Dan's Take

Acronis Unveils Backup 12.5

Is the new point upgrade a solid offering?

The folks from Acronis stopped by to introduce me to version 12.5 of Acronis Backup. Since the company has roughly 500,000 business customers and 5 million consumer customers, their technology is pervasive. I found the presentation interesting and found one of the product's new features, "Acronis Active Protection," to be really interesting.

What's New?
Here are some of the new features the company touts:

  • Designed to support hybrid cloud environments
  • The product supports more than 20 platforms, including Windows, Office 365, Azure, Linux, Mac OS X, Oracle, VMWare, Hyper-V, Red Hat Virtualization, Linux KVM, Citrix XenServer, iOS, and Android
  • A unifed Web interface to improve ease of use
  • Supports different administrator roles and allows delegations for distributed infrastructures
  • Supports six hypervisors to provide migration platform options
  • Bare-metal recovery automation and remote boot media control to reduce RTO of remote site recovery
  • SAN storage snapshots to reduce hypervisor resource utilization
  • Advanced tape support for increased granularity and simplified management
  • Advanced reporting for detailed insights and corporate compliance
  • Disaster recovery capability for emergency data recovery locally and in the cloud
  • Backup validation process ensures recoverability
Dan's Take: Comprehensive, Innovative Backup
Acronis often provides clever, innovative new features in their product updates. The company's Acronis Active Protection immediately comes to mind as something both clever and new.

Active protection is designed to detect and stop ransomware attacks. It detects rapid changes in the target system's file system and asks an administrator if this is appropriate behavior for the system. If it isn’t, it will automatically recover changed files. In addition, it protects the backups themselves from malware attacks.

The company has also done its best to provide backup and recovery for critical data from x86-based workloads, regardless of whether it resides on-premises or off, or whether it comes from workloads hosted on physical or virtual systems. I suspect the next round of updates will extend this to include containers as well.

I think that some of their marketing materials stretch things a bit. For example, the company claims it supports "any platform and any workload," but doesn't offer support for mainframe or single-vendor midrange system environments. When discussing the breadth of its platform support, Acronis also stretches things a bit by counting KVM and Red Hat Virtualization as two platforms, even though RHV is based upon the KVM open source project. They also count Xen, Citrix XenServer and Oracle VM as three separate virtual machine packages although they’re all based upon the Xen open source project.

The company, however, is really worth knowing. I’d suggest seeing a demonstration of Backup 12.5, as its capabilities keep improving.

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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