Tech Archive

Rapid Development of Unitrends


After acquiring the specialist in backup, VMware PHD Virtual environments, Unitrends wants to accelerate its development in Europe. Having been based there for 20 years, Unitrends is positioned as an expert in data protection and “recoverability”. As explained by Kevin Moreau, general manager of the firm in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), the company recorded 20 consecutive quarters of growth with an annual aggregate increase of 57% of its turnover over the past four years.


In late October 2013, the company was acquired by Insight Ventures, an acquisition which later led to the buyout of PHD Virtual by Unitrends who was also a company in the Insight portfolio. Following the merger, the firm now employs nearly 300 employees and is expected to achieve a turnover of over $100 million in 2014. Worldwide, the new group has just over 10,000 clients. In Europe, the firm has maintained an office in London since February 2013 and has also opened offices in France and Germany.


The heart of the firm’s offer is based on 9 rackable backup appliances with capacities ranging from 2.4 TB to 50 TB of useful payload (before deduplication). These integrated appliances embark Unitrends Enterprise Backup backup technology of the firm and come with an all-inclusive licensing scheme that allows customers to deploy the solution without having to worry about the number of servers or backed up VM, regardless of the nature of applications to back up. This technology is quickly being picked up by forward-thinking tech companies, like Prosper IT support of Norwich. As explained by Kevin Moreau, the Unitrends backup appliances offer all expected applications in the field such as backup, data archiving, site-to-site replication, or instant recovery for VMs. Side systems environments, Linux platforms, Mac OS X, AIX, Solaris, iSeries, VMware vSphere and Hyper-V are supported and specific agents are available for applications such as Oracle, Exchange, SharePoint, and others. Note that for virtualized environments with VMware or Hyper-V, Unitrends offers multiple options in case of problems.


Unitrends applications marry function compression and global data deduplication – they combine deduplication both inline and post process mode in different situations. They also incorporate quasi-CDP capabilities to reduce the RPO (Recovery Point Objectives). It is interesting to note that Unitrends offers customers a backup mode to the cloud which allows it to have an encrypted copy of data on the cloud billing Unitrends with consummate ability. The purpose of the service is to allow local devices to replicate their data to the cloud for disaster recovery purposes.


ReliableDR: provides automated disaster recovery for VMware vSphere environments


The merger with PHD Virtual also allowed Unitrend to get their hands on the ReliableDR software publisher. RDR comes in the form of a virtual machine ready for use for virtualized environments with VMware and allows Unitrends to provide an all in one solution for application service continuity in the vSphere environment. As explained by Carlos Escapa, head of disaster recovery at PHD Virtual, ReliableDR allows the publisher to offer a new technology that orchestrates recovery applications. “We call our approach disaster recovery insurance. We knew already how to manage data movement with compression, deduplication, bandwidth control … ReliableDR allows us to add layers and failback failover in VMware environments. One can thus orchestrate workloads moving from one cluster to another or from one datacenter to another. “De Facto, ReliableDR automates DR operations from one site to another, provided that the remote site has sufficient resources and connectivity necessary for disaster recovery.


The technology was developed for PHD Virtual ReliableDR and is independent of the data movement technologies underlying hypervisor. It can rely on the publisher replication technology, but also on third party replication technologies such as berries or EMC RecoverPoint. According to the publisher, RDR ensures RPO on the order of a few minutes for workloads such as web servers, and several tens of minutes to an hour for critical applications (middleware, application servers, databases data, etc). It especially allows for full automation of disaster recovery testing, which validates the recovery plan at much more frequent intervals that any annual or biennial tilt test. The application dashboard can finely measure the recovery time and ensure compliance with policies established by the ISD.