1 The Insider s Guide to Evaluating Virtual Server Backup Software 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE By Charley McMaster and Jerome Wendt EMPOWERING THE IT INDUSTRY WITH ACTIONABLE ANALYSIS
2 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Table of Contents Introduction Executive Summary How to Use this Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide 7 Disclosures 7 Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria 8 The 8-Step Process Used to Score and Rank the Virtual Server Backup Software (VSBS) Solutions 9 Virtual Server Backup Server Buyer s Guide Comments and Thoughts on 9 Cloud-based and Instant VM Recovery 9 Multiple Hypervisor Protection 9 Deduplication 9 Physical to Virtual (VP) and Virtual to Physical (VP) 0 Backup for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint 0 Software Pricing and Licensing DCIG Observations & Recommendations Best-in-Class Ranking Recommended Ranking Excellent Ranking Good Ranking Basic Ranking Virtual Server Backup Software Scores and Rankings Overall Scores and Rankings 7 Virtual Server Backup Software Products 8 Acronis Backup for VMware 9 ASG-Time Navigator 0 Asigra Cloud Backup BridgeHead Software VMware Backup CA arcserve Unified Data Protection CommVault Simpana 0 Dell AppAssure Dell NetVault Backup 0 Dell vranger Backup and Replication v7 7 EMC Avamar 7 8 EMC NetWorker 8 9 EVault Data Protection Software 0 Hitachi Data Instance Manager (HDIM) HP Data Protector 8. IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager V. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments V7. Idera Server Backup Manager Infrascale Eversync.0 * Paragon Software Group Paragon Protect & Restore. 7 StorageCraft ShadowProtect Virtual 8 Symantec Backup Exec 0 V-Ray Edition 9 Symantec NetBackup 7. 0 Unitrends Certified Recovery Suite (UCRS) Veeam Backup & Replication v7 VMware vsphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced. WD Arkeia Network Backup v0 Appendices A- Appendix A Definitions, Explanations and Terminology B- Appendix B Vendor Contact Information C- Appendix C Author Contact Information * 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights. i
3 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Introduction With the proliferation of virtual machines (VMs), organizations are appropriately concerned about their ability to backup and restore the growing amount of data that they have residing on these VMs. As such, companies are looking for virtual server backup software solutions. The benefits of server virtualization are already well known. Power reduction, hardware optimization, improved application availability and lower upfront capital and ongoing operational costs are just some of the benefits that organizations already enjoy. Given these benefits, it comes as no surprise that Gartner estimates that by 0 as high as 8 percent of server workloads will be virtualized by 0. Since the release of the DCIG 0 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyers Guide, there has been a steady stream of new software releases improving the capabilities of these products; acquisitions to strengthen existing product portfolios; and, divestitures to others interested in entering the virtual server backup software market. In just the last year, some of the changes and transactions that have taken place include: Computer Associates announced its intentions to divest itself of its arcserve Unified Data Protection software to Marlin Equity Partners Data protection company Infrascale purchased Eversync Solutions Unitrends acquired PHD Virtual, a virtual server backup software provider and made their two respective products available as a single product, the Unitrends Certified Recovery Suite (UCRS) Virtual server backup software providers continue to push the boundaries by introducing new technology to set them apart from others. A telling sign of the ongoing innovation in this space is products in this Buyer s Guide are more competitive than ever. What lagged in a product s ability in the prior Buyer s Guide may now be its defining feature helping to position that product ahead of others in this Guide. Virtual-to-physical (VP) and physical-to-virtual (PV) recovery are now standard on many products, along with support for the VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP), instant recovery, deduplication, vsphere integration, and vcenter Server backup and restore capabilities. Advancements are seen in other areas as well. One is greater management capabilities using Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for certain applications such as Microsoft SQL Server. Another is enhanced management capabilities using vcloud Director to help create and managed virtual datacenters. Many virtual server backup software products now also offer other key features such as: Connectivity to cloud storage service providers to store data in the cloud Increased restore granularity for Exchange and SharePoint applications Virtual machine (VM) recovery to the other hypervisors and even the cloud A wider level of protection for more hypervisors and guest operating systems These changes, coupled with ongoing virtualization of all size data centers, have end-users, resellers and vendors alike clamoring for an update to the DCIG Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide.. Rieke, Malcolm. "Shifting Roles in the Modern Data Center." TMCnet.com. Technology Marketing Corp, June 0. Web. July 0. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
4 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Introduction (continued) Competition in the virtual server backup software market remains stronger than ever. Two virtual backup software providers moved up significantly in these year s rankings with one displacing the winner of the prior two DCIG Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. These changes illustrate how vendors are moving quickly to adopt new technology as they aggressively compete for new customers. Some of the strongest new competition is coming from backup providers who are firmly entrenched in the integrated backup appliance space. Providers such as Symantec and Unitrends scored and ranked very highly in these year s Buyer s Guide by having a hardware appliance as part of their portfolio along with others such as Dell AppAssure, EMC Avamar 7, Infrascale (formerly Eversync,) and Western Digital/Arkeia who also make their virtual server backup software available on a hardware appliance. While availability of the software on a hardware appliance is only part of the analysis in this Guide, the plug-and-play nature of these appliances cannot be ignored. Whether shipping as a physical appliance, a virtual appliance (a virtual machine preconfigured with the backup software,) or available from a third party, organizations are looking for faster, easier and simpler ways to deploy and manage their backup software. Appliances answer that challenge while giving them more flexibility to learn about and then take advantage of critical new technologies such as deduplication, managing backups from central management consoles, storing backup data cloud in the cloud and even recovering virtual machines with cloud providers. 