VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE. The Insider s Guide to Evaluating Virtual Server Backup Software. By Charley McMaster and Jerome M Wendt

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1 2013 VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE The Insider s Guide to Evaluating Virtual Server Backup Software By Charley McMaster and Jerome M Wendt DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault.

2 Table of Contents 1 Introduction 3 Executive Summary 5 How to Use this Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide 6 Disclosures 6 Virtual Server Backup Software Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria 6 The 8-Step Process Used to Score and Rank the Virtual Server Backup Software (VSBS) Solutions 8 DCIG Comments & Thoughts on 8 Protecting Physical Machines in the Virtual World 8 VMware vsphere APIs for Data Protection (VADP) 9 The Relevance of Backup Agents 9 Deduplication 9 Capacity-based versus Socket-based Software Licensing 10 DCIG Buyers Guide Categories 10 Integration 11 Observations and Recommendations Regarding Each Virtual Server Backup Software Ranking 18 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer's Guide Models 19 Acronis VMProtect 8 20 Arkeia Network Backup v Asigra Cloud Backup Atempo Time Navigator 23 Bridgehead Software VMware Backup CA Technologies ARCserve r16 25 Cofio Aimstor CommVault Simpana Dell AppAssure Dell Quest Software vranger EMC Avamar 30 EMC NetWorker 31 Evault Data Protection Software 32 Eversync HP Data Protector 34 IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager v IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments v Idera Server Backup PHD Virtual v Symantec Backup Exec Symantec NetBackup Veeam Backup & Replication Product Rankings Dashboard Appendix A-1 Definitions, Explanations and Terminology B-1 Virtual Server Backup Software Contact Information C-1 Author Contact Information 11 "Best-in-Class" Ranking 12 "Recommended" Ranking 12 "Excellent" Ranking 13 "Good" Ranking 14 "Basic" Ranking 15 Virtual Server Backup Software Scores and Rankings 16 Overall Scores and Rankings 17 Backup Technology Scores and Rankings 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. i

3 Introduction It has been just a little over two years since the inaugural DCIG 2011 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide was released and a lot has changed in the market during that period of time. Vendors have been bought and sold, products revamped and consumer interest is stronger than ever as virtualization has shifted from being the next big thing to how data center technology is deployed. Virtualization affords organizations multiple opportunities to reduce power, optimize hardware utilization, improve application availability and ultimately drive down costs. In light of its benefits, it is no surprise that the analyst firm Gartner recently found that virtualization penetration has surpassed 50% of all server workloads and continues to grow. 1 It is as businesses virtualize their environment that they recognize that the traditional techniques used for backup are no longer applicable. This has prompted many organizations to focus on identifying the best backup software to protect their virtualized environment. Not surprisingly, there are many solutions from multiple providers ready and willing to answer this enterprise call for virtual server backup software. In some cases it is new software specifically designed to protect for virtualized environments. In other cases, it is existing software that has been updated and refreshed to give it the capabilities it needs to better protect and recover these newly virtualized environments. In either case what it means for organizations is a lot of choices that contribute to making it very difficult to make an informed decision about which product to acquire. Adding to the difficulty is that providers are taking their software down different paths to solve the different backup and recovery challenges that virtualized environments present. It can be said with 90% certainty that all virtual server backup software is ready to protect VMware vsphere environments and is leveraging the new APIs in vsphere that help ensure backups of virtual machines (VMs) occur quickly and easily. Further, some of the solutions are leveraging vsphere APIs that offload the overhead associated with backup from the physical server to the backend storage array. Using this option, the backup software initiates the creation of snapshot of a VM on the storage array which it then manages as a VM backup. However DCIG is only 90% confident that all backup software products support VMware s API as not all of them do. DCIG initially was going to make support for VMware s data protection APIs a prerequisite for a product s inclusion in this Guide. Yet these APIs serve no purpose in environments that are using Microsoft Hyper-V or Red Hat Linux as their hypervisor of choice. In these environments, integration with VMware may be seen as interesting but not a prerequisite when choosing a virtual server backup software solution. That said, there can be no denying the level of adoption that VMware has experienced in organizations of all sizes over the last few years. As a result, VMware has greatly influenced virtual server backup software development during that period of time. 1. VMware. "VMware News Releases." VMware Named a Leader in Magic Quadrant for X86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure. VMware, 29 June Web. 14 Feb DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 1

