Protect and Restore

Advanced backup and disaster recovery for virtual and physical environments with centralized management for SMBs and large enterprises

  • Management of virtual and physical machines from one console
  • Agentless backup and replication of ESX guest machines
  • Agentless backup of Hyper-V guest machines*
  • Application-level backup of MS Exchange email databases
  • Remote recovery and on-site hardware independent restore (HIR)
  • Multi-tier storage infrastructure and exclusive data deduplication


Protect & Restore (PPR) provides fast backup and best-in-class recovery capabilities. It ties in seamlessly with hypervisors for agentless backups, VM replication and instant restores. This makes PPR the ideal solution for IT admins of complex IT infrastructures and companies with rather small and basic installations alike. The central management console allows the user to configure backup and retention policies, storage locations, and perform restores, all conveniently from one console.

 

Maximized Business Continuity

  • Reduced downtime through optimized RPO and RTO
  • Reliable and fast restores to similar or different hardware
  • Restore VMs in minutes from replica
  • Remote operation of backups and restores
  • Set-and-forget operation

Reduced IT Overhead and Cost

  • Minimizing backup windows and storage footprint
  • Cutting storage requirements by up to 80%
  • Leverage VMs for powerful and cost-effective DR strategies
  • Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Simplified Management

  • Backup/restore VMs and physical machines from one single console
  • Archive to off-site locations via Idealstor solution
  • Save time and eliminate risk

Future-proof investment

  • Scalability for growing environments or medium to large enterprises
  • Support of most advanced hardware and operating systems
  • Fast backup times and reduced overhead on target machines and backup servers


Features
Benefits

Agentless backup of guests
Significantly enhances backup performance, while minimizing the load on target machines and the hypervisor during the process. PPR enables to back up entirely any online or offline virtual machine hosted by vSphere (Windows, Linux, etc.)


Agentless replication of guests
Replication provides the best RTO, as it utilizes clones (replicas) of target machines on a certain ESX datastore


Agent-based backup of fault-tolerant systems and non-commersial ESX
Since agentless protection through the VMware snapshot mechanism is unavailable for VMware fault-tolerant systems and guests hosted by a non-commersial ESX, PPR enables to protect them through on-site agents


Replica launch
The specified replica will be correctly detached from the replication process and then launched, which may take only a couple of seconds, allowing PPR Admin to get a failed system back on track with minimal downtime


Restore to original/new location
When restored to the original location, the original machine will be automatically deleted. When restored to a new location Administrator will be prompted to provide a new name for the machine, and a host and datastore to reside it. The VM configuration file will be modified accordingly


VMware CBT support
The use of VMware Changed Block Tracking ensures full or incremental backups or replicas are created with the minimum time and impact on ESX


Paragon ITE support
Paragon’s Image Transfer Engine is an alternative way of tracking data changes. It’s automatically used when VMware CBT fails

Agentless backup of guests
PPR backs up any online or offline virtual machine hosted by Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 (Windows, Linux, etc.)


Agent-based backup of Hyper-V host
PPR can protect Hyper-V hosts in their entirely or by individual volumes, through an embedded physical agent


Restore VMs to original/new location
When restored to the original location, the original virtual machine will be automatically deleted. When restored to a new location, the Administrator will be prompted to provide a new name for the virtual machine, as well as a host and datastore to associate with it. The VM configuration file will be modified accordingly


Paragon ITE support
Paragon’s Image Transfer Engine is used to track data changes, ensuring full or incremental backups are created fast, with minimum impact on the Hyper-V host

Agent-based physical backup
A special agent embedded to every target Windows-based physical machine interacts with the infrastructure and accomplishes backup tasks


Entire machines backup
Protection of entire machines guarantees complete data safety


Granular backup
Protection of particular volumes allows minimization of backup windows and storage requirements


One-Stop-Wizard for immediate protection
One-Stop-Wizard helps to instantly configure and initiate protection of a single physical server or workstation


Out of domain backup
PPR enables to protect not only members of a domain where it is deployed, but any machine on the net


Remote restore
Administrator can initiate recovery of data (non-system) volumes remotely from one of the management consoles


Bare-metal recovery
The problem machine is started up from a special WinPE recovery media. After connection to the infrastructure, Administrator manually specifies the desired machine, volume, and restore point


