Acronis vmProtect – virtual edition of Acronis’s successful disk backup and recovery software
Acronis debuted the vmProtect™ version 6 last year at VMworld in August 2011. Earlier this month, Acronis released version 7 of vmProtect further extending the capabilities of this Recovery Time Objective (RTO) centric OS-level image recovery Disaster Recovery (DR) software that takes timely image-based consistent snapshots with file system specific data and replication. The vmProtect is optimized for vmWare environments providing VADP-based agentless backup with Changed Block Tracking (CBT), hot-plug and direct SAN access.
Acronis’s rationale for introducing a solution that only protects vmWare environments is very simple; most small companies have only physical or virtual environments. The switch from physical to virtual happens very fast and once it takes place, these customers are looking for data protection and fast recovery their virtual environments.
The vmProtect can be installed as a virtual appliance into an existing ESX infrastructure or as a Windows agent on any physical machine to offload processing from your ESXi servers. It can be managed using any web browser or via the vCenter. Having seen and played around with the interface of vmProtect, I can tell you that a very simple yet intuitive GUI controlling this disk-to-disk-to-cloud solution.
The vmProtect simplifies the restore process for VMware environments. Typically, in case of a data loss event, one has to purchase or spin up a new VM host, re-install the ESX server on that host, then restore the VMs on that host. The vmProtect simplifies that into a one-step Bare Metal Restore (BMR) of the whole ESXi host, including binaries and configuration settings. Since most of the Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) or branch offices of large organizations lack the IT staff or technical knowhow, it is imperative that the restores are simple. vmProtect’s ease of use and intuitive GUI that requires minimal learning curve is designed for these novice users in mind.
The vmProtect features an intuitive automated DR Plan which is a quick step one-page guide that tells the user step-by-step how to conduct restores. It is very easy to setup with just a few mouse clicks. Another neat feature is the built-in VM conversion which performs Physical to Virtual (P2V) migrations, saving tremendous amount of time when compared to building a VM from ground up.
Restores can be to the same or dissimilar hardware and are either image based i.e. running a VM from the backup (ability to boot a VM from its backup), Exchange recovery (entire data base, individual mail boxes, or email level), etc. or file based (file / email level). Restores can also be setup for Microsoft Exchange.
With the enhancements to vmProtect, Acronis has instilled itself as a formidable player among other data protection solutions in the marketplace. Their new offering takes timely image-based consistent snapshots with file system specific data improving efficiencies of backups and restores and data protection system performance while lowering bandwidth utilization costs.
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