4 Introduction continued This has also heavily influenced the product features that DCIG evaluated when preparing this Guide and how it scored and weighted them. It can be safely said that if an organization is using VMware vsphere in its environment as its preferred virtualization platform and is looking for the best backup software to protect it then this Buyer s Guide is for you. The level of detail in this Buyer s Guide combined with DCIG s consistent scoring system helps organizations in two key ways. First, it provides a powerful yet concise method to evaluate each virtual server backup software solution so organizations can understand the overall strengths and weaknesses of each one. Using this information they can then understand how well designed each one is to meet specific needs in their environment. Second, this Buyer s Guide provides a set of scores and rankings across the multiple features on each product as well as a data sheet for each virtual server backup software product. These data sheets drill down into the specifics of each one to provide information about each product s backup technology, management, restore and support features. It also examines if specific features are supported and, in some cases, how they are implemented. The support of these features and how they are implemented contribute to specific category scores as well as an overall score for each virtual server backup software product. Please note that this Buyer s Guide is NOT intended to be a substitute for internal testing. DCIG encourages any organization that is considering the purchase of a virtual server backup software solution to do its own in-house testing if at all possible as it is impossible for DCIG to predict how well the software will backup and recover your particular environment. We hope this Buyer s Guide meets its intended purposes in your environments and serves as a helpful aid in supplementing your organization s normal decision making and product evaluation process. Charley & Jerome 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 2

5 Executive Summary Server virtualization is now an industry mainstay. While hosting multiple VMs on a single physical machine has been around since the days of the mainframe, the advent of hypervisors such as Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Linux and VMware vsphere running on Intelbased hardware has brought server virtualization to the masses. As this has occurred, the number of companies virtualizing their applications has exploded. In an October 2012 report, the analyst firm Gartner said that the total number of virtual OS instances already comprised over 70% of total OS instances and that this percentage would grow to over 80% by Growth like this makes it no surprise that existing backup software vendors have had to adapt their backup software to protect these environments while it has created an opportunity for new vendors to emerge to capitalize on this trend. In the two years that have passed since DCIG released its inaugural Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide, features that virtual server backup software must possess have changed quite a bit. Features such as support for tape libraries or VMware Consolidated Backup (VMware s first generation backup utility) are rarely if ever discussed when evaluating backup software products. In their place a new set of criteria for evaluating virtual server backup software has emerged. These focus on how well the backup software integrates with the various VMware vsphere APIs for array integration and data protection, what backup and recovery tasks can it perform using, how well does it manage its available disk capacity and how well does it deduplicate data and where can deduplication be performed are now all topics that are front and center on organization s minds when evaluating backup software. Arguably one of the biggest changes that virtualization has brought about in backup software is the expectation that VM backups complete successfully. It was not that long ago in user environments that when all backups successfully over the course of an evening that such an occurrence was met with silent jubilation the next morning. Today it is just expected that virtual server backup software using disk as its backup target will achieve that objective 99% of the time or more. This has led to organizations wanting backup software to do a better job of managing VM recoveries so they can do more with these backups. This includes everything from doing fast, granular restores of individual files or messages to using their backup software as the foundation for doing offsite disaster recoveries. It is for reason like these that this Buyer s Guide includes Management and Restore categories so organizations can more effectively evaluate how well equipped each virtual server backup software solution is equipped to deliver on these features that are increasing in importance to end-users. 1. Wu, Jennifer, Uko Tian, and Ranjit Atwal. "Forecast: X86 Server Virtualization, Worldwide, 3Q12 Update " Forecast: X86 Server Virtualization, Worldwide, 3Q12 Update Gartner, 23 Oct Web. 17 Feb DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 3

6 Executive Summary continued It is in this context that DCIG presents its 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. As prior Buyer s Guides have done, it puts at the fingertips of organizations a comprehensive list of virtual server backup software solutions and what features they offer in the form of detailed, standardized data sheets that can assist them in this important buying decision. The DCIG 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide accomplishes the following objectives: Provides an objective, third party evaluation of virtual server backup software that evaluates and scores their features from an end user s perspective. Scores and ranks the features of each virtual server backup software solution based upon the criteria that matter most to end users and then presents these results in an easy to understand tables that displays the products scores and rankings so they can quickly ascertain which virtual server backup software solutions are the most appropriate for their needs. Provides a standardized data sheet for each of the 22 virtual backup software solutions from 18 different backup software providers so users may do quick comparisons of the features that are supported and not supported on each product. Provides insight into what VMware vsphere APIs each virtual server backup software solution supports. Gives any organization a solid foundation for getting competitive bids from different virtual server backup software providers that are based on apples-to-apples comparisons DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 4

