AppAssure Software Inc. Replay 4

Products of the Year 2009:

Backup and disaster recovery software and services

Bronze Award:

AppAssure Software Inc. Replay 4

While only five years old, AppAssure is poised to make some waves in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) backup market with its low-cost yet full-featured Replay 4 near-continuous data protection (CDP) suite. With an entry-level price of $1,079 per server, Replay 4 provides sophisticated features that are well within the reach of many smaller businesses. One judge called it "highly innovative" and said it "competes very effectively with [Symantec Corp.'s] Backup Exec, Acronis Inc.'s Backup & Recovery and other SMB products."

AppAssure touts the speed of Replay 4, which it says has been ramped up in this release, and the quick initial installation that requires only a few mouse clicks. Replay 4 is for Windows Server environments where it leverages Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for its near-CDP capability and full-image capture feature. Replay's replication option allows sending compressed, deduplicated backup copies to a remote location or cloud storage service.

The company offers a variety of Replay versions, including those tailored specifically for three key Microsoft apps: Exchange Server, SQL Server and SharePoint. Version 4 adds support for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX virtualization platforms, in addition to Windows Server 2008 R2. Replay for Windows Desktops was also released with the Version 4 rollout. The desktop product can be managed centrally and will automatically copy changes and create bare-metal images for full system recoveries. Backups can be scheduled based on policies, and end users can recover their own backed up files.

Replay 4 is available on a long-term license or by subscription starting at $59 per month per server. A try-before-you-buy option lets users road test Replay 4 and other AppAssure products with free downloads of 30-day trial versions available on the company's site.

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