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Storage firms drop 'A bombs' on the backup biz

Actifio, Arcserve, Asigra, Avere product blitz

The backup battleship product news blitz continues with broadsides from Actifio, Arcserve, Asigra and Avere, all involving the cloud. How the hell does anybody keep up with this barrage of backup news?


Actifio is a file copy reduction startup which has been getting involved in disaster recovery. The technology involves having a master copy of data and then providing virtualised copies of it instead of actual physical copies.

It's launched Actifio One and says it's a business resiliency cloud. Customers can be businesses of any size and they use Actifio's copy data virtualisation tech to put copies of apps and databases running on physical servers, VMware, Windows, Hyper-v, Linux, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server in the cloud.

Actifio says this can replace point products for snapshotting, replicating, and backing up to tape and disk as well as protecting against app failure through hardware failure, etc. This service restores the capability of applications themselves in the cloud, on demand, for either business resiliency or cloud burst management.

It's claimed to be dead simple to use, safe, with data on the go and at-rest encrypted. Enterprises and service providers can use it. So what Actifio is doing here is broadening the customer base it addresses and looking to have service providers resell or use its offering, be a channel in other words.

The company got itself a quote to die for from customer Guillaume Meillat, senior global network and system administrator at Electrocraft:

"Protecting our critical ERP databases before was too costly and complex. When we looked at existing options such as Veeam and Commvault, none could deliver what we really needed, which was a fast and complete restoration of the application functionality, not just the data. Then we found Actifio One. [It] was the obvious answer, especially when we saw how simple the licensing model was, and were able to set it up in just 30 minutes."

Give that man a free Actifio coffee mug :-)


Arcserve would look on Actifio with horror. It sells an on-premises appliance, the Unified Data Protection (UDP) 7000 which provides set-and-forget disaster recovery capabilities for small and medium businesses, if Arcserve is to be believed, and also for remote and branch offices.

The product set features:

  • Five models in three capacities to protect from one up to 26TB of source data
  • Global deduplication, encryption, compression and WAN optimised replication
  • Wizard simplifies setup and shortens time to first backup to less than 15 minutes
  • The features and capabilities of Arcserve UDP Advanced Server Edition in a simple, powerful, all-in-one appliance
  • Combination of SATA, SAS and SSD drives for optimised performance
  • Multiple offsite protection options including automatic replication to UDP appliance(s) residing in public or private clouds or secondary office sites or backing up appliance directly to tape
  • Host-based, agentless backup for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Recovery options include local, remote or cloud virtual standby, bare metal recovery, granular application recovery or simple file recovery

Actually, Arcserve is not that far away from Actifio because, "in the near future, Arcserve will provide a branded cloud environment where customers and MSPs can configure virtual cloud-hosted Arcserve UDP appliances to which their on-premise appliances can be replicated".

This is a capable box, and as evidence if Arcserve's determination to be successful outside of ex-parent CA's embrace. The UDP 7000 is available for pre-orders now and will be available to the SMB market in North America in March 2015. It will be available in other countries by the autumn of 2015.

Additional models with higher capacities will become available to the mid-market in the next few quarters. Mote details can be found here.


Asigra Cloud Backup v13 includes:

  • Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) enablement with VMware vSphere replication to one or more warm, on or offsite replicas
  • Mobile device geo-location and remote wiping; endpoint data loss prevention
  • Open infrastructure support for FreeBSD on ZFS and CentOS running on commodity hardware servers and storage
  • Integration with Linear Tape File System (LTFS)
  • Microsoft SCCM Integration: deploy and configure Asigra Cloud Backup client software across thousands of Windows mobile endpoints not connected to the LAN
  • Full Chinese localisation
  • General availability of Docker container backup and Office 365 backup

Asigra says "some categories of data have short recovery time objectives (RTOs) and frequent recovery point objectives (RPOs), and others, such as email archives, have longer RTOs and infrequent RPOs. Managing a spectrum of data protection options to ensure end-to-end data recovery can be extremely complicated and costly." V13 Cloud Backup "offers a converged platform that delivers a single, comprehensive solution for all data located on physical servers, virtual machines, mobile endpoints and cloud applications."

It points out that "tape is highly cost effective with as much as an 84 per cent cost savings compared with disk-based storage over 9-10 years." So v13 software can automatically park old, cold data on LTFS tape via the Asigra BLM Archiver.

The mobile end-point protection sounds neat. Users can find the location of lost or stolen devices from the Asigra DS-NOC with a Google Maps interface and wipe data on the pesky little lost critters remotely if required.


Avere, which makes filer accelerator and cloud file storage gateways, has put cloud snapshots into its v4.5 OS.

Avere's OS contains a FlashCloud filesystem and cloud snapshots are integrated with that. FlashCloud runs on an FXT edge filer which receive NAS access requests from users and translates these to object storage APIs so Amplidata, Cleversafe and AWS S3 public cloud storage resources can be used behind the scenes.

FlashCloud is supported by both physical and virtual FXT Edge Filers and these filers can be clustered to scale out performance and capacity.

Avere says its snapshots "are space-efficient, support 1,024 snapshots per bucket, can be automated or run manually and provide point in-time consistency across all objects in a bucket."

It wants us to know that IT can use snapshots as a disaster recovery facility in the cloud, with the familiar NAS-style user interface. Senior product management director Jeff Tabor said: "With Avere's Cloud Snapshots, and for a fraction of the price of a normal DR solution, customer data can survive even entire array and site failures."

Cloud Snapshots are available today and are included in Avere OS 4.5 at no additional cost.

Asigra Cloud Backup V13 is available now. For IT service providers who want to evaluate the software, a 14-day free trial with no obligation is available at ®

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