vRanger 5.4 was launched last week at EMC World as we introduced EMC Data Domain Boost support that improves backup performance to Data Domain by up to 50%. Details on this integrated support, available to all vRanger customers on current maintenance, can be found both on the EMC and Quest web sites. Even though vRanger has supported EMC Data Domain (along with Quantum DXi and Exagrid) backup data de-duplication appliances for some time, this enhanced support puts vRanger in a class of just a few leading backup products that support this feature. We've had many customers ask for this integration and the beta interest and feedback was immense.
Speaking of customers, just as with the prior releases of vRanger introduced last year, we at Quest have focused on addressing the most requested features that we hear of directly from customers, on forums such as this and via our twice yearly customer surveys.. One enhancement that has been on our customer's top 10 list was the ability to control when email notifications are sent. Specifically, the option to send out emails only for failed tasks. Another big request and issue for some customers was the support of very large VMDKs - up to the vSphere 5 maximum of 2 TB. Changes to vRanger were made in this area and testing has shown that we can scale to even the largest possible VMDK that can be created. And amongst the biggest enhancements in vRanger 5.4 is the ability to use our Virtual Appliance (VA) to support backup. While we added backup support, we made the VA implementation simple, requiring just a few mouse clicks to setup. A big benefit of VA based backup is the ability to use one of the most popular features of vRanger in ESX environments, Direct To Target (DTA) backup, available to ESXi customers. DTA negates the need to route data through the vRanger proxy server (Virtual or Physical) and also supports clustered environments, allowing a single VA to protect (replication and backup) multiple ESXi hosts.
This is on top of the other customer driven enhancements for 5.4, of which some are listed below:
- Simplified configuration of VMs with Microsoft VSS
- Support for Storage vMotion locking during replication and backup
- Enhanced representation of failback and automated hardware version changes to target with replication
This is on the heels of FOUR major releases of vRanger 5.x last year that added customer driven requirements including:
- Integrated software based de-dupe option (5.3)
- Pre-seeding for replication and support for user initiated snaps (5.3)
- Job management enhancements around the triggering of full backup (5.3)
- Wildcard catalog search (5.3)
- Full VMFS 5 support (5.3) including LAN-free backup and restore
- VMware ReadyTM certification for vSphere 5 (5.2)
- ESXi replication via the new VA (5.2)
- Major performance boosts with advanced memory management, greater I/O parallelism and imbedded VDDK (5.2, 5.3, 5.4)
- Use of vCenter credentials vs. Admin authority (5.2)
- ESXi HOTADD backup support (5.1)
- Searchable backup catalog for one-click restore (5.0)
- Linux file level restore (5.0)
- vReplicator integration into vRanger (5.0)
- Fibre Channel Restore (a vRanger Exclusive) (5.0)
- Support for NFS and FTP backup repositories (5.0)
In addition to these releases to the public, we developed several releases last year and this year for specific technology partners (e.g. partners who resell or offer vRanger as a service to their customers). Looking ahead to the remainder of 2012, we will be coming out with vRanger 5.5 that is the first fully internationalized (Unicode) version of vRanger for the Chinese and Japanese markets along with the next big thing, vRanger 6, that will be introduced later this year and in 2013. vRanger 6 introduces major new features and functions DRIVEN by the requests of our over 40,000 customers worldwide.
When you see one of our surveys emailed to you, please take the time to fill them out. Also, be active on our forums, especially the ideas area of our vRanger community. Product management uses all of these venues along with 1-on-1 communication at the dozens of VMUGs, vForums and VMworld shows that we participate in to tabulate the most sought after enhancements for vRanger. Backup is our customer’s insurance policy for data and is not something we take lightly. Demonstrating to our customers that we listen and keeping them satisfied is a priority for each release of vRanger and our entire NetVault, LiteSpeed and Recovery Manager data protection family of products.