CA ARCserve Backup r12.5 review

CA’s latest release of ARCserve is quite unique - including space saving data deduplication feature as standard. But does it actually work in practice?

We also tested deduplication by backing up the system drives and system states on four Windows client systems. The total amount of data sent to the appliance was 90.1GB but our backup file store and index only had a total of 68.4GB of data resulting in an initial deduplication ratio of 1.4:1 and a storage saving of 25 per cent.

Naturally, the longer data is retained, the better the storage savings will get. ARCserve provides deduplication policies for backup jobs that aren't part of a staging process where you can decide on the number of days, weeks or months data should be retained for before being purged.

Backing up VMware VMs requires the VCB utility to be installed on a Windows Server 2003 system acting as the proxy along with the ARCserve Windows and VMware agents. With these in place we ran ARCserve's configuration tool to declare where our backup server and ESX Server systems were. On completion, the main ARCserve backup source window was automatically updated with our Server 2008 VMs presented ready for backup and restore operations.

The Dashboard offers a wealth of information and during testing it provided us with reports and graphs on deduplication efficiency and projected storage savings. It covers a wide range of other areas including status reports on all backup jobs, client nodes and encryption plus reports on backup data distribution, volume usage, media assurance operations, backup servers and much, much more.

ARCserve's data deduplication delivered in our real world tests and along with big savings on storage, it offers an excellent range of data protection features. It's very easy to deploy and its pricing structure makes it an ideal solution for SMBs as well as enterprises.

Verdict

No other backup software on the market currently offers backup, restore and data deduplication functions as a single, integrated solution. Our real world tests show it can make big savings on storage and including it as standard and at no extra cost makes ARCserve superb value.

Backup server: Windows 2000, 2003, 2008.

Client agents: Windows, NetWare, UNIX, Linux, AS/400, Mac OS X

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