7 How to Use this Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide In determining how to best use the information contained in this Buyer s Guide, it is important to note that it is intended to help users in their purchase of their product(s). The purpose of this Buyer s Guide is NOT to tell users exactly which product(s) to purchase. Rather it is to help guide them in coming up with a list of competitive products that have comparable features that meet their specific needs. It is also important to note that just because a product scored the highest in a particular category or is ranked a certain way does not automatically mean that it is the right product for their organization. If anything, because of the scope of the products evaluated and analyzed, it may have features that are too robust for the needs of an individual department or organization. However what this Buyer s Guide does is give users some sense of how each product compares to other products classified in this guide, as well as offers additional insight into what product offerings are available on the market. DCIG recommends that you use this Buyer s Guide in the following seven ways: Eliminate the painstaking research associated with coming up with a short list of products that meet their needs. This Buyer s Guide ranks, scores and contains data sheets for 22 different products from 18 different providers. Each product is scored and then ranked as Best-in-Class, Recommended, Excellent, Good and Basic based upon its score. In each product, over 100 different features were evaluated, weighted, scored and then ranked. All an organization has to do is look at the scores and features of each solution in order to come up with a short list for consideration. Do apples-to-apples comparisons of products from different vendors. In today s crowded backup software market, it behooves organization to get competitive bids from multiple vendors. After all, when they compete, you win! But that tactic only works well when organizations know that they are receiving competitive bids on products that are roughly comparable. Using this Buyer s Guide, organizations can do a better job of accomplishing that objective. Separate the apples from the oranges. Just as important as doing apples-to-apples comparisons is identifying when an orange is thrown into the mix. Sometimes it is very difficult for an organization to know if it is truly getting a good deal when bids come in from vendors that include different products. Now organizations can refer to the scores and rankings of each product on this guide so they know when they are getting it a good deal, a great deal or just a so-so one. Provides perspective on how products from less well known vendors compare against established and better known brands. Anyone involved with backup at all has probably at least heard of Dell, EMC, HP, IBM or Symantec. This creates a certain built-in level of comfort when buying products from these vendors and a corresponding built-in resistance to buying products from vendors that are perceived as unknown quantities. This Buyer s Guide helps to remove some of that apprehension about buying from a less well known vendor or even a less well known model from an established vendor. Using this Buyer s Guide organizations can see how these products from lesser known vendors as well as lesser known products from established vendors stack up. Normalizes complex terminology. Every segment across industries has a proclivity to adopt acronyms and jargon that is specific to it but the technology industry seems to go out of its way to use unfamiliar terms as well as refer to the same technology in different ways. This Buyer s Guide sifts through the acronyms and jargons and terms and normalizes them. This minimizes or even eliminates the need for users to try to understand all of the different technology terms. Creates a standardized data sheet. The product data sheets available from the different vendors are rarely laid out in the same way or contain the same information. Some vendors even have data sheet formats that vary from product to product within their own portfolio. This Buyer s Guide tackles this problem by creating a standard, easy to read data sheet for every product. In this way, product data sheets for individual products can be printed out, laid down side by side and then the features on them quickly compared DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 5

8 Helps justify buying recommendations to business teams. Nothing is easier for those on the business side to understand than a number when doing comparisons. At the top of every product data sheet, a product score is included so the business side of the house can quickly see how the different product models compare. Disclosures Over the last few years the general trend in the US has been for both large and boutique analyst firms to receive some or all of their revenue from vendors. DCIG is no different in that respect as it also receives payment for the different services it performs for vendors. The services that DCIG provides include blogging, case studies, product reviews, executive white papers and special reports. In the interest of being transparent, a number of the vendors included in this DCIG Buyer s Guide are or have been DCIG clients. This is not to imply that they were given preferential treatment in the Buyer s Guide. All it meant was that DCIG had more knowledge of their products and that DCIG would consider their product for inclusion in this Buyer s Guide. In that vein, there are a number of important facts to keep in mind when considering the information contained in this Buyer s Guide and its merit. No vendor paid DCIG any fee to develop this Buyer s Guide. DCIG did not guarantee any vendor that its product would be included in this Buyer s Guide. DCIG did not imply or guarantee that a specific product would receive a good score on this Buyer s Guide, before or after completion. All research was based upon one or more of the following: publicly available information, information provided by the vendor and/or the expertise of those evaluating the information. Because of the number of features analyzed, how these features were weighted and then how these products were scored and then ranked, there was no way for DCIG to predict at the outset how individual products would end up scoring or ranking. DCIG wants to emphasize that no vendor was privy to how DCIG did the scoring and ranking of the products. In every case the vendor only found out the scores and rankings of its product after the analysis was complete. Virtual Server Backup Software Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria As DCIG prepared this release of its 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide, it attempted to take into account as many variables as possible when determining which solutions to include and exclude. This may have even resulted in some backup software products not being covered in this Buyer s Guide when they rightfully belonged in it. However as DCIG continues to develop and release future versions of this Buyer s Guide, it will continue to refine both the criteria by which it collects data and which software may or may not be included in future Guides. For the purposes of this Buyer s Guide, the following criteria were used when determining whether or not include or exclude specific virtual server backup software products: Be available as a single SKU Backup one or more of the leading virtual server hypervisor platforms such as Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and/or VMware vsphere Sufficient information available for DCIG to draw meaningful conclusions There were some cases were backup software providers elected not to respond to DCIG s inquiries or requests. While those products were still covered in this Buyer s Guide, the information as presented in this Guide may be incomplete or not represent all of the product s capabilities. In cases where no responses were received, a notation is included on the bottom of that product s data sheet indicating that all information displayed is strictly drawn from publicly available sources. The 8-Step Process Used to Score and Rank the Virtual Server Backup Software (VSBS) Solutions To score and rank each Virtual Server Backup Software solution included in this Buyer s Guide, DCIG went 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 6

