Unitrends enhances data-protection appliances

By Kevin Komiega

—Unitrends has announced a new version of its Data Protection and Rapid Recovery platform and a high-capacity model of its Multi-Drive Archive System. The integrated data-protection and vaulting appliances now offer support for more than 30 operating systems, VMware virtual servers, and 30TB of removable disk capacity for small to medium-sized businesses.

Data Protection and Rapid Recovery 3.1 includes integrated support for VMware's ESX 3.0 Server Backup and VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) and improved Windows integration, providing support for virtualization environments as well as Microsoft SQL MSDE and Exchange 2007.

Unitrends has beefed up its archiving platform in several different areas, according to Maria Ellison, senior vice president of product services management. Upgrades include expanded application support and support for virtual environments via API integration with VMware Consolidated Backup. However, she says, the "game changer" for Unitrends is its new central management console.

"We had an adequate Linux user interface in the past, but it was not centralized. Everything had to be managed separately," says Ellison. "We benchmarked our new interface for ease of use against the big boys, including Symantec Backup Exec, Microsoft Data Protection Manager, and Windows Home Server, and we believe we are on parity with those products."

The integrated Centralized Management Console provides the ability to manage multiple Unitrends Data Protection Units (DPUs) and Data Protection Vaults (DPVs) from a single console using a new user interface with recovery and configuration tools and SQL status reporting.

Software enhancements to the DPV appliances include a performance boost designed to reduce vaulting windows and improve bandwidth utilization by enabling block-level data to be transmitted more quickly from Unitrends' DPUs to its DPVs.

On the hardware side, Unitrends has given its Multi-Drive Archive System a shot in the arm when it comes to scalability. The system—which includes 4TB of raw capacity—now allows customers to use removable disk technology for archiving data in the range of 10TB to 30TB of uncompressed data, depending upon the specific compression ratios of the data.

The higher-capacity Multi-Drive Archive is also supported by the new Data Protection and Rapid Recovery 3.1 platform and includes up to four drives per archive and a RAID-0 configuration, and can be installed as a 1U box connected to a DPU.

All new DPUs are shipping with the version 3.1 software at a starting price of just under $5,000. Existing customers with current support/maintenance contracts are eligible for a free software upgrade to version 3.1.

This article was originally published on February 14, 2008