Compellent Technologies Storage Center 3.3

Backup and disaster recovery software

Gold Award:

Avamar Axion Version 3.0

Axion Version 3.0, Avamar Technologies Inc.'s disk-based backup application, is elegantly simple in theory: Back up less data. One judge hailed Axion Version 3.0 as "the most innovative product I've seen for backup and restore."

Axion creates point-in-time copies of data, but shrinks the amount of data it writes to disk by eliminating duplicates and writing only changes to already backed-up files. The underlying key technology is commonality factoring, which parses files and breaks them into chunks that can be examined individually for changes.

Version 3.0 runs on standard Intel servers, and Axion appliances can be clustered to provide failover capabilities. Version 3.0 adds new client support, including 64-bit Linux and Solaris 10, and support for Microsoft Corp.'s Volume Shadow Copy Service. Perhaps the most notable enhancement in Version 3.0 is the ability to expand Axion systems non-disruptively by adding nodes, rather than replacing them to upgrade capacity.

But it must be noted that implementing Axion requires not only a revamping of an organization's backup procedures, but a rethinking of the concept of backup. In other words, once you start down the Axion backup path, it's difficult technically to go back to a standard backup product. That said, Axion's rewards are difficult to deny, and Avamar deserves recognition for offering a new way to improve a flawed process.

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