Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New features in Avamar Desktop/Laptop

Avamar 6.0 just went RA (apparently 1 step prior to GA) and the EMCWorld session EMC Avamar: Edge for Remote Office and Desktop/Laptop Data Protection, they discussed some of the new features.
They started off the session discussing the features and capabilties of the Desktop/Laptop backup solution. Basically it is the same as the serve backup solution, tweaked for end-user friendliness.
They then discussed how EMC IT rolled out Avamar to their desktop users. At EMC they chose to roll out an entirely separate grid infrastructure for desktops, but mostly due to the number of clients and unique timing requirements. They already had a large Avamar grid environment for server backup that was tuned and scheduled for server environments. Of main importance was the fact that server backups occur at night, while desktop/laptop backups would happen during the day (when the computers are turned on).
To handle the timing and maintenance requirements of desktops, as well as the thousands of clients, they implemented a new grid environment throughout the world.

New in the 6.0 Desktop/Laptop solution are end-user improvements. The UI that users have is much more complete and easy to use. Additionally, in 6.0 they now allow a user to restore data from a profile on a different machine. In 5.0, they only allow restores by the same user on the same computer, but if you use multiple computers, upgrade, or replace your system, an Avamar admin had to assist in the restores.

Coming up in future releases (no dates or confirmation on release)
  • Native encryption across the internet
    • No longer will our CEO fly across the country without being backed up. We could configure his laptop to backup across the internet, and then when at other companies or at the hotel, his system will backup across the internet without him connecting a VPN.
  • Keep last backup
    • If you have a short retenion time (less than 30 days), it is possible that a system could be offline long enough for the backups to be purged. If the system crashes after the purge, then all system data is lost
    • Scenario: Someone takes their laptop home for maternity leave. They occasionally use OWA to send email, but never connect to the VPN to backup. 30 days into the leave, the laptop falls to the ground and is destroyed.
    • There is discussion of an option to keep the last backup of a system even after the expiration date. This could be selected on individual systems that IT is alerted to people being offline for an extended time.

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