As Unitrends has grown in enterprise backup, we’ve increasingly been asked to support ROBO backup (Remote Office Branch Office backup).

In one sense, we’ve always supported ROBO backup with physical Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs) deployed on physical appliances and virtual appliances (VMware, Hyper-V, and XenServer) and with Unitrends Cloud; on the other hand we’ve told our customers that they must use third-party options for monitoring and management (tools like SNMP trap managers (e.g., Nagios, Solarwinds, etc) or RMM tools (e.g., N-Able, Kaseyea).Remote Office Backup (ROBO Backup) Joke

Until now.

Release 9.2 now offers Distributed Enterprise Manager (which we lovingly call DEM).

DEM allows the scalable monitoring and management of up to 10,000 purpose-built physical and virtual backup appliances.  The core capabilities of DEM are

  • Ability to monitor and manage up to 10,000 Unitrends purpose-built physical and virtual backup appliances
  • Intuitive view of the health and protection status integrated into the advanced UI’s front-page dashboard
  • Integrated UI reporting provides a graphical view of each managed appliance
  • Users are able to drill down into individual appliance monitoring and management in a single click.
  • Automatic status updates provided through new, powerful extensions to the Unitrends REST API set
  • Built upon an IoT platform that has proven to scale to billions of endpoints

Unitrends has long offered local scalability that enabled IT professionals to manage hundreds of federated/clustered physical and virtual backup appliances through a single pane of glass.  DEM allows distributed management of  those local federated/clustered appliances as well as single backup appliances.

The way to think about the difference between our traditional capabilities and DEM is that we use tightly-coupled techniques to enable hundreds of our appliances to appear as a single federated/clustered “meta-system” – these techniques rely upon higher bandwidth among the appliances.  DEM uses IoT (Internet of Things) technology to enable loosely-coupled monitoring and management of up to 10,000 backup appliances.

Why a 10,000 appliance limit for ROBO backup?

The repeated use of 10,000 backup appliances in terms of DEM scalability is because we only tested up to 10,000 backup appliances – architecturally the techniques used have been demonstrated to scale to millions of devices.  We just haven’t tested beyond 10,000.  Yet.  The IoT capabilities upon which DEM is built are scalable message queue and protocols that are in use in existing platforms that support billions of users.

And while DEM is available via our radically simple yet sophisticated user interface; it’s also available via our REST-based API set.  This means IT professionals at both our customers and our partners are able to extend the capabilities quickly and easily using technologies such as PowerShell.

We’re pretty excited about this; customers and partners have been asking for this as well as our managed service providers.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this or any other subject.

5 Backup Cornerstones LP

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