Data defenders: A blog on data protection issues

September 7, 2011  11:58 AM

QuorumSoft offers new version of backup and DR product

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

Quorum Software Inc., announced this week an upgrade of its Alike backup and disaster recovery product for Citrix XenServer environments that the company said will provide faster backups, minimize bandwidth use and other improvements.

The Burlington, Vt.-based company said Alike version 2.1 offers the choice of source-side or target-side dedupe, can concurrently backup multiple virtual machines, maintain updated versions of backup history offsite, as well as abilities that speed up the backup and replication process for VMs.

QuorumSoft said in an Alike tech sheet that the product offers scheduled deduped backups, plus maintains a history for each backed-up VM for “point-in-time” data restores.

September 6, 2011  3:07 PM

D-Link announces newest storage devices with cloud DR option

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

D-Link Corporation announced last week that their ShareCenter Pro network storage lineup will offer disaster recovery options for remote backup to the cloud or another offsite device.

According to D-Link, its ShareCenter Pro N-Series and S-Series models will tie into the cloud for DR via Amazon’s S3 service.

N-Series models offer iSCSI connectivity, RAID 0/1/5/6/10 support, encrypted volumes and virtual disk drive expansion. The four-bay model (due out in October) comes with 512 MB of RAM for $662.99, while the N-Series five-bay device has 1 GB of RAM is now available for $773.49, according to D-Link.

The S-Series lineup offers a pair of four-bay devices, as well as a six-bay option, and also offer iSCSI, RAID, encrypted volumes and virtual disk storage.

Each device come with 2 GB of RAM, according to D-Link.

A $1,499.99 four-bay unit with dual hot-swappable power supplies will be available this month, while in October, the company will release another four-bay unit for $972.99 and a six-bay unit for $1,172.99.

The ShareCenter Pro models are Windows, Mac and Linux compatible, according to the company.

August 30, 2011  10:08 AM

SunGard unveils new cloud service for managing clients’ disaster recovery

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

SunGard Availability Services, a division of SunGard Data Systems Inc., announced a pair of new moves for its cloud business on Monday, including its new Recover2Cloud managed disaster recovery service and a new release for the company’s Enterprise Cloud Services.

According to the Pennsylvania-based software manufacturer, Recover2Cloud puts SunGard in charge of recovery responsibilities for a client, and the company says it will offer guaranteed service levels for DR, plus operations staff that perform around-the-clock monitoring, troubleshooting and testing.

SunGard said it will offer a variety of recovery time and recovery point service levels for its new DR products. Those new offerings include Recover2Cloud for Server Replication, which implements asynchronous server-based replication for virtual, physical and cloud-based applications that require recovery in less than four hours, the company said. SunGard also announced Recover2Cloud for Vaulting, which Sungard says restores data from an online vault in less than 24 hours.

A third service using storage virtualization technology will be released later this year, the company said.

SunGard also announced a new multi-site high availability option for its Enterprise Cloud Services that provides a secondary cloud site for recovery that could be operational in four hours following the failure of a primary site. The company said the release also includes new managed services for the cloud that allow customers using Enterprise Cloud Services to connect with physical environments in SunGard’s data centers. The option allows customers to share data from legacy systems that need dedicated hosting with cloud environments.

August 25, 2011  2:38 PM

VMware gives compatibility thumbs-up to FalconStor Network Storage Server

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

VMware Inc. issued its VMware Ready compatibility designation to FalconStor Software Inc.’s Network Storage Server this week, which FalconStor says shows that their product is ready for deployment in customer environments.

“Now our customers can enjoy the full benefit of offloading resource-intensive functions to the storage infrastructure and integrating VMware vSphere 5 into virtual storage environments optimized for backup and DR using any combination of storage and physical servers,” Fadi Albatal, vice president of marketing for FalconStor, said in a statement.

FalconStor says the NSS provides storage virtualization and business continuity which supports third-party disk arrays for data provisioning, WAN-optimization and other tasks. The VMware Ready program is part of a program for about 2,000 VMare technology partners which provides those companies with technical and marketing services. FalconStor’s NSS will also be available for sale in VMware’s partner product catalog.

August 16, 2011  3:51 PM unveils palm-sized duplication dock for hard drives

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard recently announced a new handheld device aimed at tech professionals on the go who need to be able to duplicate or restore hard drive data or technicians who need to swap hard drives regularly.

The compact unit has a somewhat unwieldy name – the Portable eSATA USB to SATA Standalone Hard Drive Duplicator Dock – but it comes with enough connection options to make a user feel a little MacGyver-ish while cloning a hard drive on the road., an Ohio-based connectivity parts manufacturer, also says the device is useful for forensic investigators who need to make exact duplicates of a source drive. That includes drives which aren’t connected to a computer:

“The new duplicator features a compact, pocket/palm-sized design that offers a practical solution for mobile users who require the ability to make exact copies of hard drive content, with the flexibility to connect bare hard drives through either eSATA or USB for simple access to files, data transfers or backups.”

The unit can serve as a stand-alone hard drive replicator that clones data, partition and boot sector information from one 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive to another at a rate of up to 72 MB per second using the two SATA ports built on opposite sides of the device, according to the company. The device comes with a LED progress bar to track the progress of a hard drive duplication in action.

The unit can also be connected to a PC as an external drive dock equipped with USB 2.0 and eSATA ports.

