Altaro


Altaro VM Backup v7 (What’s new)

Some time ago I wrote about the V7 beta version here. Altaro released their final edition of v7 recently.
Some of the key features of version 7:
  • Support for Windows 2016
  • Augmented Inline Deduplication
  • Boot from Back-up
  • New interface/GUI (in comparison to v6)

Support for Windows 2016

With v7 Altaro officially supports (with enhanced security and scalability) Windows Server 2016. You will now be able to use all of the features when upgrading to the latest version of Windows Server.

Augmented Inline Deduplication

Altaro’s unique Augmented Inline Deduplication increases performance of back-ups and restores for on- and offsite backups by transferring using inline deduplication instead of afterwards. This not only saves time, but it also reduces the amount of storage needed to store te backups. I can’t wait to test this feature.

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Boot from Backup

Boot from Backup is another innovation release in VM Backup V7. This enables administrators to boot from the backup location.

Any changes made to the VM are applied when the VM is rebooted. This feature ensures minimal downtime for end users and enables the administrator to fully recover the original VM without pressure from the organisation.

New interface

You might also have noticed the change in the Altaro logo color. Altaro took the opportunity to freshen up their look with their latest product release and also launched a new website that you can check out at www.altaro.com. The new GUI makes it easy to implement your backup strategy. It’s now possible to manage, configure backup/restore jobs accross multiple hosts all in the same GUI. (Altaro announced that future releases will expand those possibilities even further!) I upgraded my beta install to the final release and all went smooth. The existing configuration and jobs worked as they should after the upgrade. I did a restore test and that worked like a charm.

Currently I’m in the middle of testing the inline deduplication (I can already say I see amazing results) and the other features. I’m also working on a comparison with other vendors. Stay tuned for the results!


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)

 


Updating Altaro Hyper-V back-up to latest version

I’m running Altaro Hyper-V back-up for some time now. Approx 1 year ago I installed it on my Hyper-V server and it has been running all the time with no problems. It never missed a back-up and so I didn’t saw the need to update to other versions. Most of the time upgrading back-up software can be quite tricky and I didn’t want to reboot my Hyper-V servers. Never the less I thought it was time to upgrade to the latest version. Here are the steps :

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Click Check for updates,

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Click Update now

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And install the downloaded new version,

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After hitting next I was pleased to see that all of my settings were still there and I didn’t had to reboot my server :

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Here the “evidence” that it didn’t miss one back-up (No I didn’t deleted any errors Glimlach) :

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I’m very pleased with the performance and stability of the product. So check it out. Click the banner on my blog.


50 Free licenses from Altaro for Hyper-V admins

My sponsor, Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V backup are giving away presents this holiday season! 🙂 Every Hyper-V administrator is entitled for 50 licenses of their desktop backup software, that’s up to $ 2000 worth of software!

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All you need to do is send them a screenshot of Hyper-V that proves that you use Hyper-V and they will send you the licenses which you can use on your own machines or give out to friends, family or colleagues, to use at work or home.

The offer ends Dec 24th of 2012.

To claim your 50 licenses check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/50-free-pc-backup-licenses-for-all-hyper-v-admins

To check out their Hyper-V portal check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/

For more info about Altaro Hyper-V Backup check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/?LP=Xmas

In addition to this offer I can give away a free license for anyone who leaves a comment on this post.