetic information that allows all modern living things to function, grow and reproduce. Put another way, you are the backup of your parents. Say hi to the therapist for me.

65 million years BC – Dinosaurs, not backed up.

Cyrus

 

48 BC – The burning of the Library of Alexandria. Among others in your “Top 10 Lost Books of All Time,” the second book of Aristotle’s Poetics went up in smoke and humanity was beginning to realize the fatal flaw in their cunning backup plan; paper is actually quite flammable.

1347 AD – The first known insurance contract is signed in Genoa, Italy. This was great for those buying and selling goods and owning property but information is difficult to value, most people would rather have their data back than receive compensation for its loss.

1436 AD – Johannes Gutenberg, a former goldsmith, created the first printing press in Germany. He used his knowledge of metalwork to fashion letters out of an alloy, pressing these against ink and then paper to create a copy. This made the printing of multiple copies considerably faster, a great step forward in data resilience.

1539 AD – Image based backup, born. Henry VIII, King of England was trying to decide who to marry next, he sent the artist Hans Holbein to make a reliable copy of what his list of European princesses looked like. Based on these images, Henry made his choice and proposed engagement to Anne of Cleeves only to discover she looked nothing like he expected. Corrupt data/bad copy.

Anne

48 BC – The burning of the Library of Alexandria. Among others in your “Top 10 Lost Books of All Time,” the second book of Aristotle’s Poetics went up in smoke and humanity was beginning to realize the fatal flaw in their cunning backup plan; paper is actually quite flammable.

1347 AD – The first known insurance contract is signed in Genoa, Italy. This was great for those buying and selling goods and owning property but information is difficult to value, most people would rather have their data back than receive compensation for its loss.

1436 AD – Johannes Gutenberg, a former goldsmith, created the first printing press in Germany. He used his knowledge of metalwork to fashion letters out of an alloy, pressing these against ink and then paper to create a copy. This made the printing of multiple copies considerably faster, a great step forward in data resilience.

1539 AD – Image based backup, born. Henry VIII, King of England was trying to decide who to marry next, he sent the artist Hans Holbein to make a reliable copy of what his list of European princesses looked like. Based on these images, Henry made his choice and proposed engagement to Anne of Cleeves only to discover she looked nothing like he expected. Corrupt data/bad copy.

Manchester

1964 AD – Mass market computing begins, the Programma 101 was unveiled to the public at the New York World’s fair. One of these computers was used on Apollo 11 and it was pretty much… a calculator. “One small step…” (at a time!)

1972 AD – Mainframe computers deliver applications and data at high speed to hundreds of users, in-built hardware redundancy ensures exceptional RPOs and RTOs. The ancient Sumerians would have just loved this.

1990 AD – Arcserve 1.0 released by Cheyenne software. The age of distributed computing is in full swing and it is all about backing up to these little rectangular things called “tapes.”

1998 AD – VMware founded in Palo Alto, California. Although the concept of a hypervisor originated from 1960s, it was VMware who introduced hardware virtualization to the mass market. Virtualization will go on to revolutionize backup and disaster recovery.

vmware

2006 AD – XOsoft’s WANsync technology is integrated into Arcserve. For the first time mid-market users can perform both backup and full system failover from one solution.

2008 AD – Microsoft releases their competing product to VMware, they call it Hyper V. If you weren’t virtualized before, you are now. Specific software for virtual backup exists but there is little integration with physical servers, tape backups or cross platform Microsoft/Linux.

Hyper V

2006 AD – XOsoft’s WANsync technology is integrated into Arcserve. For the first time mid-market users can perform both backup and full system failover from one solution.

2008 AD – Microsoft releases their competing product to VMware, they call it Hyper V. If you weren’t virtualized before, you are now. Specific software for virtual backup exists but there is little integration with physical servers, tape backups or cross platform Microsoft/Linux.

arcserve award

2016 AD – You are here.

Please register to see a live demo of Arcserve UDP here.

Or download a free copy of Arcserve UDP here.

Would you like to discuss how to get the best pricing for Arcserve or do you have any specific questions about the technology?

Drop me a mail with your contact details and I can help: louis.cadier@arcserve.com

How Arcserve fits into your IT strategy as an SMB

Where are you now? Where are you going? Where do you want to be? Same product, same license.

SMB

This is how Arcserve fits into your IT strategy as an SMB.