9 through an 8-step process to come to the most objective conclusion possible. 1. A list of products that met the DCIG definition for Virtual Server Backup Software was created. This list was used to determine which vendors to contact for inclusion of their virtual server backup software products in this Buyer s Guide. 2. A list of features to be evaluated in the Buyer s Guide was established. The terms on this list were then normalized such that a common name for each feature included in the Buyer s Guide could be established. In cases where a feature could not be objectively defined or understood, it was excluded from consideration. 3. Each feature had a weighting associated with it. The weightings were used to reflect if a feature was supported and potentially how useful and/or important the feature was to end-users. Based on experience from previous Buyer s Guides and through monitoring user preferences, DCIG now assigns more weight to those backup software products that support features such as VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) than those that do not. 4. The features were broken into four (4) general categories. The features included in this Buyer s Guide were broken down into four general categories: Backup Technology, Management, Restore, and Support. These categories reflect the general features that DCIG believes organizations are evaluating when seeking out virtual server backup software solutions. 5. A survey for each solution was sent to each vendor to complete. DCIG contacted representatives of the vendors included in this Buyer s Guide to enlist their support in completing it. In those instances where vendors did not complete the survey, DCIG completed the survey on their behalf, sent it to them and gave them the opportunity to respond with any corrections or edits to the DCIG-completed survey. In every case every provider had the opportunity to review and respond to any DCIG-completed survey 6. All the features were scored based on the information gathered from the surveys. Features were marked as either supported or unsupported and then scored accordingly. In some cases, additional points were awarded for how the feature was supported or implemented. 7. Product data sheets were created and sent out to the vendors for review before publication. Due to the large number of product features that DCIG evaluated, there was not sufficient room to display all information on the product data sheets. Only those backup software features that DCIG deemed most important were included in the published version of the Buyer s Guide. The full list of product features may be accessed in the DCIG Interactive Buyer s Guide available through DCIG s website: However all information on each data sheet (minus their scores and rankings) included in this published version of the Buyer s Guide was sent to the vendors prior to publication for their review and feedback. In every case each provider had a chance to review the content included on its respective data sheet. 8. Each virtual server backup software solution was awarded one of five (5) different designations. One of the goals of this Buyer s Guide was to make clear, objective distinctions between different virtual server backup software solutions. To accomplish this goal, the mean (or average) score for each category was determined as well as the standard deviation. The mean and standard deviation were calculated from the scores of all virtual server backup software solutions. DCIG then developed a ranking for each virtual server backup software solution using these calculations as a guide. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were 0.5 or greater standard deviations below the mean were given the rank of Basic. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were 0.5 standard deviations above or below the mean were assigned the rank of Good. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were standard deviations above the mean were ranked as Excellent. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were greater than 1.5 standard deviations above the mean were ranked as Recommended DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 7

10 The virtual server backup software solution that had the overall top score as well as the top score in each category was given the designation Best-in- Class. If there was no top score in a category (i.e. multiple products had the same top score,) no Best-in-Class award was given. It is for this reason that in each category the number of virtual server backup software solutions that achieved a certain ranking varied. DCIG Comments & Thoughts on Protecting Physical Machines in the Virtual World Server backup is important in any environment physical or virtual or any combination thereof. As more organizations virtualize their environments, many are not able to immediately virtualize all of their application so they must still address the issue of physical backup necessitating that software back them both up. It is for this reason that DCIG advises that organizations acquire virtual server backup software that supports both of these environments. The good news is that since DCIG released its first Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide, many of the solutions that once only protected virtual machines (VMs) now offer support for physical machines as well. In this Buyer s Guide, DCIG found that approximately 70% of the software now supported doing both restores from virtual to physical (V2P) machines ones as well as from physical to virtual (P2V) machines. The backup software that best protects physical machines are those that got their start in the physical world (CommVault Simpana, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, Symantec Backup Exec and NetBackup) as they protect the widest range of virtual machines. Conversely those that got their start in the virtual world (Dell Quest Software vranger, PHD Virtual and Veeam) do now offer some support for physical machines. This support for physical machines is generally limited to those running either Windows or Linux with little or no options to protect any flavors of Unix. VMware vsphere APIs for Data Protection (VADP) In the past couple of years virtual server backup software providers have made numerous advancements improving their support for virtual server backup. Among the most notable has been their improved support for the VMware vsphere APIs for Data Protection (VADP) that was initially introduced in vsphere 4.0. The big drawback of its VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) predecessor was that it required a proxy server to do the backups. This contributed to making the setup of backups complex and cumbersome to complete. VADP eliminated this by making VM backups a one step process. It accomplishes this by taking snapshots of the VM image and then transporting that image (or incremental changes to it) across a network. Over 90% of the backup software products covered in the DCIG 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide leverages of VADP in some way. Of the products covered in this Guide, only Dell AppAssure and Idera do not currently offer support for VADP in their respective virtual server backup software as of the release of this Guide. VADP offers multiple benefits including full, incremental, and differential image backups though its Changed Block Tracking (CBT) feature may be its most desirable one. Using CBT only blocks that have changed between snapshot occurrences are sent from the source to target. This serves to reduce the amount of data transported over the network to the backup target as well as the amount of data that needs to be stored. The other major advantage of VADP and spurring its rapid adoption is that VADP works without backup agents. This functionality coupled with its Changed Block Tracking feature gives backup software that supports it the ability to deliver comparable levels of backup granularity as when backup agents are used inside the VM, to include application awareness. Where organizations do need to exercise some caution is that all products are not equally adept at doing restores when using VADP to do backup. Some still only provide the ability to do holistic VM image restores and cannot restore data at the more granular file or message level. Using these products, agents may still be a prerequisite to do these more granular restores through the backup software interface or it may necessitate that an organization restore the entire the VM and then navigate the restored VM to restore the desired files or messages DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 8

