Review


Review: Altaro VM Backup

I’m using Altaro VM Backup for my Hyper-V whitebox environment for a couple of years now.
Recently I tested the latest version. Hereby my experiences.

Their latest version of VM Backup changed in comparison to previous versions.
I noticed several new features/improvements and a slightly improved UI.

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(Some of) Altaro VM Backup features:
– Built for virtual environments (both Hyper-V and VMware)
– Back up live VMs (Zero downtime by leveraging Microsoft VSS)
– Offsite Backup Replication
– File and Exchange item level restore
– Back up live VMs with no downtime
– Microsoft VSS Integration
– Support for Cluster Shared Volumes & vCenter
– Restore to different Hyper-V host or clones
– Central management console, management of multiple hosts
– Compression & Encryption
– Auto-upload Error Reports & Remote Support integration (Live Chat embedded)
– Offsite Backup Replication
– Altaro Offsite server (I shall update this post very soon with more information about this feature)

Altaro VM Backup 6.5 has been released adding the Change Block Tracking (CBT) feature for Hyper-V that gives the backups a speed boost of up to 33 times on incremental backups. Upgrading to the latest version is simple, go to the update download page in the user interface to download the update file. (Changed Block Tracking is conceptually similar to snapshot-technology. It determines if any blocks have changed since the last snapshot and tags the blocks that have been changed, to copy out only the blocks that have changed the last backup)

Altaro can be installed on a physical host or in a virtual machine. There is no Linux version (or OVF) available. (It would be nice to have that option although!) Configuring the program is very easy. In just a few steps you’re ready to go!

First configure the VMware or Hyper-V server (or vCenter), specify the IP settings and login creds and go to the following steps. Specify a back-up location, either a normal backup location (physical drive or network path) or a offsite location (either a physical drive, drive rotation or swap schema, network path of Altaro Offsite Server with WAN Acceleration). Configure the schedule, retention policy, the notifications and advanced settings (VSS, master encryption) You are all done configuring!

Now we are ready to back-up your virtual machines! Just 2 options, choose to take a backup or take a offsite copy.
Restoring the virtual machine is easy, you can use the default restore option or the granular option. With the granular restore you can specify specific files or folders to restore. It’s even possible to open an exchange edb file to restore specific exchange items (mail, calender items etc).

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A nice option is, that it’s very easy to test your backups using the sandbox feature. Using this feature you can test your backup&restore in just a few steps. It does a complete restore in a virtual (sandbox) environment. So nothing happens with your running VMs. Using this method you can test the complete backup/restore procedure.

When you need support, there are several options:

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You can use email and phone support, but a nice feature is the Live Chat support option. All the necessary information can easily be given to Altaro support so that they can help you. A very nice and unique feature!

If you are love security Altaro VM Backup give you the option to use an encryption key in your backups.
So in case of stolen your backups or any other scenario nobody can restore it if doesn’t has the encryption key.

Altaro built in al the reporting tools you need. In one overview you see your backup and restore results and actions.

Altaro comes with per-socket licensing and is as mentioned available in three editions:
– Unlimited Edition (all functionality for an unl. number of VMs and supports clusters, 585 dollar)
– Standard Edition (most functionality with protection of up to five VMs, 395 dollar)
– Free edition (protects up to two VMs)