Acronis releases combined backup, disaster recovery software

Software can backup virtual machines in parallel

Acronis, best known for its imaging software, today released the latest version of its backup and recovery software, which combines file and bare metal backup and restoration.

Aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses, Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 handles machine images, physical and virtual machine (VM) data protection, but it can also restore an entire system down to the OS.

"We've really built this from the ground up as a unified platform. We think that's the real differentiator for customers," said Izzy Azeri, general manager for the Americas for Acronis.

The new software is aimed at simplifying disaster recovery and data protection needs across physical, virtual and cloud environments by fully integrating Acronis' disk imaging technology with purpose-built data protection features.

The software includes cataloguing and search functions that span files stored on local disk, remote disk or tape-based systems. Files can be searched by their type, name or the time of the backups, and then they can be restored with a single mouse click, Azeri said.

Acronis also included a default step-by-step disaster recovery document that is generated each time a system admin attempts to perform a bare metal restore. "It can be emailed to the administrator or shared with others in a file share, but it's easily available to anyone to invoke a recovery," he said.

Another upgrade to Acronis Backup & Recovery software is its ability to backup VMs in parallel. In earlier versions, VMs were backed up sequentially, one at a time, which often left users unable to meet their backup windows. By changing the feature to parallel, users can back up as many VMs as they like as long as bandwidth allows it.

Users can also perform LAN-free backups with the latest version, offloading backup from an application server to a separate backup server connected to a storage area network or file share.

As in version 10, the software supports data compression, including deduplication, although version 11 includes support of compression for VMs residing on Red Hat Linux machines.

Future updates will support applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server and other OSes, Azeri said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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