CA upgrades Recovery Management

By Kevin Komiega

—CA recently released new versions of three products in its Recovery Management portfolio, including ARCserve Backup, XOsoft High Availability, and XOsoft Replication, offering customers and channel partners centralized management, security, and faster data recovery.

ARCserve Backup r12 features a range of new tools for simplified backup administration, disk-based backup optimization, and encryption. The upgrades include a centralized management console; support for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB); options for encrypting data at the client, media server, or tape drives; and support for policy-based disk-to-disk-to-tape backup.

CA has also enhanced its XOsoft product line to improve the continuous data protection (CDP), disaster-recovery (DR) testing, and overall management of its business continuity and DR products.

Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, says both ARCserve and XOsoft are solid offerings independent of each other, but combined they pack a strong one-two punch in terms of data recovery.

"Disk-based backup provides operational recovery with very good RTO [recovery time objective] capabilities. CA XOsoft, with its CDP capabilities, provides operational recovery supporting aggressive RPO [recovery point objective] capabilities, and with its replication capabilities provides disaster recovery," says Whitehouse. "Because CA has a broad set of offerings, end users can tailor their data-protection strategy to meet RTO and RPO requirements by creating layers of protection or selecting the technology best-suited for the system or application."

Individually, backup, high availability, and replication are crowded spaces for vendors targeting the mid-market. According to Whitehouse, many vendors play in the backup space, while others have CDP offerings. However, she says, few vendors offer all of these technologies as a combined solution.

Whitehouse explains: "If you look at the vendors that have a combined offering, such as CA, the landscape is sparse. CommVault's Simpana offers backup and CDP; BakBone offers backup, replication, and CDP; and Avamar and Microsoft provide backup with replication capabilities between one storage system and another for disaster-recovery purposes."

CA has been investing in integration over the past 18 months since its acquisition of XOsoft. Much of that investment has been used to combine XOsoft's WANsync, WANSync HA, and Enterprise Rewinder technologies with ARCserve—resulting in improved replication, data distribution, and data consolidation, as well as high-availability fail-over and CDP.

However, the most significant improvement to ARCserve Backup r12 may be its enhanced management capabilities.

"The biggest new feature for ARCserve is its centralized management capability, which allows for the management of both local and remote backups from a single console," says Frank Jablonski, director of product marketing at CA.

Prior to ARCserve r12, each backup server required independent management. Jablonski says that automating and centralizing management allows for greater control and efficiency in the backup process.

"The central management feature was enabled by switching ARCserve's underlying database from RAIMA to SQL Express," ESG's Whitehouse explains. "The new database also helped them improve performance and scalability. Now all information is stored centrally and they're providing auto-migration for customers that upgrade from previous versions."

CA recently altered its pricing scheme for ARCserve Backup to streamline the purchasing process. The new scheme also eliminates some of the costs previously associated with buying additional options and software agents when new hardware components are added to a customer's storage environment, and the company is sticking to this pricing model with the new ARCserve and XOsoft products.

CA ARCserve File Server Suite now costs $995, while the ARCserve Backup e-Mail Suite, Database Suite, and Application Suites each costs $1,495. Each suite contains all necessary options and agents, but the stated prices do not include maintenance.

For XOsoft High Availability and XOsoft Replication, pricing starts at $2,000 per server and requires a minimum of two servers to support replication.

This article was originally published on February 26, 2008