11 The Relevance of Backup Agents The advent of VMware APIs such as VADP have left some wondering if still placing backup agents in a VM still offers any benefits. While agents were once required to generate application or recovery consistent backups or doing granular level restores of files or messages, the introduction of VADP in VMware vsphere allows backup software to acquiesce a VM without any agent and take a snapshot of that VM. This approach has minimized and arguably eliminated the need to develop and place agents on VMs to perform this same task. Further supporting the argument that backup agents may no longer be needed is that 90% of the virtual server backup software solutions covered in this Buyer s Guide offer partial or full support of VADP s various capabilities. These arguments for the use of VADP and its broad support even led DCIG to consider excluding any virtual server backup software that did not support VADP. Two arguments have for now dissuaded DCIG from making VADP support a prerequisite for a product s inclusion in this Guide. First, some companies still prefer to use backup software provided agents in lieu of VADP to protect applications such as Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft SharePoint though backup software providers share that VADP should now be able to protect these applications. The other argument supporting the continued coverage of backup software that does not support VADP is the relative immaturity of VADP itself. While VADP is now about three (3) years old, some backup software vendors report VADP behaves inconsistently at times and that a backup agent is still needed in those circumstances. It is for those reasons that DCIG elected to cover those backup software solutions that did not support VADP in this release of the DCIG Buyer s Guide. However in future releases of this Buyer s Guide, DCIG expects VADP support to be a prerequisite for inclusion in this Buyer s Guide. It should be noted that those backup software products that did not support VADP generally scored and ranked poorly in this Guide as quite a bit of weight in the scoring and evaluation of these products was given to VADP support. Deduplication Deduplication works across both physical and virtual environments reducing the total amount of data to backup, the time it takes to complete the backup and how much data is stored. However virtualized environments in particular tend to derive a great deal of benefit from deduplication as most VMs tend to share a great deal of data in common. It is for this reason that over 90% of the products covered in this Buyer s Guide support deduplication in some form with support for this feature should almost be viewed as a prerequisite when choosing any backup software to protect your virtual environment. However where organizations need to exercise some caution when selecting a solution that does deduplication is evaluating how and where it deduplicates backup data. Some only deduplicate data in a specific backup job. Some deduplicate data across multiple backup jobs. Some deduplicate data across the entire backup store. Further, they may deduplicate data in one or more locations. Some deduplicate data at the client or host level. Some deduplicate data on the media server. Some may even be optionally configured as a backup target giving organizations up to three ways as to where data may be deduplicated. The DCIG 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide carefully examines this feature by examining both how deduplication is done and where it is performed. Capacity-based versus Socket-based Software Licensing One item that readers of the Buyer s Guide often ask is, Why does DCIG not include more information about pricing or evaluate pricing as part of its scoring and ranking methodology in its Buyer s Guide? The rationale behind DCIG s decision not to evaluate pricing is that so many factors go into the pricing of enterprise hardware or software solutions that it is nearly impossible for DCIG to objectively compare pricing between these products. While DCIG does provide some insight into the starting prices of the respective products covered in this Guide, these prices did not factor into how any of this software was scored or ranked. This said, capacity-based and socket-based software licensing are two trends in virtual server backup software licensing that have emerged in the last couple of years that users should carefully consider before making a buying decision DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 9

