I ran across this claim today – “ran across” means that Google decided that they should serve an advertisement to me while I was doing some web searches. I was interested (I’m the chief architect of Unitrends) so I clicked on over and found myself reading a bunch of material from a vendor who said they were #1 Hyper-V Backup.”

The usual suspects were there with regard to features: near-continuous data protection (near-CDP), immediate failover without taxing the network, built-in compression and deduplication, and the like. (As an aside, Unitrends has all these features and a few more, and when we use terms like “deduplication” we’re not talking about simplistic job-based deduplication that doesn’t deduplicate across jobs like many vendors do.)

But none of it explained to me why the vendor was claiming “up to 20X faster.” I finally got to it – it was around CBT (Changed Block Tracking.) CBT is a technology which is readily available in VMware through the services they provide via VADP (vStorage API set for data protection); however, Microsoft doesn’t intrinsically offer these so vendors have to write software to offer them. Unitrends does, and these days most vendors do.

So why 20X faster Hyper-V backup? From what I can tell in the advertisement, they’re comparing themselves versus a full backup and/or versus a backup in which you have to scan the entire VM or something. But the sheer arbitrariness of 20X is what blew my mind – why not 100X or 1000X? I guess 20X just somehow sounds more credible – but if you’re throwing numbers around it’s pretty random.

So what do you think? What’s your greatest concerns with respect to Hyper-V backup? Raw performance? Recoverability? Ability to handle multiple hypervisors? Or ability to handle the enterprise – both virtual and physical?

Comments

  1. Anton: Thanks for writing! Awesome announcement by the way earlier on the MemeZip stuff.

    So I was just wondering – if you claim 20X faster and assume 5% average change rates – since we’ve all seen dynamic environments that have 25% or higher change rates – couldn’t you just call out that you are up to 100X faster?

  2. I think the decision by Meme (named changed – competitor does not like our referencing their name on our web site) to supropt HyperV is interesting development and one to be commended as part of an approach I think all ISVs should take which is to be hypervisor neutral. Customers will be best served by eco-systems that supropts the 3-big players (VMware, Microsoft Citrix) equally well.With that said, I’m not sure I really follow the logic here. I wouldn’t base my decision of which virtualization platform to use, solely on the fact an ISV supropts it. Generally, I think this article reads like the tale wagging the dog because Meme supropts HyperV, I pick HyperV? The decision to use one virtualization vendor over another is strategic one which I think most customers would be base on a much broad set of criteria than just backup vendor alone. Anyway, I don’t want to come across a VMware fanboi. I think the rise of Xen HyperV is GOOD thing. Any increase competition between vendors is likely to drive down prices, increase value-adds and help keep VMware and others on their technical toes. Certainly, Microsoft’s foray in to the virtualization market, has lead them to reconsider their more obtuse licensing restrictions of old. Lets hope Oracle take a similar Road to Damascus conversion! I’ve said it once, and will say it again. Gartner may be right. But declining market share, need not mean ego declining revenues. I personally think the market for virtualization is SO big there is room for premium-class virtualization, desktop virtualization, and good-enough virtualization. Customers will have to ask themselves what they are trying to achieve and select the platform that offers them best blend of features, cost and quality based on their business needs. After all its not like we have only one vendor of hardware and only one vendor of an operating system much though the vendors would like us to think this way

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Unitrends increases uptime, productivity and confidence in a world in which IT professionals must do more with less. Unitrends leverages high-availability hardware and software engineering, cloud economics, enterprise power with consumer-grade design, and customer-obsessed support to natively provide all-in-one enterprise backup and continuity. The result is a “one throat to choke” set of offerings that allow customers to focus on their business rather than backup.