Asigra Offers Distributed, Agentless CDP

The company's Televaulting Version 6.2, offering agentless CDP for distributed environments, is the first of its kind, analysts say.

Asigra has announced a major revision of its Televaulting backup and recovery software, which allows distributed environments to take advantage of Continuous Data Protection.

Version 6.2 builds on the companys trademark approach of tending to the needs of remote offices and branch offices through agentless backup and recovery technology.

Free to Televaulting users, the new functionality allows the addition of CDP to distributed environments that back up data from remote sites through various types of WAN infrastructures.

The functionality, which supports not only Windows but also Unix, Linux and Microsoft Exchange, monitors the data and automatically backs it up offsite when changes are detected. WAN optimization is achieved through de-duplication, data compression, block-level incremental backup and incremental "forever" backup.

With this release, Asigra is, in effect, introducing the first agentless CDP solution for distributed environments. Without it, a distributed environment probably couldnt implement CDP except in its central location, said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, in Beaverton, Ore.

To handle data being transferred from remote sites to a central data center, the software automatically adjusts both speed and pace to the type of WAN connection an environment uses.

"A customer might have a lot of data that is changing rapidly, but the DSL connection to the data center might not be big enough to move all of that data offsite. Our CDP software recognizes that there is a bottleneck and adjusts the pace at which it collects data so it can do so effectively and efficiently with the WAN infrastructure it has to work with," said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of the Toronto-based company. "We get to the lowest RPO [Recovery Point Objective] you possibly can with the WAN infrastructure you have in place."

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Another noteworthy feature is how Televaulting 6.2s CDP deals with retention rules. The very nature of CDP means that an organization is collecting much more data, more frequently, and as the data is written to disk, it is being backed up offsite. The downside, however, is that this situation creates more data that must be stored offsite, causing storage requirements to swell.

Asigra handles this situation by allowing organizations to customize their retention rules. An IT manager could tell the system, for example, to keep all data as it changes for an hour, and then when the hour passes, to keep only an hourly instance of the data. Once 24 hours have passed, the IT manager could instruct the system to keep a daily instance, then a weekly instance and then a monthly instance.

"That way, youre not keeping all of the changes forever," Farajun said.

Asigras method of implementing CDP can save organizations a significant amount of money, running at about one-fourth the cost of competing CDP solutions, Staimer said.

"Youre only paying for the amount of stored data, not the amount of protected data, which is how most CDP products do it," he said. "With this product, if you have 4 terabytes of data, your license will typically be for 1 terabyte, while which other products, if youve got 4 terabytes of data to protect, you would need a 4-terabyte license."

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about Asigras Televaulting offering for large-scale backup.

Staimer also noted that because less storage is required, less hardware is needed—fewer servers, fewer NAS heads and fewer arrays. "Especially when you look on the remote site, [the difference in hardware required is] huge," he said.

As for Asigra, the company plans to upgrade its billing system, often used by customers for internal chargebacks, to include different pricing structures for different granularities of RPO. The company also plans to roll out protection for configuration data stored on network devices like switches, firewalls and routers in 2007, Farajun said.

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