RealTime IT News

CA Streamlines Data Protection Suite

With a new version of a number of its key backup and recovery applications, enterprise software vendor CA is aiming to deliver more robust data protection capabilities that improve security -- while being easier to manage and purchase.

The latest version of its Recovery Management apps include enhancements to the product's ARCserve Backup, XOsoft High Availability (formerly XOsoft WANSyncHA) and XOsoft Replication (formerly XOsoft WANSync) components.

Improvements to ARCserve Backup include centralized management by combining disk and tape backup using a single console, integrated antivirus and encryption tools and enhanced VMware integration -- which boosts data protection and backup efficiencies within virtual environments.

According to CA, the improvements reflect customers' feedback and provide a fully integrated suite of tools for data protection and recovery.

"There are lots of technologies out there they can use, but each has to be managed and implemented because they're standalone," Frank Jablonski, director of product marketing for CA Recovery Management, told . "We're offering a tool that lets them manage everything in one place and keep good controls in place."

By realigning and integrating solutions, customers can now pick and choose what solution they need, said Brian Babineau, a senior analyst at industry researcher Enterprise Storage Group.

"This is a pretty comprehensive portfolio that lets customers determine what solutions they need to achieve their recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives," Babineau told InternetNews.com.

The integration aspect appealed to Ben Weinberger, the IT director at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based law firm Ruden McClosky. Weinberger, who manages IT at his company's 10 locations, told InternetNews.com that his company adopted the suite because centralized management improved efficiency and cut down on costs.

Weather conditions had frequently proven a top concern for Ruden McClosky, which has already experienced huge data downtime due to storms and hurricanes. The company's IT decision makers wanted a solution that would improve Weinberger's disaster recovery capabilities and ensure that the firm wouldn't go offline if a storm hit either of its two datacenters.

"We already depend on CA XOsoft High Availability to fortify remote-data protection and rapid disaster recovery of mission-critical data across our 10 offices," he said. "Now, given all the benefits of the new releases, we are replacing our current backup solution with CA ARCserve Backup to take advantage of integrated recovery management."

A big pain point with Weinberger's former backup product had been that backing up data required about 30 hours, which he called "ridiculous," and said necessitated a better approach.

Now, with the new edition of CA Recovery Management, he's down to a six-hour backup process and has set up a backup datacenter in Chicago for his failover needs.

"We have good tech skills in house, so with this product, we're capable of managing everything ourselves," he said.

The new version update includes several other enhancements as well. CA's disk management capabilities and Virtual Tape Library (which enables companies to use tape backup software with disks) feature received an overhaul, making data recovery simpler and faster.

New features to XOsoft High Availability and XOsoft Replication -- both of which were updated to version 12 -- include a Continuous Data Protection repository that CA said makes finding information faster and easier.

CA also includes improved disaster recovery testing that provides automated, scheduled tests that don't impact network or data process performance.

Along with the product enhancements, CA also streamlined its pricing scheme for XOsoft High Availability and XOsoft Replication.

A new change to server-based pricing aims to make the purchasing process less confusing for customers. Previously, a buyer had to purchase options and features for each individually.

The move, which follows a similar change for ARCsoft Backup in October, also received kudos from Babineau.

"They've done a good job at simplifying the licensing and pricing model for the customer," he said.

After the pricing changes, ARCsoft Backup retails for $995 in a suite designed for file servers, while suites for e-mail, database and application servers retail for $1,495 each.

For CA XOsoft High Availability and CA XOsoft Replication, pricing starts at $2,000 per server, with a minimum of at least two servers required to replicate data.