In the modern economy, value has become rooted in an organisation’s ability to command and use data. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon have all seen exponential increases in their market caps, and all of them, at heart, are data companies.
Increasingly, this will have become true of your business as well. Without data, many companies are dead in the water. Reliance on data means the need to secure that data in the event of a disaster. 90% of businesses without a disaster recovery plan fail after a disaster.
Data loss isn’t an idle threat either; it’s something that happens at a surprisingly regular clip and is something almost sure to strike mid- or large-size organisation at some point during their existence.
Both Arcserve UDP and Commvault are vendors that help businesses survive these faults and failures without damage — delivering easy-to-use platforms that recover lost data. This article will help you decide which of these products is best suited for your DR needs, along with delivering a wider look at the options within the market. Let’s begin.
Arcserve UDP: Delivering Simplicity and Functionality
Arcserve is a California-based data protection company founded in 1983. The company initially went by the name Cheyenne Software, before updating it to Arcserve in 1996 following a merger. In 2014, Arcserve became an independent company once more, releasing Arcserve UDP, the data recovery programme we have today.
Arcserve UDP is marketed as a fully integrated, set-and-forget software solution that can be implemented across a variety of company infrastructures. The idea behind the product is to provide a single platform from which IT managers and other corporates stakeholders can manage various silos of data and back them up.
Arcserve uses a simplified architecture (at least at the user-end), treating users to a single console from which they can control all features of the service, including managing data from different sources.
The product aims to simplify data protection and recovery as much as possible and will work seamlessly, whether paired with virtual machines, physical storage or the cloud — great for companies that have diverse data storage arrangements.
The product comes with a host of features that companies can use to make the process of data retrieval easier. The service relies on wide area networks (WAN) to quickly ferry information from one form of storage to another. And the software automatically indexes all of the data that you want to be stored. Scaling with Arcserve is simple, and the system will adapt to your changing needs.
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Commvault: AI Augmented Protection
Commvault is a data recovery and protection company based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Founded in 1988, the company experienced remarkable success in the early 1990s providing data backup solutions before becoming incorporated in 1996 as the company we know today.
Commvault’s software has evolved considerably over the years. In the past, Commvault specialised in providing on-premises backup, recovery and storage, but today, like Arcserve, it promises customers a “multi-platform” service — one that will serve them no matter where their data resides.
Commvault offers customers a customisable suite of services, ranging from multi-cloud backup to disaster recovery. With Commvault, customers get the usual assortment of backup services, like storing data on disk media (with encryption and deduplication) and storage with a range of cloud storage providers (like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon). But Commvault’s services go further than this.
Commvault, for instance, offers customers the ability to replicate copies of live data in secondary locations. It also gives customers the ability to take snapshots of information from their hardware and then use these “snapshots” to create backups, without interrupting or impacting the behaviour of the primary storage site — helpful for mission-critical applications.
Commvault also says that it can protect and store valuable information contained in user-inboxes. By that, they mean that the enterprise-level software will integrate with your mail solution and collect what it thinks might be valuable data, back it up, and then allow you to retrieve it after a disaster.
Finally, Commvault is one of the first data recovery vendors to get into the artificial intelligence game. Rather than wait for a human engineer to find and correct a problem, Commvault says that its smart machine learning algorithms can spot and identify patterns associated with data loss, pick them up and prevent them from happening. The software effectively monitors your data integrity and looks for signs that something might be going wrong, immediately ensuring that backup safeguards are in place.
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Commvault vs Arcserve: AI vs Bare Metal Recovery
Commvault and Arcserve are fundamentally similar. Both products provide a single console with all of the functionality that users need. (There’s no need to buy “bolt-on” products for additional features). And both make it easy for users to access all the information they need from that single console. But, there are two differences, the use of AI monitoring and access to bare metal recovery.
Commvault uses artificial intelligence as part of its monitoring process. These tools are used to monitor for anomalies, analyse patterns and optimise performance.
Commvault is attempting to solve a problem that has plagued backup and recovery software in the past: slow speeds. The company hopes that with new monitoring capabilities, it will finally be able to push the industry beyond traditional backup and recovery solutions and do something fundamentally different.
Bare Metal Recovery
Arcserve UDP has a feature called bare metal recovery (BMR). This allows companies to restore all of their data from the ground up, including the operating system if required. The purpose of this service is to restore preexisting functionality by continually taking a series of images so that, should the worst happen, companies can recover.
There are plenty of reasons why a company might want a bare metal recovery. One of the most obvious is physical theft of computers from company premises. With bare metal recovery companies can create a new machine with the same features, apps and data as the one that was stolen. This is not a capability delivered out of the box by Commvault.
Beyond AI and BMR, the similarities become far more dominant than the differences. For example, both companies deliver the ability to take snapshots and then use these to backup data. This is done through the snapshots taken by your existing hardware providers but integrated into your proprietary DR environment to make seamless ‘point in time’ restoration far simpler.
Both Arcserve and Commvault enable integration with major public cloud services to allow for dynamic scaling. Arcserve has a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to use space in its data centres. Commvault allows integration with a wider range of cloud providers. If you are already using Azure, for example, Commvault may be the better solution. However, if still looking to move into the cloud, or already using AWS, Arcserve is the choice for you.
Know Your Usecase and Look Beyond Software
Both Arcserve UDP and Commvault are great products which can provide your business with a unified architecture through which to manage your data. If you’re looking for software that will actively monitor your backup and recovery situation, then Commvault may offer more of the features that you want. But if you want a product that operates across virtually all data environments and delivers bare metal recovery options, then Arcserve may better serve your needs.
The truth, however, is then when building something as vital as a disaster recovery solution, getting advice from specialists can go a long way. There are intricacies involved in creating a DR plan that will allow you to weather any storm without fail. Getting that right is as critical as having a plan at all.
It should also be noted that these software packages are not stand-alone solutions to your DR needs. Businesses still need to implement complementary hardware and processes to ensure a comprehensive solution. You need to think about your restore point objectives (RPO) and restore time objective (RTO), train staff and build a comprehensive business continuity solution. The right DR solution will help you get this right, but it is only the first step in building an outcome that will work.
When it comes to that software solution, however, both Arcserve UDP and Commvault are likely to serve you well. Making that choice comes down to understanding your use case, data demands, and cost metrics. Specialists can help, your data deserves the best.
- Arcserve vs Commvault: Gartner
- Arcserve vs Commvault: IT Central Station
- 2017 Disaster recovery statistics: InvenioIT