12 Capacity-based licensing in particular has become more popular in the last couple of years. Rather than requiring users to first document their existing environment and then pick and choose which virtual server backup software features they need to license to protect their environment, all features that the backup software offers are included. In this way organizations can freely use whatever features the backup software includes to protect their environment. The caveat to this capacity-based approach to software licensing is verifying how the vendor measures capacity. There are two ways this is commonly measured. One way is to measure the total amount of data protected. The other is to calculate the total amount of data in the backup data store after the data has been deduplicated. Socket-based software licensing has emerged more recently and is gaining momentum in the virtualized environments. By tying the licensing to the number of sockets on the physical machine hosting the VMs, organizations may realize significant savings in their backup software licensing costs. This approach encourages them to optimize the number of VMs on a physical machine and frees them to let their backup data stores grow unchecked. This approach may be most desirable for those organizations that have the administrators and/or engineers on hand who are actively tuning their virtualized environment and have the time to optimize. Unless organizations have the time to do this, they are probably better served from a cost and simplicity perspective by selecting backup software that offers capacity-based software licensing. DCIG Buyers Guide Categories It has been over two years since DCIG issued its first Buyer s Guide on Virtual Server Backup Software. In this Guide, DCIG revisits this market by evaluating 22 products and over 100 features the DCIG divided into four (4) key categories: Backup Technology, Management, Restore, and Support. The features are broken into each category as follows: Backup Technology. The broadest category in this Guide, it covers operating systems support at hypervisor and guest levels, snapshot visibility, management interfaces, and integration with VADP, vcenter and vsphere. It also takes into account the software s ability to back itself up, deduplicate across multiple backup jobs, concurrently backup multiple VMs and verify the backup. It also covers the detection of multiple VMs being backed up on the same host. Management. Factors in this area include agent use, VM detection, monitoring, configuration, and a number of other capabilities around VM usage. Questions also center on its ability to do disk and tape monitoring, job scheduling, and allocation were also factored into the scoring for this category. Restore. DCIG looked at how granularly the backup software could do restores from VMs to physical machines and vice versa as well as their ability to replicate to a secondary server. This category also takes into consideration single step restores, concurrent backup and restores and mass restores. Support. Support was evaluated on how what basic levels of support were offered and whether an IT administrator could resolve a support issue in a given day. A few companies offering a rapid, same-day onsite support helped them to achieve a superior ranking in this category. Integration is the console to which many organizations turn to centrally managing their entire virtual infrastructure. While was initially intended to centrally manage VMware vsphere VMs across multiple physical ESX servers, many organizations are now using it to manage much more than simply VMs. Storage arrays were some of the first to provide vcenter plug-ins to make it easier for organizations to do end-toend monitoring and management of their VMs all the way into the storage. Now backup software is following that lead as more organizations look to move away from the backup console and also manage their backups through the console. Here organizations need to exercise some caution when choosing a backup software solution if this feature functionality is important to them. While over 75% of the backup software covered in this Guide offer some level of vcenter Server integration, the level of integration that those solutions provide for varies widely DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 10

13 Some only offer the ability to view backup jobs. Some give administrators to schedule backup jobs. Some provide the full gamut from viewing and scheduling backups to doing restores from the console. Observations and Recommendations Regarding Each Virtual Server Backup Software Ranking Observations Best-in-Class Ranking CommVault Simpana 10 achieved the Best-in-Class ranking making this the second consecutive time that CommVault has earned the top spot in the DCIG Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. In comparing CommVault to its counterparts, it stood out in the following ways: It made significant enhancements in its ability to backup and recover VMs since the previous release of this Guide. This was reflected in CommVault s extraordinarily high score in the Backup Technology category which was over five (5) points higher than its nearest competitor. It includes the broadest level of support for creating and managing snapshots on storage arrays, an increasingly important attribute to successfully executing on virtual server backups in enterprise environments. It has significantly enhanced its integration with vsphere s various APIs to give organizations a logical way to monitor and/or take advantage of these features through the Simpana management console. Recommendations CommVault Simpana 10 once again sits atop of the Virtual Server Backup Software heap and for good reason. It ranked Best-in-Class and/or Recommended in every category that DCIG evaluated except one. Even in that category, it was within a few points of the top ranked product. What made CommVault Simpana s strong showing so impressive in this Buyer s Guide was that in a highly competitive space, CommVault actually expanded its leadership both in terms of its breadth of software functionality and the support it offers for virtual server backup. The content of this Buyer s Guide was based on products shipping in late 2012 and the features that were available at that time. As a result, many of the features that are included and shipping in CommVault Simpana 10 are not thoroughly evaluated or discussed in this Buyer s Guide. Furthermore, DCIG is not aware of other vendors providing support for some of the new features of Simpana 10. The Simpana 10 release shows how far the company has come by evolving Simpana to optimize the delivery of virtual server backup in enterprise data centers, widening the gulf between CommVault and the rest of the pack. For example, one of Simpana 10 s enhancements is its increased focus on better managing data protection in virtual and cloud environments. One of the biggest challenges with virtualized data centers is that you cannot see what you are managing. This problem becomes particularly acute as VMs move from physical machine to physical machine which may occur as organizations perform VM recoveries or optimize resource utilization on physical machines. Simpana 10 is able to track these VMs and then protect them. In Microsoft Hyper-V environments, as VMs move from node to node within a Hyper-V cluster, it can identify where a VM lives at the time of a backup and protect it. Further, if a restore is necessary, it can identify on what physical machine the VM resided at the time it was backed up so the appropriate backup may be selected for recovery. In addition to providing similar tracking functionality for VMware vsphere, CommVault Simpana 10 also introduces deeper integration with vcloud Director. Now when a VM backup is performed, Simpana 10 contacts vcloud Director to see if the VM was provisioned by it. If vcloud Director did provision the VM, Simpana 10 protects the metadata associated with the VM so when and if a recovery occurs the VM may be restored to the appropriate virtual data center within vcloud Director. Simpana 10 s integration with vcloud Director also comes into play for organizations looking to automate and accelerate the delivery of virtualized data center infrastructure services, 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 11

