Dell AppAssure was the winner of the 2012 Virtualization Review VMworld Best of Breed Awards as the Best Backup and Data Protection Product, which got me thinking what is so special about it. Further, if AppAssure did not have anything special about them Dell would not have enough to reason to happily acquire them back in February. After all those news about AppAssure and my personal interest in storage/backup & recovery arenas I have decided to try it out.
After trying it out for a bit in my lab & reading more about it, I have found the below three features about Dell AppAssure to be the most exciting ones :
1- Backup from any where & restore to any where or as I would like to call it Universal Backup. It was really interesting to know that Dell AppAssure can take virtual machines(VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix) & Physical machine backup and restore it to any desired target. For example you can backup a VM on Hyper-V then restore it to a VMware environment or backup a physical machine the restore it to a VM on any desire hypervisor or to a different physical machine even if it has a different hardware. Being a universal backup solution will save the admins of having to run multiple backup solutions across their heterogeneous environment.
2- Dell AppAssure Smart Agents monitors the server’s disks for changed blocks, which allow Dell AppAssure to do almost a continuous backup. By default its every 60 minutes, where you can set it up much shorter than that if required. Further, the Smart Agents allow Dell App Assure to conduct an application consistent backup using snapshots where you know your application will be in a consistent state when you restore your VM or machine.
3- Instant VM Recovery which is becoming available with more and more virtualization specialized backup solution these days, where it allows you to run a VM from backup without having to restore it which cut the recovery time from hours to few minutes. Though combining this feature with the previous two Dell AppAssure features mentioned above it will allow you to have a much better RPO/PTO even for a highly heterogeneous datacenter.
If you are looking for a backup solution for your heterogeneous environment then Dell AppAssure is definitely worth a try!