CA bolsters Recovery Management

Rev. 12 now sports centralized management, VMware support, self-service data recovery and more.

The latest upgrades to CA's Recovery Management line of software not only increase its functionality but make key strides in integrating the vendor's backup and continuous data protection (CDP) product lines.

CA announced Revision 12 of its flagship CA ARCserve backup software, along with its CA XOsoft High Availability (formerly CA XOsoft WANsynchHA) and CA XOsoft Replication (formerly XOsoft WANsync) CDP and disaster recovery (DR) wares.

At the top of the list for new features is centralized management. Administrators at one main console can not only manage all local and remote backups, including those from different application servers and databases, but also manage all replication and disaster recovery (DR) functionality from that same console, if they so choose.

CA Inc.
Revision 12 of CA ARCserve Backup, CA XOsoft High Availability (formerly CA XOsoft WANsynchHA), and CA XOsoft Replication (formerly XOsoft WANsync)
February 2008
  • CA ARCserve File Server Suite now costs $995, up from $795 for the previous version; pricing for the ARCserve Backup e-Mail Suite, Database Suite and Application Suite remains unchanged at $1,495 each. XOsoft High Availability and XOsoft Replication costs $2,000 per server, with a minimum of two servers to support replication.

    Key Features:
  • Centralized control for local and remote backups, reporting, alerting and license management.
  • Support for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)
  • Support for AES 256-bit FIPS-compliant encryption
  • Self-service Exchange data recovery for end users
  • Support for zero-reboot recoveries

  • Full-range vendors such as Symantec Corp., with its Veritas Backup Exec line
  • Midrange-focused vendors, such as DoubleTake Software Inc.

  • Single, centralized management should help create new unified customers
  • Simplified and unchanged pricing makes upgrades a non-issue
  • "From the ARCserve interface, you can see all of the XOsoft replications going on," explains Frank Jablonski, director of product marketing for Recovery Management at CA. "You can pick one of those replications and say 'I want to perform a backup of this with ARCserve,' and it will create a snapshot of that scenario at a point in time, and turn it over to ARCserve to back it up, all tied in with corporate data policies."

    Instead of having to log into individual backup servers, ARCserve administrators can use one console to manage all backup jobs across all the devices in an organization, including tape drives, tape changers, tape libraries and virtual tape libraries. Reporting and alerting is also centralized, as is the new catalog database, which is no longer proprietary and is now based on Microsoft SQL Express. License management is also centralized, easing the movement of licenses from one server to another.

    Ernie Balabanis, sales director of recovery management for RDT Solutions, a CA partner in Hollis, N.H., says the centralized management is terrific news for big customers such as Occidental Petroleum, which uses CA XOsoft Replication on 150 servers in 12 countries. "They can manage everything from one place, which is great because sometimes there's a language issue with the systems administrators in different countries," he says. "But now they can have their guy in Houston manage the deployment in Argentina. It's very helpful."

    Rev. 12 also supports VMware's VCB, helping administrators avoid I/O bottlenecks associated with running separate backup clients on individual virtual machines. CA also upgraded ARCserve's encryption from DES-based to Federal Information Processing (FIPS)-compliant AES 256-bit encryption. That change creates more flexibility by not only supporting encryption of data on the production server, but also data on the backup server as well as hardware-encoded encryption devices such as LT04 tape drives.

    ARCserve 12 also now supports Microsoft SharePoint, Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

    On the CDP and DR side, the new versions of XOsoft High Availability and XOsoft Replication now sport a new CDP repository that gives end users a self-service capability to restore deleted Microsoft Exchange items such as mail messages, attachments, contacts and tasks-without requiring IT assistance. It also now supports zero-boot recoveries.

    "Zero reboot is the best new feature," Balabanis says. "They've always had the ability to do a new installation without a reboot, but now when customers upgrade, there's no reboot required. And that's a good thing because customers get a little nervous when they have to reboot a critical system they have disaster recovery setup on."

    CA's main competitors in the space include Symantec's Veritas Backup Exec line and smaller vendors such as DoubleTake Software Inc. Backup Exec tends to line up fairly closely with ARCserve in terms of features and functions, although the fact that ARCserve can now be centrally managed along with the XOsoft CDP and DR functions gives it a slight edge.

    DoubleTake is a tough competitor on the CDP/replication side. "I find DoubleTake in 80 percent of the deals I'm in as a competitor," Balabanis says. But he notes that CA's Assured Recovery feature, which enables users to test their recoveries without impacting production servers, as a key differentiator. "DoubleTake doesn't have anything like that," he says.

    The Last Word
    Revision 12 of CA's ARCserve and XOsoft Recovery Management wares makes huge strides in terms of ease of management, security and virtualization support.

    Now that both backups and CDP/DR can be managed from the same console, partners should have a compelling argument as to why their ARCserve customers should make the leap to CDP and better DR. "The ARCserve installed base is huge," Balabanis says. "So you can ask them what they're doing for disaster recovery, because now there's a product that integrates with ARCserve, which they already own. It should be a nice advantage."

    About the Author

    Joanne Cummings is principal writer and editor for Cummings Ltd., a freelance editorial firm based in North Andover, Mass.