Paragon Recovery-ID
Automatically and remotely perform a restore operation without local user-interaction


Restore to dissimilar hardware
Allows Administrator to restore a Windows-based machine directly to dissimilar hardware without having to reinstall OS, applications, and re-configure the system

Application-level protection
PPR can treat MS Exchange 2007/2010/2013 at the application level, opening up the option to create consistent database backups without any impact on the production email server


Incremental chains and block-level data deduplication
Usage of incremental backups allows additional flexibility by having different time-stamps while block-level delta for full backups contributes to minimization of backup storage requirements


PSingle instant block backup
Even when creating a full backup, PPR analyzes and transfers only blocks of databases which have been changed since the last backup, thus providing for the server load optimization and backup storage minimization


Automated recovery from broken increments
When MS Exchange refuses to allow creating an incremental backup, PPR automatically initiates a full backup


Wide restore options at database level
PPR enables to restore separate data stores or storage groups or all groups at once either to the original or some alternative location with the option to create a dialtone database if necessary


Flexible restore at mailbox level
PPR also allows non-destructive restore of certain mailboxes. By default, their contents will be restored to the original location, provided none of the already existed email items are lost. If necessary, Administrator can specify any mailbox and a folder where you’d like the restored data to be placed to


Exchange replicas and cluster configurations support
PPR completely supports DAG (Database Availability Group), SCC (Single Copy Cluster), LCR (Local Continuous Replication), CCR (Cluster Continuous Replication), SCR (Standby Continuous Replication), SIOS (Single Instance Object Storage), and High Availability and Site Resilience


Close integration with PEGR
If using PPR together with PEGR, Administrator can easily connect a backup email database to MS Outlook to view and extract certain emails

Supported storage ties
PPR enables to store backup data on ESX datastores, local disks, UNC (network shares), NAS, SAN, FTP/SFTP, cloud (Amazon S3)


Multi-tier storage infrastructure
PPR has a solid solution to the problem of dual protection. Dual backup or replication to managed (fully controlled by PPR infrastructure) storages or archiving of backup data from managed to unmanaged storages (like Tape or FTP/SFTP that PPR infrastructure cannot control) enables to double protect target systems with minimal impact on the production environment


Enhanced backup format
Paragon introduces a pVHD (Paragon Virtual Hard Drive) format – a special VHD, optimized for storing backups of virtual and physical machines. It’s very efficient in handling incremental chains, data de-duplication and synchronization. pVHD does away with all limitations of a standard virtual drive format, such as a poor compression ratio, integrity control, and encryption capabilities. As a result it allows obtaining backups that are up to four times smaller than original backup objects


Backup data deduplication
Significantly reduces backup storage footprint. By linking existing local and network backup storages to a local deduplication storage, Administrator can make sure storages do not contain data duplicates, thus significantly cutting on storage requirements. Besides, deduplication enables to cut even more on network traffic, as again only unique blocks of data are transferred to storages, thus having a positive effect on backup timings, RTOs and RPOs of company’s IT infrastructure


Flexible scheduling mechanism
Protection policies can be scheduled from every few minutes (nCDP – near Contonuous Data Protection) to hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly


Enhanced data retention mechanism
Enables to effectively control backup lifespan and occupied space on storages


File-level recovery
PPR allows browsing contents of virtual or physical backup images as well as VM replicas to do granular recovery of separate files and/or folders. Required data can be restored either locally (on a machine where PPR Console is installed) or to a network share, provided the original directory structure is kept intact if necessary


Instant restore
Instant restore (launch out of backup image) is available through NFS (Network File System) or UIM (Paragon’s Universal Image Mounter)


Storage Browser
For easier administration all storages are open for browsing. Having a list of all created backups and replicas at hand, Administrator can easily find and initiate an integrity checkup for those he considers critical, or delete those he doesn’t need any more, or initiate restore


Microsoft VSS support
The use of Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service allows 100% data consistency when taking snapshots of Windows machines


Paragon UFSD support
Paragon’s Universal File System Driver provides fast and reliable access to major file systems


Backup data exclude/include filters
Allow speeding up backup process, while minimizing storage requirements

Migration between ESX datastores
Enables to migrate a virtual machine hosted by ESX to another datastore