In a statement, Carey Cline, a senior product manager for, said the device is offers similar functionality to the company’s other drive duplication products.

“This latest duplicator caters directly to environments that benefit from being able to mobilize hard drive duplication and data access” said Cline.

August 10, 2011  1:20 PM

StorServer announces new version of VM backup software

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

StorServer Inc. released Version 4 of its Virtual Machine Backup (VMB) software this week, an upgrade that the company said offers faster full backup and archiving times within VMware virtual environments.

The new version of VMB includes support for using VMware’s Changed Block Tracking and allows direct copying between VMware and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager without an intervening proxy copy, according to StorServer. The faster backup and archive times are accomplished by using new VMware vStorage APIs to control the movement of data between disk storage and Tivoli Storage Manager pools. This eliminates the need to install backup client software on individual virtual machines, and the new VM backup software allows users to manage backup without expertise in Tivoli Storage Manager.

The upgraded software also offers a setting for non-quiesced snapshots, more-detailed client log messages and can successfully back up VMs with hidden partitions.

“The software is quick and easy to install, learn and use and takes just minutes a day to manage, making it an ideal solution for every midmarket IT manager and administrator who is backing up virtual environments,” said Bill Smoldt, president of STORServer, in a statement.

July 27, 2011  10:18 AM

Will LTFS be integrated with backup software?

Andrew Burton Andrew Burton Profile: Andrew Burton

Since it was announced last year, a number of products have emerged that support the LTFS (Linear Tape File System) open-standard format. But, one question that’s been kicked around a lot among staffers is whether the spec would be integrated with business-class backup products. According to senior executives at IBM, one of the LTO Technology Provider Companies, integration will happen, but they do not currently have a timeframe for that integration.

“We are in discussions with a lot of the backup software vendors,” said Sanjay Tripathi, director of data protection and retention for IBM storage. “So yes, the plan is to integrate it. And even if they don’t integrate it, we are creating an asset management layer or working with other vendors that have an asset management layer for them to be able to move the data.”

“There can be varying degrees of integration,” said Lee Jesionowski, chief architect for IBM tape automation. “Meaning built-in native as the way [backup software] talks to tape or that it is just another file system target. There’s nothing concrete to share there, but we are having conversations about that as well.”

July 14, 2011  12:14 PM

Crossroads ReadVerify Appliance available to IBM customers starting next month

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

Crossroads Systems Inc., inked a deal earlier this week to cross-license its intellectual property with IBM which the companies say will allow them to “build upon and expand their work together,” according to a press release.

The two companies also announced that IBM customers will be able to offer Crossroads’ ReadVerify Appliance (RVA) to monitor the health of tape storage systems.

IBM and Crossroads claim that combining their technologies will improve efficiency for IBM customers and enhance performance for tape environments.

“RVA, a standalone appliance, saves organizations time and money by proactively monitoring the efficiency and integrity of tape library environments. RVA will be offered with IBM System Storage TS3310 and TS3500 tape libraries and as a stand-alone solution,” according to the release.

IBM is scheduled to begin shipping RVA in August 2011.

July 12, 2011  10:02 AM

Sepaton study: More than half of enterprises rely on backup tape libraries

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

A recent study suggests that a majority of enterprises continue to use tape libraries as backup data sets continue to grow.

That study, released by disk backup provider Sepaton Inc., reports that 57% of 168 enterprises surveyed are using backup tape libraries. The survey also noted that approximately 60% of enterprises use a mix of tape and disk-based backup, including those relying on solely tape archiving. About 44% of respondents reported using on-site snapshots or network-attached storage (NAS) filers, according to Sepaton. The number of respondents that reported having greater than 30% annual growth increased from 28% of respondents in 2010 to 33% of respondents in 2011. That additional volume requires more time and capacity to handle all that data, according to the survey, which noted that about a quarter of respondents need 24 hours to complete a full data backup.

The survey included 168 “enterprise companies,” which Sepaton defined as companies with at least 1,000 employees and at least 50 TB of data. The companies included representatives from several industries, including finance, manufacturing, healthcare and education.

Some other study highlights:

Approximately 34% of remote or branch office data is not backed up by large enterprises, while 87% of data center information is protected.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said disaster recovery testing is “minimal” or “not frequent enough,” while 47% of respondents to report that testing is conducted “well.”

June 22, 2011  10:19 AM

Carbonite goes after small business market with new service

Andrew Burton Andrew Burton Profile: Andrew Burton

Consumer backup big dog Carbonite Inc. announced this week plans to go after the small business market with their new Carbonite Business cloud backup offering. According to Pete Lamson, vice president and general manager of the small business group at Carbonite, they are targeting businesses with three to 20 computers.

Carbonite Business costs $229 per year and offers 250 GB of storage for an unlimited number of computers. Carbonite Business Premier, at $599 per year, offers 500 GB of capacity and the ability to back up one server.

The service allows individuals perform restores of their own files while a designated administrator has access to the entire data set. For restores of large amounts of data, Carbonite offers a rush recovery service. According to Lamson, Carbonite can overnight customers a hard drive containing all of their data for an additional fee.

Lamson also said that 86% of the companies surveyed in a recent Carbonite study on small business backup indicated that they rely on a physical device for some or all of their backup requirements. 42% said they backed up to external hard drives. 38% back up to USB/Flash memory stick, 25% are on CDs/DVDs, and 8% back up to tape.

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