Acronis launches VMware-optimized backup and DR solution

Data protection vendor Acronis has launched Acronis vmProtect 6, a new low-cost and simple to use backup and disaster recovery solution for VMware customers. It has been engineered specifically for VMware vSphere virtual servers (v4.0, 4.1 or later) using ESX and ESXi hypervisors, and provides a simple-to-deploy, easy-to-manage disaster recovery solution to back up and quickly recover VMware virtual environments.

“We’ve been in the virtualization industry for years, protecting over 100,000 virtual servers worldwide,” said Izzy Azeri, senior vice president & general manager, Americas, at Acronis. “We ve taken that core technology, added to it and optimized it for VMware.” The product is new, despite the 6 in the branding, Azeri said.

Azeri said the decision to produce a product specifically for VMware was dictated by the numbers. VMware still holds the lion s share of the virtualization market, with 85%, although Gartner projects that will decline to 75% by 2012. Azeri also pointed to an Enterprise Strategy Group study indicating that many customers will consider a new backup vendor specifically for virtualization.

“40% of those who have already deployed virtualization said that they would use a new backup vendor for virtualization,” Azeri said. “That rises to 54% for those that haven t already deployed. Virtualization is clearly a time when customers will consider changing vendors.”

That trend is even stronger in the SMB space, where Acronis does much of its business, Azeri said.

“The SMB and enterprise are a little different when it comes to virtualization,” he said. “We see SMBs moving to production more quickly than the enterprises, because the enterprises do more testing, and are more complex.”

Azeri said that vmProtect 6 s simplicity will give it appeal among VMware partners and facilitate their deeper drive into the market.

“It is having high synergy with VMware partners,” he said. “It leverages VMware APIs and has little overhead on the platform. It’s also easy and fast, and literally deploys in three minutes. Everything is managed through a Web based interface, so it can be managed remotely, even on a smartphone.”

The quick install is facilitated by the solution being an agentless Linux virtual appliance, and Azeri pointed out that this means no incremental investment is needed to get this going, and no additional licenses are needed.

Acronis vmProtect 6 can run a virtual machine directly from a backup image, without having to do a full restore, actual recovery times can take less than a minute. It also offers LAN-free backup from the server right to storage, so reduces traffic on the network, and can also back up directly to the Acronis cloud, to provide a secondary DR site.

It offers both image and file-level recovery options, which allows users to restore precisely the data that is needed. The granular nature of the application makes it possible to select individual volumes to backup and, for even faster backups, users can analyze the file system to avoid backing up unused blocks and exclude individual files and folders such as temporary or page files.

Data deduplication and compression capabilities are part of the standard package. These further reduce the time taken to back up and recover as well as cut storage costs. In addition, for added security, backups can be encrypted using industry-standard 256 bit AES algorithms.

Acronis vmProtect 6 is priced at $499 per CPU, and with unlimited P2V (physical to virtual) migrations.