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ArcServe 9000 backup appliance offers one-stop disaster recovery

In its latest 9000Dr appliances ArcServe beefs up processing, RAM and disk to run virtual machines and saves SMEs spending on dedicated disaster recovery hardware

ArcServe has launched its 9000DR series of backup appliances that allow customers of all sizes to deploy an all-in-one system for recovery from an unplanned outage.

The key advantage of the 2U backup appliance modules is that they can run virtual images of servers that need to be restored, which means customers can avoid investment in some of the infrastructure that’s usually required to recover after a disaster.

“Ordinarily, to recover from an incident, backup alone will not suffice,” said Erwin Vanderborght, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales for ArcServe. “You also need a server, a hypervisor and storage to bring back protected data and put it into production.”

“By using these backup appliances to restore servers you cut infrastructure costs and radically simplify the process. Disaster recovery infrastructure has until now been reserved for those who can afford it but now it is available to smaller organisations.”

Vanderborght suggested that often data protection infrastructure is often bought only to be used during an outage and so is rarely used. The new ArcServe models, he said, allow CIOs to avoid having to justify spending on equipment that it is difficult to justify in terms of return of investment (ROI).

To act as a recovery infrastructure, ArcServe’s 9000DR appliances have doubled up on nearly all specs compared to the previous generation.

The extra CPU cores (in two Intel Xeon processors) are there to run the restored virtual machines. To do this, 9000DR appliances run Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft Hyper-V. That environment need not be used in production, however, because 9000DR series appliances have software to convert to VMware ESX or KVM virtual machines (VMs) so they can run via Hyper-V.

ArcServe hasn’t released any figures that compare virtual machine performance on its appliances and in production environments. But the aim of a disaster recovery solution is to offer a temporary platform, so it might be expected that customers would accept downgraded performance while production machines were put back into service.

“Even if no incidents occur and you don’t need the appliance to launch recovery VMs, this partition can be used to verify on a daily basis that backups are working. The danger during a disaster is to realise at the worst moment that there is an error in the backup and there is nothing to restore,” said Vanderborght.

The ArcServe 9000 range is available in 11 models. Their naming corresponds to the theoretically attainable capacity after data deduplication, which ArcServe puts at about a 3x reduction. So, the entry-level 9012 offers 12TB on raw storage of 4TB, the middle-of-the-range 9144DR offers 144TB on 48TB of raw storage and the flagship 9504DR provides 504TB of capacity from 168TB.

“The factor of three is conservative,” said Vanderborght. “In practice our clients achieve better deduplication rates, with up to 20x in some cases.”

Raw capacity in the 9000DR series is provided by disks formatted in RAID 6. With its parity drives a 9144DR appliance sold with a notional capacity of 144TB (but capable in theory of attaining 960TB) from a raw capacity of 48TB does in fact comprise eight disks of 8TB.

The restored VMs don’t benefit from deduplication. If we consider that you have to leave half of the storage free to launch VMs and that you probably, for example, will restore a third of them, that means that a 9144DR will support a maximum of 72TB of backups and 24TB of restored data.

The first three models in the range, the 9012, 9024 and 9048, are simple backup storage appliances. They take up 1U of rack space and have a single CPU and four disks all reserved for backup and without the ability to run restored VMs. Only the eight models thereafter, with the DR suffix, are capable of launching restores.

The top-of-the-range 9504DR is the only model to house 16 SAS drives (of 12TB each). RAM is 384GB expandable to 768TB and it has two 10Gbps Ethernet ports.

“This appliance, with its very rapid connectivity, is aimed at server backup and synchronisation between distant sites in real time. It allows for a quick restart in activity with up-to-date data. The other models that don’t have this connectivity option allow for the restoration of daily backups that, typically, date from the night before,” said Vanderborght.

Read more about backup appliances

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