Axion Adds Support for Microsoft Exchange, HP-UX and NAS Protocol

Disk-based backup can save and restore individual e-mail messages.

NEW YORK—Avamar Technologies Inc. looks to improve the efficiency of IT systems with the release of Version 2.0 of its Axion disk-based data backup and restore hardware/software package.

Axion relies on two key attributes to make data backup fast: disk drives rather than standard tape, and a content-addressed storage technology that allows it to create data objects at a client and then send only changed data across a network to the disks. This second technology not only speeds up backup but dramatically reduces network traffic, said Avamar CEO Kevin Daly, at the Storage Decisions conference here this week.

The Irvine, Calif., company aimed to add breadth of coverage in Version 2.0 of its back and restore package. The update added support for NDMP (network data management protocol), a critical NAS (network-attached storage) standard; new support for Microsoft Corp. environments; and new support for HP-UX clients. Version 1.0 already supported Solaris, Windows and Red Hat Inc. Linux clients.

For Microsoft shops, Avamar added in Axion 2.0 support for live backup of the Microsoft Exchange Server messaging environment, including backup of individual files and e-mail messages. As in other Axion backup scenarios, by backing up Exchange at such a granular level, administrators do not need to perform a full system restore if they only want to recover a few selected files or messages, officials said.

Daly touted Axion as a boon for any kind of backup job in a heterogeneous environment; one where backup of remote clients or NAS devices could cause network bottlenecks; and ones where compliance to industry-specific regulations demands retention of records.

"Because we use disks we have 100 percent confidence of our ability to restore an environment. We guarantee you can get your data back," Daly said. "You dont get 100 percent with tape."

Because Axion resides above the file system in the software stack, it can restore data to a different operating environment from the one it was saved in, Daly said. For example, data gathered from a system running Windows 2000 could be restored to a Windows 2003 system.

Avamars next big release of Axion will come in the fall, Daly said. Customers can expect to see expanded client support, more aggressive use of replication technologies and improvements on its patented hashing technology.

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