P2P (Physical-to-Physical) migration
No hardware dependency with Paragon Adaptive RestoreTM; our technology guarantees that any Windows since 2000 will boot on dissimilar hardware by automatically injecting required drivers and performing other operations crucial for this type of migration


V2P (Virtual-to-Physical) migration
Combination of the agent-based backup and Paragon’s Adaptive Restore allows easily converting virtual machines to physical


V2V (Virtual-to-Virtual) migration
PPR provides the option to migrate virtual servers and workstations from VMware ESX to Hyper-V and vice versa with minimal effort

Distributed architecture
Offers scalability for growing environments and medium to large departmentalized enterprises


PPR management console
Centralized, easy-to-use interface to manage all virtual and physical machines from the same console


Realtime statistics, notifications, and reporting
PPR includes smart tools of monitoring. PPR Console can help to get real-time statistics on any activity executed at the moment, filter error, warning or information infrastructure events, set up email notifications and reports by a particular type of events or several types (errors, warnings, information, etc.) for an infrastructure component or activity you’re interested in (backup or replica policies, etc.)


Effective troubleshooting
Every user or service activity is journalized, which enables to pin-point roots of any encountered problem. For more efficient communication with Paragon’s support team, there’s Log Saver that allows easily collecting all or particular infrastructure logs


Easy update / upgrade
All infrastructure components can be upgraded remotely from PPR Console, guaranteeing complete consistency of the infrastructure database


Intelligent load balancing
Unlike other tools that use simple round-robin algorithms to balance load across the backup infrastructure, our solution considers Backup Server’s availability, access to source data, current backup repository load by other concurrent tasks, and other factors


Traffic throttling
Allows managing network bandwidth among clients to ensure QoS (Quality of Service)


Paragon ProTran
Paragon’s ProTran is a unique data transport protocol, specially optimized to run jobs over highly latent connections by automatically establishing multiple TCP/IP connections per job, which enables to significantly (up to 300%) boost performance of VM data transferring over WAN links


PPR Core Components: Administration/Installation Server, Backup Server, Management Consoles


Supported Operating Systems
Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
New Windows 8.1
Windows Server® 2003 SP2
Windows Server 2008 R1/R2
Windows Server 2012 R1/R2

Note!VMware Advanced Transport is only supported under Windows Server 2003 SP2/2008/2012



Architecture
32/64-bit


Memory
2GB or higher


Processor
x86/x64 processor (minimum 2 cores / 4 cores for Backup Server). The use of fast multi-core processors improves the data processing performance, and allows for more concurrent jobs

Storage
Administration/Installation Server: 400 MB to install

Backup Server: 200 MB to install

Console: 50 BM to install


Environment Credentials
Active Directory domain environment Domain administrator credentials

Domain administrator must have permissions of the local domain administrator on all machines that join PPR infrastructure


Services
Running WMI service (Windows Management Instrumentation)

Open TCP ports: 135, 18950, 60543, or disabled Firewalls on all computers included into PPR infrastructure

File and Printer Sharing is allowed in Firewall, which enables default system shares on local volumes (ADMIN$, C$, D$, etc.)


PPR Agents


Supported Operating Systems
Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
New Windows 8.1
Windows Server® 2003 SP2
Windows Server 2008 R1/R2
Windows Server 2012 R1/R2
New Windows Hyper-V Server 2012


Architecture
32/64-bit


Memory
2GB or higher


Hypervisors
VMware® vSphere® 5.1, 5.0, 4.1, and 4.0
VMware ESX® and VMware ESXi™ 4.x and 5.x
Non-commercial VMware ESX**
Microsoft Hyper-V

Microsoft Exchange
Exchange Server 2007
Exchange Server 2010
Exchange Server 2013
Single Copy Clusters support
Cluster Continuous Replication support

* Agentless protection of Hyper-V guest machines is available as a preview release at the moment
** Windows OS guests hosted by non-commercial VMware ESX can only be protected through onsite backup agent, other guest machines are not supported

Agentless protection of vSphere guest machines

 

PPR offers fast and reliable agentless disk-imaging backup or replication of online and offline Windows, Linux or other OS guest machines supported by VMware. The use of VMware CBT (Changed Block Tracking) and the patent-pending Paragon’s ITE (Image Transfer Engine) ensure full and incremental images are created with the minimum time and impact on vSphere. Flexible retention policies, enhanced data processing methods, automatic exclusion of irrelevant data, and the innovative pVHD format allow the optimal usage of backup storages. Employment of MS VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) when taking snapshots of Windows machines, guarantees data consistency. Introduction of Paragon’s ProTran®, a unique data transport protocol and a two-tier storage infrastructure, open up further minimization of backup windows and network traffic for simultaneously made images.