When building your company’s IT infrastructure for the first time you would take the most minimalistic approach. For example, virtualization would most likely be out of reach initially depending on your IT budget. You would also probably have a Physical Active Directory Server (AD), an Application Server (APP) or File Server (FS), all with internal Disk. Mail would be outsourced to a service provider (SP) or you would use Online Office 365.

You Data Loss risk at this point is high, if your FS/APP server were to fail a disk; you would have an un-recoverable data loss – assuming that the server volumes have no raid set and are isolated.

The initial approach, considering IT Budget for a small to medium company would be to have a Backup Server or Backup Role on an existing server. In this case a server with Windows Server 08/12 running Arcserve UDP Standard Edition backing up to a cheap storage device such as NAS or External Disk 1TB – 2TB of backup storage will allow you to protect an estimate of 4.5TB of Source Data with a rolling backup of 30 days, allowing you to restore back to any point for an entire month.

Your restore process would either be file level or a bare metal recovery with USB or ISO for a full system state recovery on one of the servers.

Your next step would be to consider what would happen if you lost your entire IT infrastructure, due to theft, flood, fire etc. Only your Mail at this point would be intact & available. This is where Offsite Backup is now considered, having copies of your backups offsite to ensure backup redundancy, this approach would be to either migrate Disk Backup Points to tape on a weekly bases and then store offsite or replicate to Cloud SP Storage.

Your restore process would entail repurchasing lost hardware and to rebuild your Backup Server if necessary, deliver tape to site for the Restore Process / Replicate Backup points Back to Site or Restore through WAN from Cloud SP storage (whichever would be more cost effective and the least time consuming). This would be considered poor RTO (Restore Time Objective).

A few months or years down the line the business has grown considerably and there are now double or triple the amount of employees; and new hardware & applications have been purchased to accommodate for the growth. A virtualization approach has now been taken and a few physical servers or a SAN storage device are in place. AD, FS, APP, SQL Servers have been virtualized and in addition, the Mail environment has been localised and a Virtual Exchange Environment has been built for more efficiency and to reduce data costs.

The Backup Server has now been upgraded to an internal Raid 6 Volume and has 5TB-10TB backup capacity, licensing has been upgraded to Arcserve UDP advanced to cater for Exchange & SQL; this will enable you to protect an estimate of 20TB of source data with a rolling backup of 30 days, allowing you to restore back to any point for an entire month.

Calculations would show that if your IT infrastructure were to fail or go down you would lose thousands of Rands every hour. You could restore a VM instantly with Arcserve UDP Instant Restore but in the event of power failure or theft, flood etc, you would have a 24 – 72 hour estimate restore time to restore services from offsite copies; this however depends on many factors.

Your approach now is to have a Disaster Recovery Strategy (DR) and to repurpose the replaced hardware or purchase new less expensive hardware; and build a DR Cold Site at a branch office or Co-locate in a SP Data Centre Rack. You would then virtualise the hardware and build a second Backup Server as a Virtual Machine (VM). Now you have an offsite target to replicate to. Once replicated, you would export backup points as virtual machines onto the cold site. This is known as ‘Virtual Standby’. Each replication will update the Cold Site Virtual standby machines.

In the event of a disaster at your HQ; you would manually power up Virtual Standby VMs & redirect users to a temporary office or grant them remote access to services from the DR site.

Your RTO (Recovery Time Objective) here could be anything from minutes to hours, depending on system boot time and requirements to connect users to services, EG –VPN, Remote RDP etc.

Your DR Cold Site could also be Cloud Compute & storage Resource with a Cloud SP, where you have a Hosted Arcserve UDP server. This is a simple and entry level approach to DR and mostly likely small to medium business.

A few more years go by and your business has grown into a large organisation and you’re heading for the enterprise space. Your IT infrastructure would have grown significantly with multiple branch offices all connecting to your companies services in your server room or even data centre.

At this point moving to a data centre or to a local SP cloud platform is the best route to ensure redundancy and system resilience across your physical IT infrastructure, e.g. redundant power, redundant cooling, redundant WAN links etc. This is all to reduce downtime as the impact now in loosing critical services would cost hundreds of thousands of Rands, every minute or hour.

However there are still factors to consider even though the physical infrastructure is redundant; you could still have system outages, such as bad OS Patching, data corruption, human error, virus infections etc.

