ESG Lab Review. Data Protection Challenges. The Tested Solution: i365 EVault for DPM

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1 ESG Lab Review i365 EVault for Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager Date: November 2010 Authors: Ginny Roth, Lab Engineer, and Tony Palmer, Senior Engineer Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents hands-on testing of i365 EVault for DPM, with a focus on ease of use and data protection in a mixed Windows and Linux environment. Data Protection Challenges Data protection in a mixed platform environment continues to present challenges for IT departments. IT administrators are looking for offerings that include effective disaster recovery and provide a disk-based backup solution. In fact, among organizations ESG surveyed that rely exclusively on tape systems for current backup operations, 65% say they expect to deploy some form of backup-to-disk technology in the next 24 months. 1 Tape is starting to be challenged also in the area of off-site or cloud storage. Advances in technologies such as deduplication and lower bandwidth costs have contributed to companies using the cloud for storage vaults, solutions traditionally provided by tape. However, security of data in the cloud still remains the number one concern of companies looking at off-site solutions. The Tested Solution: i365 EVault for DPM EVault for DPM provides deeply integrated protection for Windows resources provided by Microsoft Data Protection Manager combined with cross platform support for heterogeneous IT environments all in a single appliance. The solution provides data protection for the latest Microsoft offerings such as Windows 7, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010 via EVault s tight integration with Microsoft s DPM. EVault for DPM also provides cloud connected backup and recovery options, providing a complete disaster recovery solution for small to mid-size companies. Data security is provided via end-to-end encryption: in the appliance, across the wire, and at rest, off-site. EVault for DPM provides multiple benefits to IT departments looking for a cost effective solution to their data protection challenges: Integration with Microsoft server, desktop and application data protection Support for non-windows platforms and applications, such as VMware, Linux, IBM i, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Netware, and Oracle An all in one appliance for complete data protection Offsite protection for disaster recovery End-user recovery for Windows 7, Vista, and XP users Pre-installed software and simple wizards for setup 1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2010 Data Protection Trends, April The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about emerging technologies and products in the storage, data management and information security industries. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab's expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by i365.

2 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 2 As seen in Figure 1, with a simple to install and manage appliance, EVault for DPM is designed to ease the transition for small to mid-sized customers from a traditional tape solution to an end to end disk based disaster recovery option. Figure 1. EVault for DPM ESG Lab validated the ease of use and cross-platform capabilities of the EVault for DPM appliance during a day of handson testing at i365 s campus in Santa Clara, California. Ease of Deployment EVault for DPM is an appliance-based solution that provides data protection for a number of heterogeneous physical and virtual platforms. ESG Lab looked at the ease of use and cross-platform features of the appliance based solution. Testing was executed in a lab environment that consisted of one EVault for DPM appliance connected to an ESX server containing Windows and Linux virtual machines, as seen in Figure 2. A SQL server was installed to test backup and restore of an application to the EVault appliance. A laptop was also connected to the network for client backup testing. Figure 2. The ESG Lab Test Bed

3 ESG Lab Testing ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 3 ESG Lab examined the ease of use of EVault for DPM by setting up a new protection environment. The move from unprotected data to a fully protected environment consisted of a few simple steps. First, ESG Lab configured the storage that would be used for the backed up data. EVault had the option to use direct attached, fibre channel, or NAS over iscsi for the storage target. ESG Lab chose the direct attached option. Next, ESG Lab installed agents on the servers and clients that would be used for backups. With Windows platforms, this step is automated using an interactive GUI in DPM. For Linux clients, ESG Lab downloaded the code from the EVault appliance using Secure Copy. Finally, a protection group was created. A wizard guided the user through configuration and creation. As shown in Figure 3, Windows servers with agents were available as data sources. Specific directories and files were selected for protection by expanding the navigation tree. ESG Lab was also able to set up a schedule for backups, called recovery points, and the amount of disk space to allocate to the protection group. Figure 3. Creating a Protection Group After the protection group was created, ESG manually created a recovery point to perform a test backup. As shown in Figure 4, the backup of the C:\ drive of the test server completed successfully. In about 15 minutes, ESG Lab configured a cross-platform data protection solution for the test environment and successfully performed a server backup.

4 Figure 4. Backup Completed ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 4 Laptop Protection ESG Lab also tested EVault for DPM s Windows client protection. Backups for desktops and laptops are similar to servers in that a protection group is created using a simple wizard. ESG Lab chose the client option in the second step of the wizard, as shown in Figure 5. Figure 5. Selecting the Protection Group Type

5 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 5 ESG Lab tested a manual backup of the laptop by creating a recovery point in the management console. The backup completed successfully, and ESG Lab was able to verify by examining the Summary tab on the laptop s data protection client software. Figure 6. Laptop Backup Completed Why This Matters Reducing backup and recovery times and endpoint backup and recovery were both among the top challenges reported by IT managers in a recent ESG survey. 2 Providing an appliance- based disk-to-disk solution for data protection that is easy to deploy is a powerful value proposition for companies looking to move to a complete disk-based backup and recovery solution. With a single GUI integrated with Microsoft Data Protection Manager, EVault for DPM requires no special training or expertise for IT administrators. Combining ease of use with an all in one appliance gives customers a rapid path to full data protection with minimal initial costs. ESG Lab was able to easily and quickly deploy EVault for DPM and was protecting servers and clients within minutes of sitting down at the keyboard. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2010 Data Protection Trends, April 2010.

