Backup Software Needs to Provide Freedom of Choice – Nakivo Backup and Replication 7.5

Backup software used to be a conduit through which data moved from primary storage to some form of protected storage. Today though, backup software vendors are increasingly forcing customers down a pre-selected path. Vendors are now bundling their solutions with server hardware as well as storage for the protected copies. At a minimum, they force customers to select from a finite number of backup storage targets.

Backup software vendors need to return to being a conduit between primary storage and protected storage. Organizations should be able to select the data protection target that makes the most sense for their use case. For some organizations, the upfront cost of an on-premises system is more than they can afford, and they’d rather leverage the pay-as-you-go model of the cloud. Other organizations may determine that a simple on-premises NAS is all they need to store backup copies. Others realize that they have so much primary storage capacity that they need an advanced backup storage system that can significantly reduce backup storage costs.

NAKIVO 7.5 Backup Flexibility

NAKIVO Backup and Replication is a solution for protecting VMware, Hyper-V and Amazon EC2 environments. The development team is one of the most productive in the industry and the solution has quickly moved from an interesting emerging option to a full featured data protection solution for the virtualized enterprise. NAKIVO now offers capabilities that many of the industry veterans lack.

Organizations have long used inexpensive network attached storage (NAS) systems as backup storage repositories. NAKIVO was one of the first backup software companies to support having their application run directly on the NAS, turning the NAS into a VM Backup Appliance. Running the backup software on the NAS saves network transfers and results in faster backup completion.

Many backup software vendors have ignored the economical NAS market, but NAKIVO embraces it. Currently the company supports running its software on Synology, QNAP, ASUSTOR, and Western Digital. In 7.5 NAKIVO adds support for NETGEAR ReadyNAS as a VM Backup Appliance. NAKIVO customers can choose which NAS solution makes the most sense for them.

However, some organizations need more than an inexpensive NAS to store backups. In the latest release, NAKIVO adds supports for EMC Data Domain Boost. Data Domain Boost is EMC’s technology to deliver source side deduplication, which compliments its industry leading target deduplication. This combination reduces network transfers by as much as 99% while still achieving deduplication ratios as high as 17:1. For organizations looking to optimize on-premises data protection capacities, the combination makes for a compelling option.

Another area where backup software should enable freedom of choice is recovery platform selection. Many organizations have multiple hypervisors and an increasing number are starting to implement cloud-native applications. In NAKIVO Backup and Replication 7.5, administrators can now perform cross-platform recovery. For example, a VMware VM is restorable into a Hyper-V cluster. During a disaster, an administrator can recover to the first available hypervisor instead of having to restore and stand up a specific hypervisor environment. IT can also use the cross-platform recovery feature to perform migrations of systems between hypervisors, eliminating the need for separate migration software.

Many data protection solutions require dedicated bandwidth. NAKIVO 7.5 provides advanced bandwidth throttling so that it can leverage WAN investment across more use cases. For example, during the business day the throttling feature can reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed, saving that bandwidth for VOIP or other functions. IT can set the throttling feature globally or on a per job basis.

StorageSwiss Take

NAKIVO releases meaningful feature improvements on a quarterly basis. These smaller but continuous release cycles enables them to respond quickly to customer needs. It also allows their customers to learn, understand and deploy these features in bite size chunks. Many prefer this deliver pace over the once a year 30 new features model of most software solutions. The capabilities in the 7.5 release provide customers with freedom and flexibility, something that every organization needs in the rapidly evolving data center.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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