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Acronis grabs virtual servers by their backups

'We're in the moving business'

Data protection specialist Acronis has jumped on the virtualization bandwagon with a product aimed at handling data backups for physical and virtual servers.

The company has built on its True Image product line with True Image Echo. The software performs backup and recovery tasks for most of the major virtualization platforms, including VMware, Microsoft, SWsoft and Parallels. Support for XenSource should arrive by the first quarter of next year, said Ed Harnish, VP of marketing at Acronis, which is when the product will move out of today's beta form to production code.

There are a number of virtual server backup tools on the market, but Acronis claims it has an edge over rivals, courtesy of its experience in the backup game and by doing things such as incremental backups that save disk space.

For the unfamiliar, Acronis has more than three million customers - most of them running the company's flagship True Image 10 Home consumer backup and recovery product. According to Harnish, Acronis picks up about 25,000 new customers per month, and 20,000 of those purchases come from True Image Home.

Later this month, Acronis will ship True Image 11 Home for $49.99 with new features such as a "try and decide" tool that lets you do things like open an email from SweetLover@notavirus.com in a protected, temporary space without subjecting your hard drive to the payload. There's a more complete list of features here.

With True Image Echo, however, we're talking more about the data center.

The software wraps virtual servers in the Acronis Virtual Live Data Format, which lets an administrator move images between virtual and physical servers. Beyond moving images around, the software provides all the expected administrative tools for doing things such as event instigated backups or booting up a recovered image from the network - across all of the major virtualization platforms.

"We have done backup and recovery for a long time," Harnish said. "Basically, we are in the moving business. Whether that happens to be moving an image from a physical server to a virtual server or a USB stick or a disk drive, that's what we do. And we do it with very tight compression, so that it's all very efficient to move data from one place to the other."

True Image Echo will start at $3,495 per socket. ®

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