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Acronis jumps on the dedupe bandwagon

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On the day that Symantec said it will add deduplication to its NetBackup and Backup Exec, Acronis has added deduplication to its Backup and Recovery 10.0 product, and increased its upwards scalability at the same time.

Acronis Backup & Recovery (ABR) is the next and rebranded version of True Image. Previous versions of the product, which uses disk imaging and offers bare metal recovery, supported dozens of servers and hundreds of workstations. Laurent Dedenis, Acronis' managing director for EMEA, says ABR scales up to support hundreds of servers and thousands of workstations. It has also been enhanced to work better with VMware - where Virtual Consolidated Backup is supported - Citrix and Hyper-V virtual servers and Parallels.

The product includes a host-based Virtual Machine (VM) backup agent, enabling backup and restore of live VMs through ESX and Hyper-V APIs without installing a client in each virtual machine. Acronis says its management tools look after both physical and virtual servers.

Dedenis says Acronis can now offer an all in one backup, recovery and deduplication product for very small companies, though to mid-sized ones and up to companies in the transition zone between medium-sized businesses and enterprises.

The deduplication uses Acronis' own technology and includes both source and target aspects. A source workstation could deduplicate data before sending it to a storage device, or a post-process target system could receive backup data and deduplicate it after receipt. Both source and target deduplication could be combined in a remote office and data centre scenario to have even more effective deduplication in the data centre.

It is possible that the addition of integrated deduplication in backup software products will reduce sales of deduplicating storage appliances such as those from Data Domain and Quantum. Acronis will say that its software means there is no need to buy additional deduplicating storage products.

Dedenis said: "Deduplication will help us go up-market. It's a very important release for us." The company gained a new CEO, Jason Donahue, earlier in the year and is looking to grow its business.

Acronis, with an annual revenue of around $125m, is a 100 per cent channel company with a traditional two-tier distribution/reseller set up, plus an OEM channel - Seagate's Black Armor NAS uses Acronis software.

The ABR product is licensed on a per-workstation or server basis. Existing customers on support contracts will receive the software automatically, although the deduplication capability is a paid-for option.

New customers will pay £41 for the stand-alone workstation edition and up to £639 for the server version. Deduplication option prices range from £16 per workstation to up to £136 per server. ®

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