14 of which backup is becoming an integral part. Used in this way, Simpana 10 provides a foundation so that enterprises can automate backup and recovery workflows and manage it as a software-defined service in their virtual data center. It is in this broader context that organizations should view CommVault Simpana 10. While it already ranks Bestin-Class for meeting today s virtual server backup and recovery requirements, it has put all of the pieces in place so organizations can do more than simply successfully manage backup and recovery in their virtualized data centers. They can also automate it. Recommended Ranking Observations Symantec NetBackup 7.5 was the only virtual server backup software to earn the Recommended ranking in this release of the Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. While NetBackup 7.5 has had a long history in enterprise data centers protecting their physical environments, it is clear it has successfully made the transition to also protect virtual environments extremely well. Key features to note about Symantec NetBackup in DCIG s evaluation of its software: Provides a comprehensive set of management features earning a Recommended ranking in the Management category for its ability to deliver on these features. This Recommended Management category ranking was only equaled by Symantec s complementary Backup Exec 2012 offering. Supports multiple Guest and Hypervisor OSes to include multiple versions of UNIX on the Guest OS side and Red Hat Linux KVM on the hypervisor side. Shared the Recommended ranking with five (5) other products in the Restore category. Tightly integrates with vsphere and supports snapshot creation and management with all leading storage array providers Recommendations Symantec NetBackup 7.5 s long standing reputation as being a premier provider of enterprise backup software continues to be substantiated in this Buyer s Guide. It essentially offers all of the features that enterprise organizations need to successfully backup and recover their virtualized environments as well efficiently manage them. While DCIG did find a few of NetBackup s features lacking in the granularity of support that CommVault offered and which ultimately contributed to the point spread that separated the two products, these gaps could potentially be closed or even leapfrogged with future upgrades or forthcoming NetBackup releases. Any large enterprise looking at a virtual server backup software solution should definitely have NetBackup 7.5 along with CommVault Simpana 10 on its short list of products to evaluate. Excellent Ranking Observations Five virtual server backup software solutions earned an Excellent ranking in this Buyer s Guide. Features that products with this ranking generally shared in common included: Excellent rankings in the Backup Technology category (or extremely high scores in the Good ranking of this category) Excellent or Recommended rankings in the Restore category. Protect both physical and virtual environments. Support for multiple Guest and Hypervisor OSes. Reduced or no support for the creation and management of array-based snapshots. Fewer available management interface options for their products (usually just a web-based interface.) Reduced levels of integration with vsphere Center with View only capabilities when doing backups and minimal or no options to perform restores DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 12

15 Recommendations Products with an Excellent ranking should definitely be considered by any organization looking for a robust virtual server backup software offering. These products should be given the most attention by companies that need to protect both physical and virtual environments using a single solution. Organizations that select these products should have little or no plans to use to manage backups and restores and do not intend to use the backup software to create or manage snapshots on storage arrays. If initiating and managing array-based snapshots is a prerequisite, then products such as EMC Avamar oremc NetWorker should get the nod so long as these solutions are deployed in environments that are using EMC storage. CA ARCserve r16 and Symantec Backup Exec 2012 continue the long tradition of these respective solutions delivering backup software that is well suited for midsized enterprises. These offer sufficient feature functionality to meet the needs of these organizations without some of the bells and whistles that are normally only needed at the enterprise space. Eversync make the biggest move up in this year s Buyer s Guide. Formerly known as Revinetix, it made substantial improvements to its backup software over the past two (2) year to better equip it to protect virtual environments. That investment clearly paid off. Among the rather large pool of backup software providers looking to provide solutions for small and midsized organizations, it should now be considered the Preferred solution. Adding to its appeal to these size organizations, it also makes its backup software available in both physical and virtual appliances which are rapidly becoming prerequisites for these organizations in their selection of virtual backup software solution. Good Ranking Observations Nine (9) virtual server backup software solutions earned a Good ranking in this Buyer s Guide. Features that products with this ranking generally shared in common included: More limited hypervisor support (usually only Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vsphere) Reduced or no support for the creation and management of array-based snapshots. Fewer available management interface options for their products (often just a web-based or client app interface.) Fewer restore options from within their management interface Reduced levels of integration with vsphere Center with View only capabilities when doing backups and minimal or no options to perform restores. More limited alerting and monitoring features on backend storage capacities Recommendations Small and midsized organizations that are running Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vsphere or both in their environments should give careful consideration to virtual server backup software with a Good ranking. These likely provide all of the features that these organizations need to successfully backup and recover their virtual environments. While these products admittedly lack some of the bells and whistles of backup software ranked as either Excellent or Recommended, they may also be more economical as every one of the products ranked as Good has a starting list price of under $10,000. The strongest player in this ranking is Arkeia Network Backup v9.1. It offers some of the features that larger organizations or ones that are rapidly growing my desire including support for multiple hypervisors (Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Linux KVM and VMware vsphere), multiple guest operating systems to include UNIX and offers both physical and virtual appliances. Asigra Cloud Backup is the other virtual backup software product that also merits close attention. Tying with Arkeia Network Backup, Asigra Cloud Backup is well suited for those organizations which do local backups and then move their data into the cloud. Asigra has one of the largest networks of backup cloud providers in the nation if not the world. Further, Asigra got its start in cloud backup and has been doing it for many years which makes it quite adept at providing this service DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 13

