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1 Altiris Recovery Products for DELL Customers Produced By Product Management Altiris August 6, 2003 By Todd Mitchell 2003 Altiris, Inc. All Rights Reserved

2 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 2 Notice The content in this document represents the current view of Altiris as of the date of publication. Because Altiris responds continually to changing market conditions, this document should not be interpreted as a commitment on the part of Altiris. Altiris cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. Copyright 2003, Altiris, Inc. All rights reserved. Altiris, Inc. 588 West 400 South Lindon, UT Phone: (801) Fax: (801) BootWorks U.S. Patent No. 5,764,593. RapiDeploy U.S. Patent No. 6,144,992. Altiris, BootWorks, Inventory Solution, PC Transplant, RapiDeploy, and RapidInstall are registered trademarks of Altiris, Inc. in the United States. Carbon Copy is a registered trademark licensed to Altiris, Inc. in the United States and a registered trademark of Altiris, Inc. in other countries. Microsoft, Windows, and the Windows logo are trademarks, or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. For the latest documentation, visit

3 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 3 Contents INTRODUCTION...4 ALTIRIS RECOVERY SOLUTION...4 LOCAL RECOVERY AND LOCAL RECOVERY PRO...6 CONCLUSION...9

4 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 4 INTRODUCTION If you aren t convinced that client systems require a comprehensive backup solution you re not alone. Ninety nine percent of all corporate desktops and laptops are not protected by an automated software solution. 1 This trend is reversing, however, as more and more IT managers are realizing that as much as 60% of a company's intelligence is stored on remote and mobile systems 2. Servers are no longer the only place that sensitive corporate information is stored. The increasing mobilization of workers over the last ten years keeps today s critical business data distributed and difficult to manage let alone protect. But with a growing repository of information existing outside corporate offices, many companies are beginning to realize the value that backing up client systems can bring. Altiris Recovery Solution (RS) offers an automated, easy-to-use solution geared specifically to the needs of client backup. The product is available in three different editions to DELL customers: Altiris Local Recovery, Altiris Local Recovery Pro, and Altiris Recovery Solution. ALTIRIS RECOVERY SOLUTION Altiris Recovery Solution is a fully automated, enterprise class solution for protecting desktops and laptops that utilizes a central server to store client data. This model leverages patented Redundant File Elimination (RFE) and Redundant Block Elimination (RBE) technologies to improve system performance and increase solution scalability. Redundant File Elimination (RFE) ensures that any given file across the entire enterprise is backed up only once. With every subsequent encounter of the same file, only a pointer is stored. Redundant block elimination functions similarly albeit at the block level. For example, if a user modifies a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet after an initial backup, only the blocks representing new data are copied across the wire. The resulting backup speeds are dramatically increased as data is never copied across the wire more than once. The resulting economies in terms of reduced bandwidth, processor cycles and storage needs can generate significant gains both in terms of savings and performance. In addition to its patented RFE and RBE technologies, Altiris Recovery Solution uses HLZS data compression and checkpoint recovery features. Checkpoint recovery allows the backup process to start where it left off in the event a connection is dropped before the backup is completed. Together, these technologies can generate effective compression ratios as high as 15:1 in scaled environments. 1 IDC, PC Backup and Higher Prioritization for the Enterprise and Consumer, Fred Broussard, July Information Week, Backup And Recovery For Remote Workers, Martin J. Garvey, April 17, 2003.

5 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 5 To maximize the benefits of these features and minimize the impact of an enterprise rollout, Altiris recommends first seeding the Recovery Solution database by backing up reference client systems that are typical of end user configurations. This practice ensures that the RFE and RBE features will contribute to overall backup speed with the very first production snapshot performed. In addition to the substantial performance capabilities of RS, the system has been engineered to be as transparent as possible to end users. By minimizing the impact of the backup process on end user system resources, users are not compelled to abort the process altogether. A typical Recovery Solution backup requires no more than 10% to 20% CPU utilization. The resulting convenience allows users the freedom to be productive on their own schedules without compromising the need for a regular backup. When system interaction is required, every effort has been made to optimize usability. For end users, restoring files is as simple as opening Windows Explorer and browsing to the Recovery Solution folder. This folder will display all available system snapshots. Once opened, a snapshot folder reveals the same file and folder hierarchy of the protected drive. End users can initiate a restore simply by browsing the same familiar structure of their local production drive. Once the file or folder to be restored is located, user s can simply right-click and select Restore. This action will copy the archived resource to the same location (or optionally to a new path) on the production drive. Simple, direct access to protected files allows end users to solve the majority of their own data loss issues while completely avoiding calls to the helpdesk. An optional service can even provide users access to their protected file archives through a web browser. This feature enables users to retrieve stored data from any client system, even one that does not have the Recovery Solution agent installed. All files and folders are stored with their file system attributes intact, including the security information associated with files from an NTFS drive. When files and folders are restored, any security permissions are also restored. The same convenience users enjoy extends to system administration. Client systems can be defined and managed in custom groups. Administrators can enforce backup schedules or allow users the freedom to set their own schedules or initiate snapshots on demand. System rollout is simplified with the option to push the Altiris Recovery Solution agent to target client systems from a central console (the agent can also be downloaded via a web link). A major feature for administrators is the ability to completely recover a lost or damaged system from bare metal in one simple step. One step recovery eliminates the need to manually reload the operating system, reconfigure system parameters, reload device drivers, etc. Recovery

