I saw this little note on Byte and Switch the other day: Arkeia Shows Virtual Backup Appliance. According to the press release: Arkeia "delivers the first true virtual appliance for backup that gives customers free choice of hardware."
I can't think of any easy way of letting them down, so I will just come out and say it: Arkeia is most definitely not the first to have a virtual backup appliance. For some time now Avamar has been shipping Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE).
Now the point of this post is not to say that Arkeia are all a bunch of goofs or their software is no good or anything like that. Rather, I had two things in mind:
- Let's set the record straight. Press releases should at least be accurate, and I know there is all kinds of soft language they use so they can say pretty much anything and be open enough to interpretation that company representatives can keep a straight face when repeating them. But this one is just way off. Every characteristic they list for their "virtual appliance for backup" is already available in AVE. Hrmph. 'Nuff said.
- AVE is good enough that it is worth repeating what it is and what makes it so good. AVE is a virtual machine that can run on any ESX server and utilizes any storage on any ESX volume that is attached to that ESX server. It can accept a backup from any Avamar client. It is a full fledged Avamar server, and can replicate to any other Avamar server over IP. It also happens to be insanely great as a way to deploy a backup server to a regional office or retail location--by utilizing disk instead of tape, and VMware technology, it is dead easy to deploy, install, and maintain, and provides for local recovery capability while still letting you replicate to a remote (central) server for DR and compliance purposes. Finally, it is dead easy to deploy, and is therefore also the perfect way to get your feet wet with Avamar and deploy it in a lab or POC to validate that I am not full of smoke and that Avamar really is as good as I keep saying it is!
So, in this case, I would have to conclude that the good folks at Arkeia are just a little too late to the party to be making any claims of "first"!