SAN FRANCISCO -- It's pretty hard to beat free of charge in any business, and it's even harder when two good things come at no cost.
At VMWorld 2013 on Aug. 28, backup and archiving specialist Unitrends came out with a double-whammy freebie offer. The Columbia, S.C.-based company released a free edition of its Unitrends Enterprise Backup software for up to four virtual machines that runs on the unlicensed -- yes, that also is free -- version of VMware vSphere Hypervisor.
With this offer, Unitrends claims to be the only hardware and software data protection provider to offer a free, automated, fully functioning backup and recovery solution for both the licensed and unlicensed versions of vSphere.
Of course, with virtual machines now so easy to get up and running or to replicate, four VMs is but a small taste of the real world. Yet free and fully functioning backup and archiving for four VMs can be quite useful for many enterprise IT systems.
"Unitrends Enterprise Backup isn't simply a utility for running manual ad hoc backups," Unitrends marketing official Maria Pressley said. "It's a fully functioning solution that includes automated scheduling, instant recovery, global deduplication and archiving, among other advanced backup and recovery features."
The backup/archive package will enable VMware to compete with Microsoft in the SMB market, Pressley said. It also helps put Unitrends into a central place on the IT map and introduces the company to a lot of new customers it might never have reached previously.
Unitends' Unified Data Protection scalable architecture provides unified host- and guest-level data protection for virtual and physical environments, Pressley said. The result is an enterprise-class data protection system that provides backup and recovery, archiving, replication and virtualization failover functionality at no cost. This is unprecedented in the industry, Pressley said.
A year ago, Unitrends' Enterprise Backup became the industry's only native all-in-one Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V role and Hyper-V 2012 Server backup, archiving, instant recovery and disaster recovery virtual appliance, Pressley said.
Unitrends also was the first provider to support Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and VMware vSphere 5.1, she said. Unitrends claims more than more than 30,000 downloads since June 2012.