Enables the discovery of virtual machines, protects them and allows their recovery

By Deni Connor, founding analyst Storage Strategies NOW
July 2012

The popularity of VMware virtualization is its own best enemy, at least that’s what many IT administrators would say. Virtualizing physical machines with VMware is so easy that even the most inexperienced IT administrator or staff can do it. Virtual machines pop up in the most unexpected places as test/dev machines, for use with production data or for whatever is the whimsy of the creator. This sprawl of virtual machines of varying configuration and deployment causes many a headache for the IT administrator, the person charged with provisioning, managing and most importantly, protecting and being able to recover the virtual machine environment.

Enter Arkeia’s vmOneStep software for protecting and recovering vmWare environments. Arkeia vmOneStep, which is deployed as a virtual appliance, consists of the entire Arkeia Network Backup Suite, specially tailored to VMware vSphere, ESX and ESXi environments. Delivered as a single Open Virtualization Format (OVF) package that can be imported with the VMware OVF tool, vmOneStep discovers virtual machines in the network, adds them to the backup schedule and when it comes to backing them up it employs Arkeia’s patented Progressive Deduplication™ of files to save space on disk and bandwidth on the network.

vmOneStep has taken advantage of VMware tools. It supports VMware’s vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) and uses it to create image-level backups. In addition, vmOneStep supports full and incremental backups and implements vmWare’s Changed Block Tracking, which can determine changes to disk sectors, so only changed data is backed up.

Further, vmOneStep works over the LAN, virtual LANs or SCSI and supports compatibility mode Raw Device Mapping, which is necessary in backing up Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) servers, in SAN-aware applications that are running inside a virtual machine and when N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) is implemented by host bus adapters to create virtual HBAs.

To its credit also, vmOneStep protects over 200 environments, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac and legacy NetWare operating systems. vmOneStep is unique in its ability to protect not only virtual machine environments, but physical storage and other hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

Like all of Arkeia’s backup appliances, IT managers can use either HTTP, a Web interface, or SSH and a command-line interface to remotely access backup servers. With SSH they can access the command line or scripting interface. Unlike other virtual machine backup software, the Arkeia vmOneStep does not require the installation of agents on VMware virtual machines that need to be protected.

Further, vmOneStep is integrated with VMware’s vCenter to simplify management of backup and recovery. With its vApp support, vmOneStep can backup and restore one virtual machine or groups of virtual machines – it also allows a granular file-level restoration on a per virtual machine basis.
The Arkei vmOneStep product also has simple, easy-to-understand pricing – it starts at $2,000 for an unlimited number of virtual machines on one physical server, irrespective of the number of CPUs or cores on the server.

Our Take: In Arkeia’s mid-market audience, the availability of a backup server as a virtual appliance meets customers’ needs. It’s quick and easy for an IT generalist or server administrator to install, manage and configure. Arkeia has pulled ahead of the competition for virtual machine backup with this product.


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