Arcserve is the elder statesman of network based backups and has been used for decades to protect a variety of operating systems and storage systems. To call this latest release an “upgrade” is almost a disservice. Arcserve UDP (unified data protection) is not only a new application, it takes a new approach to solving the data protection nightmare that exists in many data centers today.
Data Protection is More Than Backups
In the modern data center, data protection is about more than backing stuff up. It is also about meeting the needs of the business. These needs are often articulated in service level agreements (SLA), or what Storage Switzerland, in our data protection workshops with TechTarget, calls Service Level Objectives (SLO). The challenge has been that data protection applications have not caught up with the times.
Most of today’s enterprise backup applications don’t allow you to tune your backup process to the agreed to service level or they are not robust enough to offer all the protection types needed to meet those SLOs. As a result, the backup administrator is left stringing together a series of disparate backup, replication, snapshots and other data protection tasks and then manually tries to map those to the SLO.
Can UPD Save us?
CA claims that arcserve UDP is designed to address these specific weaknesses. First, arcserve UDP is an integrated application with the ability to provide physical and virtual server protection as well as endpoint protection. At the heart of arcserve is its recovery point server (RPS). The RPS provides a target for backup jobs and can provide capabilities like global deduplication and source side data reduction. Overall, the solution has extensive capabilities like virtual standby, replication, high availability and tape archive all from a single interface.
A key capability is something that CA calls Assured Recovery which provides automated disaster recovery testing of business-critical systems, applications & data. A successful recovery is more valuable than a successful backup, but testing via a recovery can be too time consuming for most organizations. Making recovery an automated component of the data protection process can decrease the time to confirm backup quality and may prove invaluable to organizations of all sizes.
SLO Driven Backups for Everyone
Most impressive is how arcserve UDP allows backups to be set to service levels by simply turning a dial. For example a “good” setting may provide multiple daily backups, a weekly copy to a DR site and a monthly assured recovery test. “Best” on the other hand might include a full HA setup, a copy of data sent to two disaster locations and a weekly recovery assurance test.
CA arcserve UDP is a significant step forward, not only for CA but also for the industry as a whole. The move to SLO/SLA based policy backups is bound to draw strong interest from the user community as is the peace of mind that Assured Recovery will deliver. We’d like to see more enterprise applications step up their game, complete the integrations of their acquired entities and produce a single product that can bring value to data centers of all sizes.
CA is not a client of Storage Switzerland