Acronis Revives Disk Drives

Acronis produces disk images for server backup.

Acronis Inc. is building out its True Image Server software—which is used for server disk backups—with new versions designed to appeal to small IT departments and enterprises.

True Image Server Version 7.0, released late last month, enables administrators to create an exact disk image of live servers for backup, according to officials with the South San Francisco, Calif., company. The software permits incremental backups and image verification, and it supports scheduling, dynamic disks and tape drives.

The software enables administrators to back up individual servers and get them up and running again if problems—such as a virus or software glitches—cause them to be shut down. Version 7.0 is most valuable to smaller work environments such as departments or small and midsize businesses that have few servers and small IT staffs, Acronis officials said.

In the next quarter, Acronis plans to roll out an enterprise version of True Image Server targeted at corporations that have larger numbers of servers, officials said. Enhancements will include a single console configuration for multiple servers and multicasting capabilities that will enable the software to image multiple systems at the same time. The enterprise edition also will be able to image client systems.

Cameron Frasnelly, network manager of PremierWest Bank Inc., is looking forward to the enterprise edition. Frasnelly has been running earlier versions of True Image Server on 10 to 15 servers for about a year, and he wants to roll the as-yet-unnamed enterprise version of True Image Server out to more than 50 servers in the banks 30-plus locations in California and Oregon. Several times, some of the servers with the Acronis software shut down for various reasons, he said.

One time, there was a glitch in a server. "It wouldnt come back up," said Frasnelly, in Medford, Ore. "We just put the image back in and—boom!—it booted right back up. Its worked flawlessly. We want to roll it out to all of our servers because we want to be able to recover quickly."

True Image Server runs on a variety of Windows versions and can image non-Windows operating systems, including Linux and NetWare, by booting from a rescue disk. Version 7.0 is priced starting at $499.