Computer Associates International Inc. on Monday released a new version of its Brightstor ARCserv Backup software designed to speed up back-up and restore operations for departmental Microsoft Corp. users.

ARCserv Backup r11 is designed to take advantage of technologies in the Windows Server 2003 platform, such as the Volume Shadow Copy Service feature that lets users create “snapshot” back-ups of systems, said David Liff, CA’s vice-president of storage marketing. “More than ever before, we’ve really spent a lot of time working with Microsoft on this solution,” he said.

While the software is easier to use and better integrated with Windows 2003 than the earlier version, according to beta testers, the feature that seems to be getting the highest marks is ARCserv Backup’s new “multiplexing” capabilities, which allow tape drives to operate much more efficiently while backing up data from multiple servers.

ARCserv Backup r11 cut back-up times in half at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to Arthur Thompson, a technical analyst at the centre. Thompson had been using ARCserve Backup r9 to do a nightly back-up of the 1,200 Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail boxes stored on two servers at Pine Rest. He saw his total back-up time drop from 12 hours to six, he said.

Thompson’s weekly complete back-ups were also sped up by a few hours, he said, though the results were not as dramatic as with the e-mail.

Exchange back-up is sped up further by a feature called Single Instance Store, which reduces the amount of data backed up by not storing identical copies of the same message, Liff said. “If you’ve got a large e-mail that’s been sent to 50 users, we’ll only back it up once,” he said.

Version 11 is also more flexible than its predecessor when backing up Exchange data, letting users easily back up individual mail boxes and mail messages within their systems, Liff said.

ARCserve Backup r11 will be available for Windows on Monday, with pricing starting at US$775. Additional software that will perform complete backups of users’ desktop and laptop systems will cost US$495. There will also be a bundle for Microsoft Small Business Server, priced at US$995.

Linux and NetWare versions of the product are planned for May, Liff said.



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