During the last VMworld EU, on Tuesday, I met David Blackman, General Manager EMEA in Acronis and we have some talk about the company and their products.
Acronis was founded in 2002 and is headquarter is in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, with 18 offices worldwide (included Italy). The executive management team has two recent news: the President & CEO is Alex Pinchev (joined on Jan, 2012 from RedHat) and the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is Scott Crenshaw (joined on Sep, 2012, still from Red Hat). Both have joined Acronis to strengthen leadership and focus on strategic enterprise initiatives.
Their idea is grow more also in Enterprise segment (and not only in the SMB where already are strengths enough) and provide server and workstation backup, disaster recovery and data protection for physical, virtual and cloud environments, for organizations of all sizes and home users.
On 5th Sept 2012 they have announced the new release of Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5 and at the VMworld EU (on 9th Oct) they have also announced the vmProtect v8 (as VMUG IT we had a day dedicated on the v7 of this product).
The first one is multi-platform and multi-OS and probably the only one that could support (in the Advanced Platform): VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, RedHat Enterprise Virtualization, Citrix XenServer, Parallels Bare Metal! It included also tape support and it’s a single product to handle both physical and virtual backups.
The second product is focused on VMware vSphere and has the following characteristics:
- Installs in minutes as either a virtual appliance or on a dedicated machine.
- Agentless backup of virtual machines with VADP.
- Replication of virtual machines onto another host for additional protection and fast recovery in the event of a disaster.
- vmFlashBack copies only blocks that have been changed after a backup, making the restore process 100 times faster.
- Run a virtual machine from its backup without having to do a full restore.
- Bare metal recovery of an entire VMware ESXi host – including the binaries for the VMware vSphere hypervisor, configuration settings, and all virtual machines managed by the hypervisor – to the same machine or a different bare metal machine.
- Recover an entire Microsoft Exchange Server database or individual items, such as mailboxes, emails and contacts, from a virtual machine backup.
- Full integration into VMware vCenter allows you to centrally manage all backup, recovery and replication operations directly from vCenter.
- Staging/Multi-destination – move or copy newly created backups to another location.
- Automatic disaster recovery plan that provides step-by-step instructions.
- Compression and built-in deduplication reduces the amount of storage required.
- Encryption – government-grade 256-bit data encryption.
- Seamless integration with Acronis cloud storage for an extra layer of data protection.
- Unlimited migrations of physical or virtual servers to VMware vSphere.
- Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 support, including ReFS and data deduplication
There are some really interesting features in this new release and I think that the Acronis cloud storage support is really useful to implement a Backup as a Service (BaaS) solution, considering the encryption with 256-bit keys and the support for other type of cloud provider. This could also be used to implement a multi-destination backup solution this different level, like data to disk (D2D) and data to cloud (D2C).
Another interesting feature is the vmFlashBack restore to restore only the incremental changes, using the CBT feature of VMware vSphere. This and the other related features, could give a fast recovery.
A unique function is the restore of ESXi from bare metal using the universal hardware restore! Although could be not so useful in a AutoDeploy scenario, for others cases this could be and interesting function!
Finally this product could be used in two different way: integrated with vCenter Server (actually with a plug-in) or as a web interface (also for the web recovery) that seems to be simple to integrated it with the new vSphere Web Client.
Another recent news in their products is the result of the acquisition on the secure enterprise file access, sharing and syncing software company GroupLogic (on 13 Sep 2012). From this acquisition, they now have some new product oriented on the sync of any endpoint to implement an enterprise version of Dropbox and more:
- activEcho: Secure Enterprise File Sharing and Syncing
- mobileEcho: Secure Mobile File Management for Enterprise Mobility Users
- ExtremeZ-IP: one Secure Network Serving Mac and PC computers
Actually those GroupLogic solutions not so used in Europe (as an in the US), but we will see if the Acronis acquisition will give them more strengths.