 

Backing up vSphere guests

 

Unlike traditional backup tools designed to work with physical machines, PPR can operate at the virtualization layer and directly employ the VMware snapshot mechanism to do backups. It doesn’t need an agent on a target virtual machine to create its point-in-time copy including its configuration, operating system, apps, etc. This approach significantly enhances the backup performance, while minimizing the load on target machines and the hypervisor during the process. Besides, there’s no need to provide credentials for every guest to do backups.
P2V

Replicating vSphere guests

 

For high-availability virtual environments that run the first tier applications, PPR complements VM Backup with VM Replication. Replication provides the best RTO (Recovery Time Objective), for this technique implies creation of clones (replicas) of target machines on a certain ESX datastore and their registering on the host under different names. Replicas are stored uncompressed in their native format, thus they are ready-to-go at any moment. All changes since the initial full replica are written to VMware native snapshot files, acting as restore points, thus allowing the usage of the VMware revert-to-snapshot mechanism to further accelerate disaster recovery scenarios, providing for almost zero downtime operation.
P2V

Recovering vSphere guests

 

With PPR you can recover a virtual machine to any good-to-know point in time and place it to the original or a new location. When restored to the original location, the original machine will be deleted (it should be offline). When restored to a new location you will be prompted to provide a new name for the machine, a host and datastore to reside it, virtual disk type, and network properties. Our product will change the VM configuration file and store the target machine according to the defined location. For replicas the whole disaster recovery procedure comes just to its launch, which may take only a couple of seconds.

 

Agent-based protection of physical machines

 

PPR offers agent-based backup of Windows physical machines. Any Windows OS computer on the network can be protected entirely, by separate volumes or drive letters. Almost all technologies used for the agentless protection of VMware ESX guests are also available for machines protected through on-site agents (MS VSS, Paragon’s ITE, ProTran, GoForSure, pVHD). By embedding a special plug-in, users can monitor backup activities on target machines through the system tray. Wake-on-LAN Assistant allows waking up remote target machines to do backup. There’s no need to install it on all machines that require it – the administrator just picks one and it will automatically wake up all others that share the same subnet when needed.

 

Backing up physical machines

 

Target machines should be added to the infrastructure directly from the console or on-site to embed a special agent that will interact with the infrastructure and accomplish backup tasks. It’s possible to create a special policy that will periodically check Active Directory OUs for new members to automatically add them to the infrastructure. When setting up a physical backup policy, you can specify as a backup object entire computers or separate volumes. All backup images are being highly compressed during creation by using redundant data exclusion filters and Paragon’s VHD backup format, which eases the backup storage requirements.
P2V

Recovering physical machines

 

With PPR you can recover a physical machine to any good-to-know point in time. Data volumes (non-system volumes) can be restored remotely, while system volumes and entire machines – on-site with a special WinPE media prepared beforehand through Boot Media Builder. To do a restore operation the target computer should have a network connection to Administration Server or one of Backup Servers. Thanks to the third generation of Paragon’s Adaptive Restore technology, the same hardware components are no more a demand – you can restore a Windows based system (any since Windows XP) to a completely different hardware by injecting required drivers and other actions crucial for this type of migration. Paragon’s Recovery ID allows minimizing time and effort of restore operations – the administrator sets up a one shot restore policy in the console, assigning it a particular ID. The user only starts up the failed computer from the WinPE recovery media and enters the obtained ID, thus initiating the pre-configured restore operation.

 

Agent-based protection of virtual machines

 

The agent-based backup technique can also be applied to protecting guests hosted by non-commercial VMware ESX, where the VMware snapshot mechanism is unavailable, or for VMware fault-tolerant configurations that do not allow agentless protection. Moreover, it can help to protect MS Hyper-V host as well as Windows guest machines hosted by other hypervisors.
P2V

File-level recovery

 

PPR allows browsing contents of virtual or physical backup images as well as VM replicas to do granular recovery of separate files and/or folders. Required data can be restored either locally (on a machine where PPR Console is installed) or on a network share, provided the original directory structure is kept intact if necessary.