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 suited 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 product to provide information on backup technology, management, restore and support features. It also examines what 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 virtual server backup software solution to verify the features it offer work as expected. Ideally every organization should do their own in-house testing if at all possible as it is impossible for DCIG to predict how well the software will backup and recover any particular environment. As a supplement to this Buyer s Guide, DCIG makes all of the data collected for this and all of its Buyer s Guides available through the DCIG portal. This online data visualization tool provides more detail than what is available in this Guide and is available through this link. 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. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
5 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Executive Summary Server virtualization is changing the enterprise. With as much as 8 percent of server workloads forecast to be virtualized by 0, everything about what organizations once thought they knew or understood about the data center and data center management is being challenged. Further, as organizations virtualize more of their data center, they are looking to leverage their virtualized infrastructure in ways they once only dreamed about as it gives them new flexibility to freely move applications almost anywhere, at any time, with no disruption to operations. But as they change the structure of their data center, so must they change the methodology of how they protect and recover it. Many organizations are already well aware that such changes in their data protection strategy are needed. Such a change cannot be made haphazardly. While 8 percent of the infrastructure may be virtualized in a few years, the percent of the infrastructure that remains as physical is often comprised of applications deemed business-critical or even mission-critical that are not easily virtualized. This diversity dictates that when organizations deploy a data protection solution (or solutions) to handle their next generation of requirements that account for both their physical and virtual environments. This is why, in an ideal world, most organizations would prefer to use a single solution to protect their entire environment whether the application be on a physical or virtual machine. This is where organizations need to exercise both caution and wisdom. Emerging backup software specifically tailored for virtual machine backup may not be up to the task of protecting all of the applications that an enterprise may possess. Conversely, older versions of existing backup software are simply not equipped to meet the specific demands of today s virtualized environments. These demands explain some of the changes DCIG has observed in the virtual server backup software space in the time since its 0 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide was released. In late 0, Insight Venture Partners acquired both Unitrends and PHD Virtual. It then retained the Unitrends product name and released a new single product, the Unitrends Certified Recovery Suite (UCRS). This single offering encompasses what both of these two respective products previously had to offer to better compete at the enterprise level. It now provides organizations the single solution they need to achieve next generation, virtual server data protection while also giving them the pre-existing backup capabilities they need to protect their non-virtualized applications. It is worth mentioning that Dell also quietly made a similar decision in mid-july 0. Dell now bundles its various data protection offerings (AppAssure, NetVault Backup 0, and vranger Backup and Replication v7) and makes them available as a single SKU as the Dell Business Resiliency Suite (DBRS). The availability of DBRS was published on Dell s support site after DCIG s analysis for this Guide was complete so it was not evaluated. However due to the strong showing of each of its respective products in this Guide, organizations are advised to consider DBRS in light of the number of products available as a part of it.. Ibid.. AppAssure Knowledge Article 78." Dell Business Resiliency Suite (DBRS). Dell, Inc., 9 July 0. Web. July 0. <https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/78>. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
6 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Executive Summary (continued) Executive Summary (continued) CA Technologies, CommVault, HP and Symantec have also diligently kept their respective product offerings up-to-date and equipped them to meet the demands of virtual server backup. While each of these products started out in the physical world, they have successfully adapted and transitioned their respective solutions so that they are well-equipped to handle the backup rigors of both physical and virtual machine backup. Of these four products, organizations should keep an eye on CA Technologies arcserve Unified Data Protection. In July 0, CA Technologies announced it would divest itself of this solution to Marlin Equity Partners. While this divesture should have no near-term impact on the product s capabilities, due to virtual server backup software s stickiness, organizations considering this solution for the first time should explore the acquiring company s long term plans for the product. How providers package their virtual server backup software and who own it are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the changes that have occurred since the release of the DCIG 0 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. In the products themselves, virtual server backup software providers are steadily upping their game as DCIG identified a number of areas where providers offer more functionality. These include: Support for Microsoft Hyper-V now nearly on par with VMware. Microsoft Windows Hyper-V is making steady inroads into enterprise shops and it shows. Fully 9 