6 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 6 Cross-Platform and Application Backup and Recovery For many organizations, providing data protection for Windows servers and clients is only part of the solution. EVault for DPM extends data protection to a wide array of non-windows platforms and applications, including virtual environments. 3 In addition, EVault for DPM supports granular, object-level backup and recovery of applications. The EVault Console is integrated into a single GUI with the DPM Console. As shown in Figure 7, protection groups for Windows, ESX, and Linux servers can be monitored from the Main Console Dashboard Figure 7. The EVault for DPM Dashboard ESG Lab Testing ESG Lab examined the functionality of backups and recovery in a mixed environment containing physical Microsoft SQL servers, Linux servers, and Windows servers virtualized under VMware. The protection group for the SQL server was created in a previous step and several recovery points had already been created, backing up three databases: master, model, and msdb. ESG Lab used the available backups to test the recovery capability of EVault for DPM. ESG Lab was able to see all the servers, clients, and applications that had recoverable data under the Recovery tab, as shown in Figure 8. When ESG Lab selected the SQL server, the calendar highlighted the dates on which backups were run. A recovery point was selected and ESG Lab was able to restore the three databases to their original locations. The restore of the SQL instance was verified by restarting the three databases. 3

7 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 7 Figure 8. Recovering a SQL Database ESG Lab tested backup of a Linux server by clicking the add button in the Protection Group pane of the EVault console. In addition to selecting the source server, directory and files to back up, the protection group for Linux provides the ability to encrypt data in transit from the server to the EVault appliance. As shown in Figure 9, ESG Lab selected a DES 56 bit encryption key to protect the data. Figure 9. Configuring a Linux Backup

8 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 8 After completing the data protection wizard, ESG Lab ran a manual backup of the Linux server, as seen in Figure 10. Figure 10. Linux Server Backup Completed ESG Lab tested the backup and recovery of a Microsoft Windows virtual server on VMware s ESX platform, as shown in Figure 11. ESG Lab selected the ESX protection group and chose the option to protect now. The protection wizard offered a choice of the location for the backup and a retention schedule. ESG Lab chose to back up to direct attached storage on the appliance with a daily retention schedule. The backup completed successfully with a total of 13 files processed, which represent the files required for the virtual machine image. Figure 11. EVault Console with ESX and Linux Protection Groups

9 ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 9 ESG Lab tested a recovery of the ESX image by highlighting the protection group located in the EVault console and choosing the recover option. The newly created recovery point was selected as the source for the recovery and restored to its original location, as shown in Figure 12. Figure 12. Recover ESX Server Restoration of the virtual image completed successfully and ESG Lab was able to boot the virtual machine without errors. Why This Matters When asked to name their organization s most important IT priorities over the next months, two of the top three answers were acceleration of server virtualization and improvement of backup and recovery. Extending Microsoft DPM s data protection services to non-windows servers and clients creates significant value for heterogeneous, increasingly virtualized IT environments. In addition, customers with existing Microsoft DPM licenses can leverage those licenses without additional cost. Through hands-on testing, ESG Lab validated the ease of use and consistent management functions for backup and recovery of a mixed IT environment, including physical and virtual Windows and Linux systems.

10 The Bigger Truth ESG Lab Review: i365 EVault for DPM 10 Customers have long struggled with developing a consistent data protection solution for heterogeneous IT infrastructures. Small to mid-size companies face particular challenges as many may not have the expertise to implement disaster recovery strategies across mixed platforms and operating environments. In addition, companies of all sizes are either looking at or have already started to deploy virtual servers and/or desktops that require data protection. When ESG asked users to name their priorities for data protection investment in 2010, the top four responses were: improving disaster recovery capabilities, backup of virtual server environments, improving application backup, and desktop/laptop backup and recovery. EVault for DPM provides the capability to address all of these needs for small to mid-size customers. EVault for DPM provides an easy to deploy appliance that takes the complexity out of implementing a cross-platform data protection solution. With secure cloud connectivity, EVault for DPM provides IT administrators with peace of mind as they know their data is always available for disaster recovery. Priced for small to mid-sized businesses, EVault for DPM also provides an excellent option for enterprises remote/branch offices with its simple deployment and management. ESG would recommend that i365 continue to develop a solution that maximizes integrating the advanced features of Microsoft s DPM with the cross-platform capabilities of EVault Console. An automated solution for pushing agents to Windows and non-windows servers and desktops would make deployments even more seamless. ESG Lab used EVault for DPM to integrate data protection of Windows, non-windows, and virtualized systems with a single management console and tools familiar to users of Microsoft DPM. Small to mid-sized businesses with mixed platform environments should definitely take a look at the simple, converged data protection solution provided by EVault for DPM. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of the Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at (508)

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