 

MS Exchange Protection

 

PPR offers agent-based protection of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007/2010/2013 and its email databases. By operating at the application level through MS VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) API, administrators have no need to allocate time for backup windows, for PPR enables to create consistent database backups without any impact on the production email server. As for MS Exchange, PPR supports all latest backup technologies, like incremental backup chains, data retention mechanisms, block-level data de-duplication, replica databases, etc. But its main advantage is in flexible restore – restore of all or certain databases to the original or new location, including restore to RSG/Recovery Database with the option to create a dialtone database to let users send or receive emails in the process. When restoring the latest backup in the chain, there’s the option to replay transaction logs, thus achieving minimal possible data loss. PPR also allows non-destructive restore of certain mailboxes. By default, their contents will be restored to the original location, provided none of the already existed email items are lost. If necessary, you can specify any mailbox and a folder where you’d like the restored data to be placed to. If using PPR together with Paragon Granular Recovery (PEGR), you can easily connect a backup email database to MS Outlook to view and extract certain emails.
P2V

Restoring Exchange databases to new location

 

Obviously restore of Exchange email databases may take hours, which is dangerous for any present day business. Inevitable downtime however can be practically avoided by using the so called dialtone databases during the process. The essence of this technology is that users of the problem Exchange Server keep sending or receiving emails, while their mailboxes are being restored. When the restore process is over all emails from the dialtone databases are moved to the restored databases, thus no information is lost. Microsoft provides instructions on how to use dialtone databases, but it’s too complicated, involving many actions from the command-line PowerShell console. Paragon offers to do the same by going through a handy 5-step wizard, and even optimizes the process, getting unprecedentedly fast restore timings.

 

Restoring mailboxes

 

This scenario has little to do with disaster recovery. Let’s consider quite a typical situation when an Exchange administrator needs to restore a single mailbox – one of the employees left the company several months ago. According to the internal security policy, his/her email account was blocked and then deleted. Suddenly his/her former boss is requesting to restore that mailbox as it contains very important information. Obviously, if the administrator doesn’t have the option to restore at the mailbox level, he’s in trouble. The same goes when important emails are deleted by accident. PPR allows non-destructive restore of certain mailboxes. Mailbox contents can either be restored to the original location, provided none of the already existed email items are lost, or to a new location.

 

Dual protection

 

PPR supports a two-tier storage infrastructure that optimizes the backup window and network traffic for backups performed simultaneously. In this type of infrastructure, the first-tier (primary) storage can reside as close to the target machines as possible, thus ensuring the highest backup or replication performance. In roughly 90% of all restore cases the local site is operational and only an individual machine requires restoration, in which case the primary storage destination also provides the best restore performance (RTO). The second-tier (secondary) storage can be located off-site (cloud, remote office location, etc.) and serve as the DR site to protect from site outage or, in the case of a single machine being down, to restore from in case the local backup is not available. So, during the dual protection process, first, all target machines are backed up or replicated to the primary, local storage, minimizing the impact on the production environment, and then these primary backups are being copied (archived) to the secondary storage during a time that ensures minimum impact on the network.

 

Using one second-tier storage

 

Backup data located on the local storage are copied (archived) to the secondary storage, preferably at times when the impact on the production environment and the network can be minimized, e.g. the weekend or after hours during the week. Any storage device that is supported by your environment can be used, e.g. local, ESX datastore, network share, FTP, SFTP.
P2V

Using two second-tier storages

 

Advanced dual protection scenarios may involve utilizing two second-tier storages. Backup data located on the primary storages is archived to two different secondary storages, preferably at times when the impact on the production environment and the network can be minimized, e.g. the weekend. Depending on the type of the secondary storage, VM replicas can be automatically converted to pVHD images and vice versa.

Local deduplication storage

 

PPR enables to deploy the so called local deduplication server into company’s network environment. By linking existing local and network backup storages to it, you can make sure they do not contain duplicates of backup data, thus significantly cutting on storage requirements. Besides, deduplication enables to cut even more on network traffic, as again only unique blocks of data are transferred to storages, thus having a positive effect on backup timings, RTOs and RPOs of the company’s IT infrastructure.