CA Beefs Up Virtual Server Protection, Simplifies Backup and DR

CA Technologies has added new features to its CA ARCserve data protection solution in order to simplify backup and disaster recovery for physical and virtual server environments.

Business Continuity 

With new replication and virtualization capabilities for better business continuity, the 16.5 release is targeted at small businesses with 25 servers or less, medium-sized businesses with roughly 250 servers, as well as managed service providers (MFPs). However, even large enterprises that use the product will benefit from new functionality particularly in the areas of replication and high availability, LD Weller, senior director of product management for data management products at CA, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

ARCserve is a solution with a broad range of functionality, says Weller. “Not only have we substantially increased our virtualization functionality and support, but we have a lot of virtualization functionality,” says Weller. Virtualization has been emphasized in the roadmap and product releases for the last couple of years, he adds.

Expanded Virtualization Support

In terms of the expanded virtualization support, in ARCserver 16.5 provides both VM-level and host-level backups for VMware servers, and offers VM-level backups for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer so customers can replicate both VM-level and host-level backups offsite for disaster recovery. The release also now supports VMware vSphere 5.1. “We believe supporting the hypervisor is one of the great opportunities for storage management,” says Weller.

Another key new capability is Remote Virtual Standby. This new feature enables customers to automatically replicate image-based backups to an offsite facility and convert them into bootable VMs. In addition to providing a way to quickly restore systems offsite following a site disaster, this also enables MFPs to deliver services for business continuity. “This is in addition to our RHA (Replication and High Availability) capability, which enables failover and failback within seconds.”

In addition, another new feature called Cascading Failover is targeted at customers with the most stringent continuity requirements. The feature provides the ability to replicate servers and their data to multiple onsite and/or remote failover servers, so customers can have one server replicated to multiple places, says Weller. This “cascading failover” approach lets customers and MSPs leverage local resources for simple outages, and then have remote resources in one or more locations to protect themselves against local or even regional disasters. “Certainly, Hurricane Sandy is a great example of why you want to have local failover and multiple options for remote failover,” says Weller.

Better Performance and Expanded Cloud and Platform Support

In other features, Weller notes, CA’s internal testing shows that testing shows that NTFS backup speeds have improved by 43%, helping organizations to deal with their shrinking backup windows.

The new release also puts increased emphasis on the ability to use cloud destinations, not only as places where customers can store their backup but as places where they can recover their machines and failover to. There is support for backup migration to Microsoft Windows Azure, Fujitsu Global Cloud and Eucalyptus 3.0 and 3.1 based clouds, and there is particular functionality in RHA for Amazon Web Services EC2, says Weller.

All in all, Weller says, ARCserve 16.5 provides “a lot of new functionality” – including improved support for Windows Server 2012. “Many customers are looking to go into Windows Server 2012 and they want to make sure their backup products support it too.”

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