BakBone Straightens Up With Continuous Data Protection


The new capabilities of BakBone's NetVault: Backup 8.0 made a good product even better, said Robby Wright, chief technical consultant at Abtech, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based storage solution provider.

"The one thing I like most about BakBone is, it just flat works," Wright said. "That's why I carry it. I don't have to nurse it. I've had it installed on a customer machine in a matter of minutes."

While NetVault: Backup has had replication and other technologies, version 8.0 now includes a true CDP function the company calls TrueCDP, said Matt Law, product marketing manager for the San Diego-based vendor.

With continuous data protection, or CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain pre-defined intervals to allow users to be able to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted, or modified file. While many applications allow data changes to be captured on-the-fly, others back up the changes at set intervals.

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TrueCDP captures changes in Windows or Linux file systems to allow recovery of a file to any point in time, Law said. Because it is integrated with NetVault: Backup, it has the same look and feel of BakBone's other products, he said.

CDP is becoming more important over time, and customers are starting to ask for it, Wright said.

"It started as a whole lot of hype," he said. "Then when it first came out, it was klutzy. Midrange customers saw it as a lot of work to implement. But now that it is a part of other software applications like BakBone, it becomes viable to them."

NetVault: Backup 8.0 also comes with an integrated shared VTL which allows the capacity of the VTL to be increased on-the-fly as needed.

Virtual tape libraries, or VTLs, are disk arrays configured to look to the host server and the backup software as if they are physical tape libraries. Data is streamed to and recovered from the VTL as if it were tape, so no changes are needed to the backup process. However, because they use hard drives, the backup and recover speed is much higher than when using tape drives. Data backed up to a VTL can also be backed up to a physical tape for archiving or off-site storage.

Gary Parker, senior product marketing manager at BakBone, said the feature allows a VTL to be placed on a SAN, allowing customers to do LAN-free backups.

What's important here, said Wright, is that the shared VTL is built into the backup software. "No additional cost," he said. "That's a biggie for me."

Wright also likes how NetVault: Backup 8.0 allows data to be automatically encrypted as it is copied from disk to disk to tape for backup and archiving purposes. "Customers like disk to disk to tape with encryption all the way through," he said. "We just tell them, if they do encryption, they better take care of their encryption keys. If there's only one or two keys, they can print them out and put them in a safe. If there's more, they'd better get into a key management application."

Dave Hiechel, president and CEO of Eagle Software, a Salina, Kan.-based solution provider who works with several vendors including BakBone, said BakBone needs to add more support in order to increase business through his company.

"BakBone doesn't support AIT-5 tape," Hiechel said. "AIT is a small player in the tape business, but it's big for us. I need someone to work with us."

However, Hiechel said, that is not to say that BakBone doesn't make a good product. "And BakBone has the best channel program out there," he said.