BESR 8.5 What’s New:By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-12-04 Email Print
Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 may just be what the doctored ordered for solution providers looking to serve the disaster recovery and business continuity markets.
For administrators looking for fast system recovery following a disaster, two new capabilities of the product really stand out; the physical to virtual conversion capabilities and the Offsite Backup Copy feature.
The Physical to Virtual conversion capability allows administrators to automate and schedule a process that converts physical recovery points (backups) to VMDK or VHD files that are compatible with either Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization technology or VMware’s ESX servers. That allows administrators to create "warm failover" environments.
BESR's off-site backup copy feature adds another layer of protection for those sites building a disaster recovery plan. Off-site backup copy allows administrators to define remote storage points that can then be accessed automatically during the backup process.
While the off-site backup does handle the prerequisite external and remote hard drives, solution providers will find the addition of FTP support most interesting. A solution provider can set up a secure FTP server at a remote location and have Backup Exec use that remote FTP server as a storage device.
Even more intriguing is how solution providers can choose to host the FTP server and then offer storage space as a service for a monthly fee. That enables a company to meet offsite storage needs without having to invest in additional hardware. It also locates critical backup data at a solution provider’s facilities, where that data could be restored to a server and then sent out to replace a failed unit, perhaps smoothing the disaster recovery process and saving time.
Of course, it is no coincidence that Symantec is now touting its hosted storage solution, named "Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec," and solution providers will need to keep that in mind when offering hosted storage to their customers. Solution providers will need to build up the benefits associated with their own storage services, such as fast recovery, to compete with Symantec’s own solution, or choose to resell Symantec’s services. Either way, there is still an opportunity for a solution provider to garner ongoing revenue from Backup Exec.
While backup and recovery is truly the realm of Backup Exec System Recovery, there are some additional features that create additional opportunities. The product now supports a pre-boot backup environment, which allows administrators to back up a system hard drive, without booting up the OS. That feature will lend itself well to data forensics, e-discovery and other auditing or investigative tasks.
The pre-boot backup environment proves handy when it comes to fixing a system or recovering data from a crashed system. Administrators can use the feature to backup the subject system, then access the backup set to retrieve important files granularly. For businesses that need to meet compliance requirements, the mix of new features will surely come in handy. The ability to perform offsite backups, backup virtual servers, convert physical servers to virtual servers and back up "locked down" systems via the agent-less pre-boot capability all help businesses to meet several goals set by compliance requirements.