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Dell upgrades AppAssure; promises more data protection news

Dell is planning to make a series of rollouts around its data protection products, beginning with today’s launch of AppAssure 5.4.

The AppAssure release is the first major release of the backup and replication product in 18 months. The new features focus mainly on replication. They include the ability to replicate between more than two sites and set different policies for a copy of the data onsite than an off-site copy, set replication schedules for each target and throttle bandwidth. AppAssure 5.4 also adds dynamic deduplication cache sizing that allows users to select their dedupe cache sizes based on available memory, and a new GUI. A dedupe cache size can be set for a core (AppAssure server) and all the repositories on that core.

AppAssure now also has a nightly mount check that verifies data can be recovered inside applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL.

While AppAssure was primarily an SMB product when Dell acquired it in Feb. 2012, many of the new features are designed for managed service providers.

Eric Endebrock, product management leader for Dell data protection software, said the AppAssure software has also moved upstream to small enterprises since Dell began selling it on DL4000 integrated appliances in late 2012. He said AppAssure installments were typically no more than a few terabytes before the appliance, but now Dell sees installations running in the 40 TB to 80 TB range.

“We still serve the middle market, but the AppAssure-based appliance has brought us into larger deals,” he said.

Endebrock said the AppAssure rollout is the first of several moves Dell will make with backup products. He said Dell will moved to capacity-based pricing across all its data protection software and will offer backup software acquired from Quest and AppAssure in a suite within a few months.

“Since the beginning of last year we’ve been working on bringing all of our applications together and planning our strategy,” he said. “We’re now starting to announce a lot of that work.”

AppAssure 5.4 pricing starts at $1,199 per core.

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