6 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 6 Solution offers the creation of a bootable CD that will completely and automatically rebuild the entire system. In most recovery situations time is critical so the option to avoid manual processes and possible human error is highly desirable. Whether onsite or offsite, a backup program has the potential to introduce certain security vulnerabilities. Recovery Solution offers options to encrypt data both during transport and storage. LOCAL RECOVERY AND LOCAL RECOVERY PRO Both these editions offer a standalone backup solution that backs up data to a hidden Altiris partition that serves as a local data store (no central data repository or network access is used). The Altiris partition is a protected portion of the production partition (typically C:\) that Fig 1. Embedded Altiris Recovery Partition has been set aside for recovery storage. This area is a reserved area where the Windows file system does not attempt to write. The Production sectors making up the Altiris partition are Partition (C:\) ignored by Microsoft Windows and any probing software such as antivirus Altiris programs. Recovery Partition This reserved area is structured as a full partition and contains a limited Linux OS kernel. Within this recovery partition, a Linux recovery engine works in conjunction with the Local Recovery Windows program to perform snapshots and restore archived data. The Local Recovery Windows program looks and functions similarly to the Recovery Solution client agent making upgrades to the full enterprise product very easy for end users. DELL Utility Partition Upon installation of either Local Recovery or Local Recovery Pro, the user is prompted to select a size for the Altiris recovery partition. Prior to installation, users should defrag their systems to ensure that enough contiguous drive space is available to support the requested recovery partition size. The default value for the recovery partition size is 40% of the drive s largest partition. Users can choose to use less space if they desire by simply changing the absolute value or percentage value in the wizard. When the Windows-based installation wizard is completed, a reboot is used to create the recovery partition. Once this partition is created, a Linux-based implementation of the Altiris imaging engine creates an image containing any existing production partitions. The resulting image file is stored in the Altiris partition and the system is rebooted into Windows. Within Windows the initial snapshot process continues by

7 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 7 recording additional information necessary for the RFE and RBE technology to be used during subsequent snapshots. At this point, users can define a regular backup schedule and modify backup options including the ability to exclude certain files or folders from the backup process. Users can restore individual files and folders through Windows Explorer using the same simple process that Altiris Recovery Solution uses. As system snapshots fill up the Altiris partition they are replaced using a FIFO model (the oldest snapshots are deleted to make room for the new ones). In the event that file corruption or deletion within the Windows environment requires the complete restoration of the production partitions, users can simply press F11 when prompted during a system boot to initiate a complete restoration. The Altiris Local Recovery product is offered as a free download from for all DELL relationship client products (namely OptiPlex, Latitude and Dell Precision systems) shipping since January The Altiris Local Recovery Pro edition supports all DELL hardware including systems not supported by the basic local edition (as well as non-dell desktops and laptops). The Pro version also adds support for backing up open and locked files, aggregate reporting via Dell OpenManage Client Administrator, as well as standard Altiris technical support. Both local editions offer the ability to make an unlimited number of snapshots and the ability to backup multiple partitions on the same drive. While the local editions do safeguard against simple data loss, they do not protect against hardware failure or theft. Additionally, any virus attack or other events that can completely destroy, overwrite or recreate the Master Boot Record (such as fdisk modifications) have the potential to render the recovery partition inaccessible. Lastly, only the Altiris RapiDeploy imaging engine offers special features that can collect and manage Altiris recovery partitions as part of the imaging process. Other imaging tools, such as Symantec Ghost, will not properly recognize and maintain the recovery partition structure. However, the Altiris Local Recovery setup offers a robust command line interface that offers numerous setup options that can work in conjunction with other imaging tools. The Altiris setup files can be copied to a reference system prior to collecting a master image for redistribution. As the image is pushed out to production systems the Altiris unattended installation options can automatically perform all necessary setup operations post image deployment. DELL s Custom Factory Integration supports the Altiris Local Recovery, Local Recovery Pro and Recovery Solution products as part of their service offerings.

8 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 8 Table 1. Altiris Recovery Products Comparison Local Snapshot DOS-Free Install Feature Local Recovery Local Recovery Pro Recovery Solution Unlimited Number of Snapshots Redundant File Elimination Redundant Block Elimination Support Backup Multiple Partitions on Same Drive Backup Multiple Drives Support for Windows P/Support for Windows 2000 SP3 Open / Locked File Support Individual Reporting Aggregate Reporting Network Snapshot Support via Knowledgebase Support via Phone / / Forum Creation of a one step bare metal recovery CD Support for Windows NT4, Windows ME, Windows 98 and Windows 95 OSR2 * As of this writing, no support for RAID configurations or Serial ATA is provided. Local Recovery and Local Recovery Pro support all IDE hard drive controllers and Adaptec 3800 and 3900 series SCSI controllers. Other SCSI controller support will be added with future product releases.

9 Altiris Recovery Solution 5.7 Page 9 CONCLUSION Altiris recovery products offer DELL customers several options to safeguard critical client data as well as a simple migration path from local backup all the way to complete enterprise protection. Altiris Recovery Solution snaps into the same Altiris Notification Server infrastructure used by all Altiris solutions including DELL s OpenManage Client Administrator. This integration provides a common look and feel that eases system manageability and offers quick access to customizable reports, and other management options. Altiris recovery products are part of DELL s overall systems management offering designed to optimize value for DELL customers.

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