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Arcserve UDP 7200V review

Simple to deploy, with a large backup capacity – a top choice for protecting physical and virtual systems

Price
£11,350
  • Data protection tools; Easy to use; Good storage allowance
  • High cost of entry

Arcserve's Unified Data Protection (UDP) software has impressed us before, and now you can get it in a purpose-built appliance. The new 7000 Series runs Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard with UDP preinstalled and ready to protect all your physical systems and virtual environments.

The 7200V model on review has a large backup capacity, with 5.8TB of available space; Arcserve claims that deduplication and compression can push effective storage as highas 17TB. All models use an SSD for the deduplication hash tables, and they come with UDP Advanced, so Exchange granular backup comes as standard.

The "V" in the model name refers to Arcserve's Virtual Standby feature, which uses recovery points to create on-appliance VMs of protected nodes. The 7200V supports up to three VMs, which can be fired up automatically if the source node fails.

Another central feature is the recovery point server (RPS); this defines data stores on the appliance to where data is backed up, and provides replication and deduplication services.

Setup was swift. First contact is via a local monitor, mouse and keyboard, and we simply followed the quick-start wizard. Within 15 minutes we'd added the appliance to our domain, enabled AES-256 encryption for the data store and created our first protection plan.

Systems to protect were declared using Active Directory discovery, after which the appliance pushed the UDP agent to them. The agent, which took around ten minutes to install, provides backup and bare-metal recovery services. It also loaded the extra plugins for our Exchange 2013 and SQL Server 2014 systems.

These systems were then assigned a backup plan, which defined a schedule and a number of recovery points to save. Our plan ran an initial full backup, followed by regular incrementals. We chose to run these daily, but you can make them as frequent as every 15 minutes.

Once the backup was started, the Arcserve's powerful hardware made its presence felt: the 260GB on our domain controller was secured atan average of 79MB/sec. Subsequent incrementals took less than five minutes, and deduplication and compression managed to squeeze our dataset down to only 65GB of on-server storage.

For our Hyper-V VMs, we created a separate plan using the agentless option, browsed the Hyper-V host and imported selected VMs. This only took a minute; we then applied a schedule to back them up every hour.

When it comes to recovery, the options are extensive. To access them, we loaded the node's agent interface from the UDP console; then, using its wizard, we browsed recovery points, selected drives and folders and decided where to restore them to.

SQL databases can be restored using the same method, and we had no problems with Exchange granular Recovery. From the agent's wizard, we simply had to select the Exchange restore option and choose our data store. From there, we could viewall users and mailboxes andrestore individual emails.

The ability to make data stores accessible as network shares is a particularly useful feature. Oncea user logs in, they can browse recovery points from Windows Explorer and restore data themselves using drag-and-drop.

For the Virtual Standby function, the appliance runs the Hyper-V role.  After adding our Windows SQL Server node, we could see from the Hyper-V Manager that a new VM had been automatically created; when we powered down the source node, UDP fired up the standby VM as soon as the 30-second heartbeat we had set timed out.

The UDP 7200V has a high upfront cost, but it's extremely easy to use, delivers a generous backup capacity for the price and offers an excellent range of data-protection features. 

This review first appeared in PC Pro magazine issue 251

Verdict

The UDP 7200V has a high upfront cost, but it’s extremely easy to use, delivers a generous backup capacity for the price and offers an excellent range of data-protection features.

Supermicro 1U rackserver

2.4GHz Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3

32GB DDR4 RAM

LSI SAS 9271-8i PCI-E RAID

4 x 2TB Seagate SAS hard disks in RAID5 array

120GB Micron SSD

SAS iPass card for optional tape drive

2 x Gigabit Ethernet

3yr hardware warranty 

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