CA ARCserve Backup r16

CA’s ARCserve Backup r16 aims to amalgamate disk, tape and cloud backup into a single product. Dave Mitchell puts it through its paces in the lab to see if it has every data protection angle covered.

Synthetic backups and free data deduplication

Synthetic backups are designed to save time by reducing the number of full backups in a file server data protection strategy. Where the strategy calls for a full backup to be run, say at the end of a week, ARCserve synthesises this from all previous incremental.

At any time you can call for a full backup to be synthesised and have it converted to a real full backup. Also, when restoring a system you won't need to hunt down the last full backup and all subsequent incremental.

A handy new feature is CA's Infrastructure Visualisation view. From the Manager console, you can see a global view of backup domains, ARCserve servers, nodes and devices plus VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines.


Data deduplication is included in the base product and our lab tests showed it delivers good storage savings

One feature that really makes ARCserve stand out is its integral data deduplication which was introduced as a standard feature in ARCserve r12.5. CA doesn't have any published claims about data reduction ratios so we used the Binary Testing deduplication test suite to ascertain these.

Using a 4GB data set consisting of 1,000 files, we introduced controlled changes within a percentage of the files throughout a standard weekly backup strategy consisting of daily incrementals and weekly full backups. After the first full backup was completed, 2 per cent of the data was modified in 40 per cent of the files prior to each subsequent backup.

We used ARCserve's reporting facilities to see the amount of data sent to the appliance and how much was actually being stored on it. After a four week simulation we saw ARCServe deliver a good deduplication ratio of over 8:1 showing big storage savings are possible.

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.