As a DR strategy is still required, you would start looking at UDP premium / Premium Plus for the simple reason that you want Backup and you want DR and high availability for critical applications.

One can then create high availability scenarios with Arcserve that will allow for instantaneous failover to a second server so that no service downtime is experienced as well as maintaining the DR strategy with a cold site virtual standby or warm site live replication with seconds RPO (Restore Point Objective) between Business Critical Servers and DR Servers.

Based on Implementing the above Premium / Premium Plus data continuity solution your restore options will include File Level Restore when needed and Full System State Instant VM restore to your production site. During a disaster scenario users can be seamlessly redirected to slave servers in the HA scenario relationships within the DR warm Site, virtual standbys can be powered up as needed for less critical services/servers in the warm site.

Certain servers will have a higher priority than others, this is why one would approach multiple strategies and features to provide the full solution while staying within budget.

This all can be done with one License, one Software Vendor. So less complexity, simple and easy to use.

Regardless of the size SMB to Enterprise, we at Arcserve have a solution for you that is more than just a backup.

CTRL Z your life

After a busy day of writing emails, copying and pasting into spreadsheets and tweaking objects in this and that presentation; I was finishing up the last of it… tapping away on my laptop at the kitchen table when my right hand suddenly slipped and the mouse went “Saturday Night Fever” on me across the tabletop only to knock a glass of water off the side.

As the glass fell in slow motion, my left hand – still resting on the keyboard, jumped into action and out of pure reflex hit CTRL Z. To paint the picture for those of you who do not use keyboard shortcuts, I tried to stop a real life glass of water from breaking on my kitchen floor by using a computer’s “Undo” command. And… smash.control_z

This immediately provided my Mrs. with a new entry for her long catalogue of ‘silly things Louis has done’, the source material for her best jokes at my expense. It was one morning as I melodramatically writhed in pain following a stubbed little toe that she suggested satirically “Why don’t you just hit CTRL Z?” Funny…I’m told. But it got me thinking about it again and you know what? I need CTRL Z in my life.

This is the stuff science fiction is made of! Oh to imagine what it would be like to live in a virtual world where you can pick the rules, read the dark warnings of William Gibson’s Burning Chrome or enjoy the pop asceticism of The Matrix. However, as we spend even more time online, our lives routinely uploaded there, perhaps the future is closer than we think.

What commands would you want in your virtual world? I am just a Backup and Disaster Recovery guy so please forgive my lack of imagination for this bucket list of Louis’ Must Have Commands For His Virtual World:

1. Save a Recovery Point from when I was 21 so I can go back and have hair again any time I want.

2. Replicate myself on holiday. After deduplicating and compressing myself so that I could travel on even a modest connection, I would encrypt myself and then, either real time or scheduled, replicate myself to a datacenter in Barbados. NICE!

3. Use Virtual Standby to create a lookalike of me. Not feeling like work today? I would spin up a Virtual Machine copy of myself fully equipped with all the relevant data; applications and send the poor chap into work instead.

4. Archive my fashion mistakes to the cloud. This is pretty much all the way from 1995 till present day with only a few exceptions like weddings and one or two fancy dress parties. I would take Granular Restore with that just in-case I am ever feeling nostalgic and want to have a laugh at one or two badly dressed memories without having to remember the whole lot.

5. Make everything much easier to do than it currently is. I’m thinking of absolutely everything here; but specific examples include: baking a decent macaron, DARPA’s math challenge and Morris dancing.

6. Deduplicate plastic bags. If only we could delete all the unnecessary plastic bags in the World! Well this is my virtual world and we just did it! Of course we’ll keep one plastic bag to put in a museum somewhere…

7. SSD my brain. Daft Punk have already had this upgrade.

8.Intuitively know exactly what to do and when to do it. In my virtual world I’m not asking to be smarter, I’m just asking that everything else is simpler.

9. Truncate my logs before I go to bed.

There is probably a far more controversial version of this list available to anyone who uses Adobe Photoshop extensively; but all of the above mentioned Backup and Disaster Recovery capabilities are available at this very moment with Arcserve UDP in both software and appliance options. And for those of us left wanting CTRL Z right now and in the real world, Virtual Reality exists via our smartphones and we still have the power to untag bad photos of ourselves on the likes of Twitter and other social media platforms. Things are looking up – we’re getting there!