Dan's Take

Altaro Releases VM Backup V7

Backup for Hyper-V and vSphere for small and medium sized enterprises.

I recently had a discussion with Altaro CEO David Vella about data protection in a virtual machine environment, powered by either Microsoft's Hyper-V or VMware's vSphere for small to medium size enterprises (SME), as well as the features of version 7 of his company's VM Backup.

It’s his contention that many of today's backup and data protection products can be too complex and take too long; in addition, the resulting backups might not be secure enough for today's environment.

Here are the some of the new features Altaro touts in VM Backup V7:

  • Augmented Inline Deduplication: Delivers faster backup and data recovery for local and remote locations by transferring new data exclusively to the backup storage vault.
  • Support for Windows Server 2016: Allows businesses to take advantage of hybrid computing environments while protecting all data at every location.
  • Boot from Backup: Enables the IT administrator to instantly reboot virtual machines from the backup location so that VM servers are up and running with minimal downtime in the event of a disaster.
  • Integrity Testing: With Altaro, confidence is returned to the backup process with integrity testing of backups across the network for peace of mind. The process ensures the recovery of all data under protection when required.

A recurring theme in discussions of backup, archival storage and disaster recovery products is a "one size fits all" approach. Large and very large enterprises often have enough staff resources -- which means sufficient expertise -- to take just about any complex product and make it work. SMEs don't have that luxury.

Dan's Take: The Small and Medium Enterprise Challenge
SMEs may have a very small IT support team, with limited expertise and even more limited time. But the computing environment they deploy is every bit as critical to their success as the more complex, larger computing environments deployed by larger enterprises.

SMEs have come to rely on external support services, since they can’t maintain a staff with each and every type of expertise needed for their multi-tier, multi-system workloads. Often this translates to inadequate planning and execution of a disaster protection strategy.

Altaro's focus on easy-to-use, reliable and secure backup products is likely to be of great value to SMEs having little time to learn about a new product. After a review, I learned that Altaro's deduplication technology is both interesting and clever, and is likely to be of great value in the target computing environment.

Altaro, however, isn't the only supplier focused upon providing an easy to use, yet powerful, set of DR tools. Acronis, Veeam, VMware and a number of other companies are targeting the same market with tools that they claim are easy to use and powerful.

Is Altaro the best of the bunch here? The ability to boot directly from a backup could certainly save the day in the case of a major failure. The clever deduplication technique could both reduce the physical size of backups and improve backup and recovery performance.

Since one size definitely doesn't fit all in this market, IT decision makers are going to have to review the features and functions provided by all the competitors to select the best fit. Altaro's products should definitely be in the mix.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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