By Dave Simpson
October 27, 2010 – Citing the drawbacks associated with existing approaches to backing up virtual server environments, InMage today introduced vContinuum software, which combines backup, replication and disaster recovery (DR) functionality in a unified workflow.
“Traditional backup software is not optimized for VMware, and VMware-specific backup applications have tradeoffs,” claims Rajeev Atluri, InMage’s CTO and senior vice president of engineering. “They either provide VMware-only data protection [excluding physical server backup], or they have different workflows for backup and replication.”
In contrast, vContinuum unifies backup and replication under a single architecture. To protect both virtual and physical servers, users can upgrade to InMage’s flagship Scout software.
vContinuum is also an alternative to using VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for disaster recovery, but it doesn’t require homogeneous array-based replication.
vContinuum incorporates elements of Scout, but was designed from the ground up for VMware, according to Atluri.
One feature associated with InMage’s Scout software that is included in vContinuum is continuous data protection (CDP).
“Other approaches at best do snapshots for replication, backing up every few hours, and they put an I/O load on production servers,” Atluri claims. In contrast, CDP provides real-time backup to disk, with recovery point objectives (RPO) measured in minutes or seconds vs. hours for some other approaches, as well as “near zero” recovery point objectives (RPO). InMage also claims to be able to eliminate backup windows with vContinuum.
vContinuum also includes a number of capacity optimization techniques, including automated thin provisioning, compression and “sparse retention” (where recovery bookmarks are stored less frequently over time to reduce capacity requirements).
“With CDP and capacity optimization, we’re essentially eliminating the need for data deduplication,” says Atluri.
Other features of vContinuum include application consistency (Windows and Linux), file-level recovery within seconds, failover/failback functionality, and WAN acceleration. The software works with any storage architecture (DAS, SAN, NAS) or protocol (SCSI, iSCSI, Fibre Channel).
vContinuum pricing starts at $4,000 per ESX server.
Related article: InMage targets cloud providers