Acronis Adds Data Dedupe to Backup

Deduplication has become just about the hottest data storage technology, witness the merger battle over Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP) that was won by EMC (NYSE: EMC) this week (see What’s Next for EMC, NetApp and Quantum?).

Enterprise backup and recovery software vendor Acronis is the latest to make a play for the dedupe market with Acronis Backup & Recovery 10, the next generation of the company’s flagship backup product that was originally sold under the name Acronis True Image. With the new version, the software has been redesigned for medium businesses up to large enterprises and adds a number of new features.

Acronis supports Windows Server and Linux-based servers. One of the main features of Backup & Recovery 10 is the ability to do bare metal recovery so a lost drive can be restored to its prior state on an unformatted hard drive. With one click, an entire lost drive can be recovered, said Jason Donahue, president and CEO of Acronis.

“The primary reason people buy it is speed of recovery and ease of use,” he said.

Acronis also greatly enhanced the scalability with version 10, increasing the number of servers it can support from 300 to 3,000 machines and up to 20 nodes, meaning one central backup location can perform server backups for many remote sites.

Virtualization support has been beefed up to support both Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Hyper-V and VMware (NYSE: VMW) ESX hypervisors. When deployed in virtual environments, Backup & Recovery 10 can restore a machine without requiring any agent to be deployed to that individual machine. It’s simply deployed on the server at the same layer as the hypervisor and deploys to all virtual machines on that physical server.

Also new in version 10 is deduplication, both file and block-level dedupe. It can perform checks at the sources or targets, or in the case of multiple machines, at the shared storage.

To make the game a little more attractive, Acronis is changing the pricing around. Most dedupe is priced by terabytes of storage, but Acronis is doing it by the server instead, which Donahue estimates will make it two to ten times cheaper than competitors’ products.

Acronis also sped up the software, with an estimated 10 to 15 percent performance improvement over the prior version, but that was not the company’s focus, Donahue said.

“The focus on this release wasn’t so much on performance, it was scalability, centralized management, virtualization and deduplication,” he said.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 is available now at a price range from $74 for individual users to $2,400 for enterprise customers, plus support and maintenance with each license.

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