Quest Software Merging vRanger, NetVault Into Data Protection Platform

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Quest Software outlined to its solution provider partners some upcoming changes to its data protection software which involves gradually bringing its two primary solutions together as part of a single platform

Quest unveiled its plans as part of the company's annual channel partner conference, held this week in Dana Point, Calif.

John Maxwell, vice president of product management, outlined a roadmap for Quest's data protection software that includes continual upgrades of its vRanger and NetVault storage offerings while gradually bringing them together into a single scalable data protection platform.

Quest in early 2008 acquired Vizioncore, which developed vRanger, which provides a comprehensive data protection platform for VMware virtualized environments.

Quest followed that up with the acquisition late last year of data protection software vendor BakBone, developer of the NetVault backup and recovery offering for physical IT infrastructures.

Going forward, Maxwell said, Quest plans to add physical infrastructure backup capabilities from NetVault to vRanger while adding vRanger's virtual infrastructure capabilities to NetVault. Eventually the two will come together as part of a single platform with a common management architecture while still being available as separate products for customers with specific requirements, he said.

Quest this month plans to release vRanger 5.3, which will come with target-based dedupe technology from NetVault. That technology, SmartDisk, will be available to vRanger customers for $945 per instance, and can reduce file sizes by a factor of 10:1 to 70:1, Maxwell said.

"It can scale for customers backing up several petabytes of data, but at a single flat price," he said. "You can go to a customer and say you can offer an attractive dedupe offering, and then wrap your hardware and services. This is exciting. No one in this environment has enterprise-class dedupe priced at $945 per instance. And most customers only need one instance."

vRanger 5.3 will also feature increasingly tighter integration with VMware, Maxwell said. vRanger 5.2 was the first backup software to support VMware's vSphere 5, and vRanger 5.3 will be the first to support the VMware vStorage Virtual Machine File System (VMFS), a high-performance cluster file system for managing virtual machines.

vRanger 5.3 will also allow users to search for data in virtual machines, Maxwell said. "No longer will customers need to know which VM data sits on," he said.

Early next year, vRanger will also start supporting physical storage backup devices, including tape, he said.

Quest is planning to offer major upgrades to NetVault every six months or so, Maxwell said.

NetVault will support more heterogeneous environments in the future, including virtualized server environments. "We won't just support Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines in a stand-alone fashion," he said. "Next year, you will be able to restore Hyper-V data into a VMware VM, and VMware data into a Hyper-V VM."

Next year will also see Quest integrate NetVault as the data protection backbone for its Recovery Manager technology for managing Microsoft applications including Exchange, SharePoint, and Windows Server Active Directory, as well as with its LiteSpeed technology for managing Oracle and SQL databases, Maxwell said.

Maxwell also introduced the Quest Unified Data Protection, or QUDP, platform, which next year will bring vRanger, NetVault, Recovery Manager, and LiteSpeed into a common platform with a single management interface across heterogeneous physical and virtual environments and through the cloud.

Next: Bringing NetVault, vRanger Together

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