16 Basic Ranking Observations Six (6) virtual server backup software solutions were given the ranking of Basic in this Buyer s Guide. Features that products with this ranking generally shared in common included: Offered data compression, data deduplication the ability to backup multiple VMs at the same time, automatically detect and configure new VMs, job scheduling, exception reports, and verify data has been properly written to the backup target. Provided vsphere integration albeit with fewer management options. All had a starting list price of under $10,000. Recommendations The products with a Basic ranking really offered a mixed bag of capabilities that are targeted at solving very specific backup challenges. For example, Idera Server Backup does not support VADP but may still be very desirable for doing virtual server backup in certain situations. In Idera s case, it exposes its APIs so companies can write to those APIs and automate backup and recovery in their data centers. This is a big part of the reason that Idera Server Backup is widely used by many cloud hosting providers. PHD Virtual and Veam Backup and Replication each have respectively gained tremendous adoption in the last few years among small and midsized businesses that have virtualized their environments. While they have less features than other backup software covered in this Guide, the features they do offer are the ones most often sought by small and midsized businesses. This coupled with their legacies of protecting virtual environments position them very well to do backups and recoveries quickly, simply and often more cost-effectively than their more feature rich competitors DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 14

17 VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE SCORES AND RANKINGS The scores and rankings for the virtual server backup appliances contain the following information: A chart that includes the scores and rankings for all of the products The mean and the standard deviation that were used to establish how each backup appliance was ranked A summary of the primary findings 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 15

18 OVERALL SCORES AND RANKINGS Virtual Server Backup Software Score Ranking 1. CommVault Simpana BEST-IN-CLASS 2. Symantec NetBackup Recommended 3. CA Technologies ARCserve r Excellent 4. EMC NetWorker Excellent 5. EMC Avamar Excellent 6. Symantec Backup Exec Excellent 7. Eversync Excellent 8. Arkeia Network Backup v9.1* Good 9. Asigra Cloud Backup Good 10. Atempo Time Navigator Good 11. BridgeHead Software VMware Backup Good 12. IBM Tivoli Storage Manage for Virtual Environments v Good 13. Cofio Aimstor 3.0** Good 14. HP Data Protector Good 15. IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager v Good 16. Dell Quest Software vranger Good 17. Acronis VMProtect Basic 18. Veeam Backup & Replication Basic 19. PHD Virtual v Basic 20. Dell AppAssure Basic 21. Evault Data Protection Software Basic 22. Idera Server Backup Basic Total Number of Models 22 Highest Score Lowest Score Average (Mean) Standard Deviation Rankings Recommended Excellent Good Basic * Acquired by Western Digital **Acquired by Hitachi Data Systems 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 16

19 SCORES AND RANKINGS Virtual Server Backup Software Score Ranking 1. CommVault Simpana BEST-IN-CLASS 2. Symantec NetBackup Excellent 3. CA Technologies ARCserve r Excellent 4. Eversync Excellent 5. EMC NetWorker Excellent 6. Arkeia Network Backup v9.1* Excellent 7. EMC Avamar Excellent 8. Asigra Cloud Backup Good 9. Symantec Backup Exec Good 10. Atempo Time Navigator Good 11. Dell Quest Software vranger Good 12. HP Data Protector Good 13. Acronis VMProtect Good 14. BridgeHead Software VMware Backup Good 15. IBM Tivoli Storage Manage for Virtual Environments v Good 16. IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager v Good 17. PHD Virtual v Good 18. Veeam Backup & Replication Good 19. Cofio Aimstor 3.0** Basic 20. Evault Data Protection Software Basic 21. Dell AppAssure Basic 22. Idera Server Backup Basic Total Number of Models 22 Highest Score Lowest Score Average (Mean) 6.90 Standard Deviation Rankings Recommended Excellent Good Basic * Acquired by Western Digital **Acquired by Hitachi Data Systems 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 17

20 VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER'S GUIDE MODELS 2013 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to CommVault. 18

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