EVault Delivers Backup Flexibility with Release 7
Published: September 18, 2012
by Alex Woodie
Organizations that use EVault's online backup and recovery service are now able to keep replicas of their data in more places as part of new product architecture launched last week with EVault 7. Specifically, EVault overcame technical limitations that kept customers from keeping copies of their data on site, while also storing copies with EVault or a service provider partner. EVault 7 also brings a new social media-type user interface aimed at boosting collaboration.
In the disaster recovery business, it's absolutely impetrative to have geographically distributed copies of your data. The folks at EVault obviously realize this. After all, the Seagate subsidiary's business model--using the Internet to move customers' backup data offsite, onto either EVault's storage servers or the storage servers of an EVault OEM provider--is built on this premise.
However, the company's data replication architecture did not provide the level of flexibility that customers were beginning to demand. Yes, EVault could give customers geographic disperation of their backups, reducing the chances that a regional disaster takes out a backup of data along with the original production data. It could even provide a backup of that backup. That is, it could create and keep in synch two copies of a customer's data.
What it was lacking, however, was the capability to create and manage the third copy. With EVault 7, the company now can create and manage and keep in synch a third copy of a customer's data, providing another level of geographic dispersion--another level of protection--of customers' data.
EVault product manager Karen Jaworski explains the significance of this to IT Jungle. "Before, the service provider could hold data and they could back up to EVault cloud, or the service provider could hold the data and they could have another copy on the customer site. But they couldn't do both," she says. "We didn't have the ability for them to easily have it in the customer site and EVault site at same time. So it's really the third copy that's new."
The technical limitation has been removed with EVault 7, Jaworski says. "That removes a lot of the burden from them as far as having a redundant architecture so they can just hand off that secondary copy of the backup for somebody else to handle and for somebody else to scale out," she says. "We're allowing customers to keep a replica of data wherever they need it--their own private cloud, on the service provider's cloud, or on EVault's cloud, or all three, in any combination."
EVault handles all the data replication of the backup data to the customer's alternate site, to a service provider's site, and to EVault's site. EVault 7 replicates the data at the backup job-level, a more granular level that eliminates the need to replicate entire backup volumes to ensure the various backup copies are in synch.
Customers can store their backup copy on dedicated hardware, or in a virtualized environment on existing hardware using either Microsoft HyperV or VMware software. The company sells a product called the EVault Express Recovery Appliance: Virtual Edition to manage the customer's copy of the data.
The EVault Portal is also new with version 7. The portal is a new Web-based management console that uses social media constructs, such as a news feed, to allow system administrators to stay on top of backup and recovery-related tasks, and to collaborate with other administrators overseeing their own backups at remote sites.
A new social media in EVault Release 7 is designed to ease collaboration and speed resolution of backup and recovery issues among geographically dispersed teams of administrators.
EVault Portal is based on the Jive social media platform, and is designed to streamline administrative tasks, Jaworski says. "Administrators don't have a lot of time to be thinking much about their data protection solution and constantly monitoring it, so a social networking-type of paradigm is wonderful because it gives you a full conversation thread and you're able to jump in and comment on what's going on, picking up threads and conversations as you go along," she says.
The new portal is currently only available to customers who store their data with EVault (as opposed to storing it with EVault's OEM providers), but the company plans to make it available to all EVault customers in the future.
Administrators can insert their own items into the EVault Portal news feed, and the various EVault agents will also feed the feed. EVault develops backup agents for a variety of computer systems, including IBM i.
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