By Heidi Biggar
Computer Associates this week announced the general availability of BrightStor ARCserve Backup r11. Company officials say that highlights of the latest version of the software include support for Microsoft's Virtual Shadow Copy Service (VSS), Windows Powered NAS and Windows Storage Server 2003, and a Microsoft Exchange agent that allows for document-level backup and restore.
The release also includes a variety of non-Microsoft-specific features, including new reporting capabilities, support for Write-Once Read-Many (WORM) media (tape and optical), multiplexing, and "job preflight checks" (see chart).
Although the new features are currently only available with ARCserve Backup r11 for Windows, CA officials say they will also soon be available for the Windows edition of its BrightStor Enterprise Backup software. The company also plans to release Linux, NetWare, and Unix versions for both software platforms over the next few months, according to David Liff, CA's vice president, BrightStor Solutions.
Liff says the release addresses key user issues with quality, scalability, and Microsoft support. In particular, he claims that by integrating ARCserve with VSS and providing a new Open File agent, the company has not only made it easier for users to enable VSS (via a mouse-click), but has also taken steps to ensure that open files are actually backed up and that workflow is uninterrupted. Also, should VSS fail, ARCserve reverts to other snapshot applications.
In terms of scalability, Liff says that multiplexing will improve overall backup performance. By streaming multiple backup jobs over the network to a single tape drive, CA claims users will be able to cut backup time significantly by making fuller use of tape drive bandwidth and minimizing tape drive stops/starts (commonly referred to as "shoe-shining").
"This isn't new technology, but it is new to this type and class of product," explains Liff. Djamalov Inc., a network consulting firm and CA customer, says its backups were 3x faster with ARCserve r11.
New single instant restore capabilities and the ability to do query-based restores, among other things, were also added to address scalability issues.
As for quality improvements, Liff points to new reporting capabilities, including a "pre-flight check" capability that verifies that all backup components (security, network, and media) exist and are ready to support the backup job; an easier-to-use interface, and a tutorial for first-time users.
BrightStor ARCserve r11 integrates with BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Laptops and Desktops (formerly known as BrightStor Mobile Backup), BrightStor storage resource management (SRM) and server replication software, BrightStor Portal and High Availability products, eTrust security software, and Unicenter enterprise management products.
In addition, the software will integrate with the next release of BrightStor Enterprise Backup (release 11) when it becomes available over the next couple of months. Until then, company officials say users can continue to manage their ARCserve backup environments using the Enterprise Backup v10.5 GUI.
Last May, Computer Associates integrated its two backup platforms (ARCserve Backup and Enterprise Backup), making it possible for users to manage mixed CA backup environments from a single interface (Enterprise Backup GUI). The company also announced the integration of Enterprise Backup and BrightStor Portal, giving users control of both CA and non-CA backup applications from the Portal window.
BrightStor Portal comes with Enterprise Backup but is also available as a separate option. ARCserve r11 for Windows is priced from $775. The Microsoft Small Business Server Edition bundle, which includes agents for Exchange, SQL Sever, Open Files and Windows Workstations, is priced from $995. The Laptop and Desktop version starts at $495.
ARCserve Backup r11 for Windows
--Support for VSS, Windows Powered NAS, Windows Storage Server 2003
--Microsoft Exchange "premium" agent
--Job "pre-flight" check
--Enhanced Lotus Notes/Domino agent
--Client agent for Mac OS X
--Enhanced tape copy (D2D and D2D2T staging)
--30+ standard reports and enhanced writing capability for customized reports
--Three-way NDMP backup
--Integration with CA applications, including Enterprise Backup r10.5 and BrightStor Portal