The newest version of EVault Inc.s InfoStage, the companys software-based flagship product, now allows users to add storage on the fly. The system will then automatically and transparently load-balance the storage once it is added.
"It used to be that when a disk filled up, you had to take the system down to add new disks and then manually load the stuff on the full disk and move over some of the backup sets to the non-full disk," said Tony Barbagallo, senior vice president of marketing at the Emeryville, Calif. company.
Version 5 of InfoStage also offers parallel restore—the ability to perform multiple, simultaneous restores from the same storage vault. The result, Barbagallo said, is a faster recovery process of large amounts of data or files from multiple backup sessions.
"As you get into larger organizations with larger numbers of files, sequential operations arent acceptable," he said. "For example, with a single server, if you were backing up drives C and D, it used to be the case that when you needed to restore, you had to restore one of them before the other. Now you can restore them both at the same time."
InfoStage Version 5 also provides advanced backup agents for Exchange, SQL and Oracle. These agents offer improved delta-block backup performance. "It optimizes algorithms in a way that allows us to pack up even less per file when blocks within files change," Barbagallo said.
The backup agents also allow for finer granularity backups, such as the ability to back up individual mailboxes and one-pass restores, he said.
Other new features in InfoStage Version 5 include an integrated vault backup agent, which allows backup data stored on the vault to be migrated to disk, tape or a second off-site storage vault; expanded platform support for SuSE Linux and iSeries V5R3; and enhanced iSeries backups that feature a second hot-backup method via EVaults database-trigger technology.
Support for iSeries V5R3, IBMs AS400-based operating system, is particularly interesting because many vendors choose to ignore it, said Dianne McAdam, senior analyst at Data Mobility Group of Nashua, N.H. The operating system, which tends to be used in manufacturing and insurance environments, isnt a rapidly growing market, but its great place to offer support, she said.
"It manages its storage very differently from other operating systems—as a glob of storage instead of using LUNS [logical unit numbers] or volumes—so a lot of vendors dont want to touch it because they have to do special things to back it up or replicate it," she said. "But its a steady market, and its a real differentiator for EVault."
Along with the InfoStage Version 5 announcement, the company announced EVault Reports, a Web-based tool used with EVault Protect to allow managed-services customers to view storage utilization, backup status and other information across all computers subscribing to the service; and EVault Desktop, an agent that allows a user to define the files to be backed up or restored from the desktop without IT intervention.
EVault Desktop, which works just as well with laptops, is especially useful for smaller companies that have made backups the responsibility of individual workers, many of whom are on the road frequently, McAdam said.
"When you give individuals the responsibility of doing their own backups, it just doesnt happen," she said. "Here they are offering a process that figures out when the laptop is connected to the network and does the backup automatically. It even gives the end user who deletes a file the ability to restore it themselves."
EVault also announced EVault ProMail Exchange, designed specifically for environments using Microsoft Exchange. The managed service provides a way for Exchange users to archive, monitor, view and search email, and more easily comply with regulatory requirements, Barbagallo said.
EVault ProMail Exchange is a good fit for the small and midsize business market, McAdam said, because these companies often need the most guidance on what data should be retained and what can be discarded. Larger companies, on the other hand, are apt to perform these tasks themselves, she said.
Finally, EVault announced a new version of its EVault Protect managed online backup-and-recovery service that backs up business-critical data to a secure off-site center managed by EVault or an EVault channel partner. The new version of EVault Protect has streamlined back-end billing and an improved user interface, Barbagallo said.