Arkeia Software Releases New Virtual Backup Appliance

Jan 29, 2009

Data security independence from hardware is the promise from backup specialist Arkeia for its upcoming Network Backup version 8.0. But it's not the only enhancement from the company with its French roots.

The term "virtual appliance" seems like an oxymoron, but it's really a system image for a virtual machine. In Arkeia's case, the image applies to the cost-based hypervisors from VMware, ESX and ESXi, to be delivered under the Arkeia Virtual Appliance moniker. The appliance is a software package that delivers a license derived from Arkeia's Network Backup product consisting of a hard disk-based virtual tape library (VTL) and Backup Agents. The company designates the latter as the software packages under which source data security and restoration is organized, formerly known as Hotbackup Modules. In a virtual environment the new Arkeia VMware ESX agent is installed on an ESX hypervisor and thereby ensures data security on one or many virtual machines, independent of platform and applications. According to Arkeia, the VMware ESX agent uses the snapshot function of the ESX server.

Administration and application interfaces in the virtual appliance should be indistinguishable from the physical backup appliance, according to Arkeia, the only difference being that storage is configured differently in the physical and virtual environments. Arkeia's own physical backup appliance had been released to the market as the EdgeFort brand in 2007 and is now available as the Arkeia Physical Appliance.

Not only have brand names changed, but some of the company's players. After the entry of a U.S. investor, industry veteran Bill Evans was appointed CEO in November 2008, with former European marketing and channel programs head Frederic Renard recruited back to Arkeia as VP of marketing. Headquarters were moved from Paris to San Diego CA.

The Arkeia Network Backup 8.0 virtual appliance is still in beta, with the final version to be available in March at around $2,000, including three backup agents. A 30-day test drive is available here.

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