Remote backup software vendor EVault adds virtualization support

EVault's latest remote backup software plugin -- released in spite of lagging demand for virtualization backup -- allows users to back up whole virtual machine images.

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Remote backup vendor EVault Inc. announced Monday a plugin to its backup software that adds support designed to make backing up virtual servers easier and more complete.

EVault's client software already backs up the data virtual server store. The new plugin will let administrators back up VMware virtual machines (VMs), images themselves, metadata and all. In the event of data loss, users will then be able to restore the entire VM instead of just the data the server held.

Although server virtualization is forcing changes on the channel, few of EVault's resellers have seen much growth from virtual servers specifically, according to Dana Loof, EVault's vice president of marketing. She said the plugin may give those resellers an additional selling point.

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"[Resellers are] wanting to capitalize on that trend" of virtualization, she said. "This allows them to expand on what they have already, which is probably smaller than they would like."

About half of EVault's business goes through the channel, Loof said, though she expects that percentage to grow. EVault was acquired by Seagate Technologies in December; and Loof said the company will follow its new parent company's preference for a strong channel.

Storage and server virtualization market is growing

About 60% of all organizations use virtual servers, storage or other applications, according to Forrester Research storage analyst Andrew Reichman. But it is unclear how many of those customers use virtual machines on production servers -- where backups are crucial -- rather than test servers or other noncritical uses in which data loss isn't as damaging. The number does seem to be growing, however, he said.

"The need to be able to competently deal with a virtualized storage environment has definitely got a lot more intense, a lot more significant," he said. "I definitely think the EVault announcement is a very good thing."

The plugin could hurt resellers whose value proposition is specifically in backing up virtualized servers, Reichman said, since EVault's tool now simplifies the process. But VARs and system integrators (SIs) who provide backup as just one part of a consulting practice will benefit from the technical aspect of VM backup becoming easier, he said.

The demand for backup in virtualized environments is there, said Dan Holt, CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based HEIT Consulting, but clients aren't necessarily aware of it until it's brought up. When he sits down with a client to talk about virtualization, Holt can now bring up disaster recovery scenarios and suggest the EVault plugin as a way to easily manage the data on machines as well as their configuration files.

"You come in as a full solution. Instead of saying, 'I have this point product and this point product,' I'm coming in form a disaster recovery perspective," he said. "EVault's [VMware support is] just a component that was missing for a lot of our clients."

EVault's software is available via three delivery methods: on-site software, Software as a Service (SaaS) and a managed service, in which the software is installed on site but maintained by EVault or one of its VARs or system integrators.

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