In an attempt to provide faster image-level backup to users of virtualized servers, Vizioncore has enhanced its vRanger Pro Data Protection Platform. Version 4.5 has changed its block tracking capability to reduce the size of the backup archive, meaning that when performing incremental and differential backups, users can get a list of only the data blocks that have changed and back those up rather than scanning the entire system. The result, the company claims, is that it can reduce a 93-minute backup of 2.8GB to three minutes.
The new version results in a 10 to 20 percent increase in speed on some backups, says Andrew Gahm, systems and security engineer for South Jersey Healthcare, in Bridgeton, N.J. The organization had been using previous versions of the software for the past year or so, after using it to replace i365's EVault. In addition, disaster recovery testing was able to recover almost 50 servers overnight. "It's very easy," he says. "Just start the recovery and wait. The only thing limiting me was the hardware I was using to recover."
The new version of the product offers two technologies that help enhance performance, says Kelly Polanski, product marketing manager for Data Protection Products. Active Block Mapping queries the Windows OS to remove inactive blocks from read lists during backups. In addition, ABM can distinguish between an unallocated block and a block with 0 written into it, meaning the software doesn't need to write the latter. Change Block Tracking lets vRanger Pro 4.5 DPP determine changed blocks by making queries to the VMware vStorage API, which returns the list of the changed blocks. ABM alone speeds up backups by up to 45 percent, while CBT alone speeds up backup by up to 45 to 60 percent, or 50 to 75 percent in combination with ABM.
The software is available now for $499 per socket. Vizioncore is a subsidiary of Quest Software, and vRanger Pro 4.5 DPP features support for Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange to provide agentless object-level recovery for Microsoft Exchange. The agentless feature is the key for making the product efficient from the administrative standpoint, because users don't need to worry about keeping up licenses, checking the version and making sure it's compatible with other applications and operating systems, Polanksi says. Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange costs about $8 per mailbox per year, with an entry level of 50 mailboxes.
Backing up and restoring virtual environments is a perpetual headache for infrastructure and operations professionals, says Rachel Dines, infrastructure and operations analyst for Forrester Research. Many companies are backing up their virtual machines as if they were physical machines, which is inefficient. The new release has some strong features, such as active block mapping and object-level recovery for Exchange, that will help IT pros alleviate some of this pain, she says. However, it is still lacking data deduplication, which is an increasingly popular feature in backup products.