percent (all but one) of virtual server backup software supports both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware. Increased capabilities to backup one hypervisor and restore to another hypervisor or even the cloud. The ability to backup a VM on a VMware ESX host and restore it to a Microsoft Hyper-V host gives organizations new flexibility and options to choose the hypervisor that best aligns with their technical and financial requirements and host their application on it. While only 8 percent of virtual server backup software supports this functionality now, expect that percentage to grow substantially in the months and years to come. Public cloud storage connectivity. Connectivity to public cloud storage providers may not yet be considered a must-have but with percent of providers already offering support for it, one has to wonder how long before it is. Further, with more organizations looking to recover and host applications in the cloud for both disaster avoidance and disaster recovery purposes, it appears to be only a matter of time before this feature functionality becomes a virtual server backup software prerequisite. Physical and virtual appliances. The time it takes to install and configure virtual server backup software is minimally hours if not days or even weeks, depending on the environment and the availability of personnel to do the install. Making the virtual server backup software available on either physical or virtual appliances eliminate these wait times for deployment and help to standardize the install. While only 7 percent of providers offer a physical appliance, over half ( percent) make their backup software available as a virtual appliance. Tape support is alive and kicking. Tape may no longer be a primary backup target but most organizations still like the option to store backup archives on tape for safekeeping. As such, 77 percent of the products covered in this Guide now support tape. It is in this context that DCIG presents its 0- Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer s Guide. As prior Buyer s Guides have done, it puts at the fingertips of organizations a 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
7 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE Executive Summary (continued) 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 0- 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. It then presents these results in an easy to understand format that displays each product s scores and rankings so organizations can quickly ascertain which virtual server backup software product is the most appropriate for their needs. Provides a standardized data sheet for each of the virtual server backup software solutions from 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 that 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. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
8 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE 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. It should be noted that the features as displayed on each product data sheet represent the opinion of DCIG. DCIG encourages and strongly recommends that every organization verify the functionality of the features that are of particular interest to them before making a buying decision. To help them arrive at that decision, this Buyer s Guide gives organizations a sense of how each product compares to other products classified in this Guide, as well as offers additional insight into what other product offerings are available on the market and the specific features they offer. 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 different products from 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 00 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 virtual server 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 of 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. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights.
9 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE 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. 7. 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, some 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 may have 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. Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria As DCIG prepared this release of its 0- 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 where 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 and the expertise and knowledge of the DCIG analysts preparing this guide. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights. 7
10 0- VIRTUAL SERVER BACKUP SOFTWARE BUYER S GUIDE 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 through an 8-step process to come to the most objective conclusion possible.. 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.. 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.. 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. For example, based on experience from previous Buyer s Guides and through monitoring user preferences, DCIG assigns more weight to those backup software products that support features such as VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) than those that do not.. The features were broken into three () general categories. The features included in this Buyer s Guide were broken down into three general categories: Backup and Restore Technology, Management, and Support. These categories reflect the general features that DCIG believes organizations are evaluating when seeking out virtual server backup software solutions.. 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 a DCIG-completed survey.. 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 vendors were given the opportunity to 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 the DCIG portal: portal.dcig.com. However, all information on each data sheet (minus their scores and rankings) included in this published version of the Buyer s Guide offered to each provider so they 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 () 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. or greater standard deviations below the mean were given the rank of Basic. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were 0. standard deviations above or below the mean were assigned the rank of Good. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were 0.. standard deviations above the mean were ranked as Excellent. The virtual server backup software solution scores that were greater than. standard deviations above the mean were ranked as Recommended. 0 DCIG, LLC. All rights reserved. Licensed to Unitrends with unlimited and unrestricted distribution rights. 8