What is StorageCraft ShadowProtect Virtual, and who should use it?
StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® Virtual software provides best-in-class backup and disaster recovery, data protection, and managed system migration for Windows virtual machines (VMs) running in VMware, Hyper-V, and other hypervisors. IT professionals working in mixed or virtual environments will appreciate having one type of backup and recovery software that works for all their Windows machines.
ShadowProtect Virtual is one element of the StorageCraft Recover-Ability™ solution. This solution provides you with the products and services you need to recover your Windows IT environment anytime, anywhere, and from a disaster of any magnitude.
ShadowProtect Virtual creates sector-level backup images of each of your Windows VMs. A sector-level backup image can include not just files or folders but also the operating system, applications, services, and configuration settings. Because your backup image contains so much more than data, when you need to recover a VM, you can do so with ShadowProtect Virtual in minutes rather than hours or days.
Flexibility you need within shifting computing environments
You need a backup and disaster recovery solution that can adapt to changing IT environments. With ShadowProtect Virtual, you can restore (or migrate) your virtual machine to another hypervisor or to a physical environment. You can even fail over a virtual machine in the cloud—either the StorageCraft cloud or your own private cloud.
This flexibility in recovery options means your IT systems can be back up and running within minutes of a disaster. You’ll be able to meet (or beat) your recovery time objective on all your systems. (Recovery Time Objective, or RTO, is a calculation of the maximum allowable downtime after which the consequences to the business are unacceptable).
ShadowProtect Virtual software can also deliver on your business’s recovery point objective. (Recovery Point Objective, or RPO, is the maximum length of time for which data might be lost. RPO answers these questions: How much data can you afford to lose or to re-enter? Eight hours’ worth of data? Two hours’ worth? Even less?)
You can schedule ShadowProtect Virtual to continually take incremental backup images (incremental backups record just the changes to the disk since the last backup image). You can schedule these incremental backups to occur as often as every 15 minutes if you want, so that the business is never at risk of losing more than a few minutes of data.
Vital protection of your Windows virtual environment
Common scenarios for which administrators, technicians, and other IT pros use ShadowProtect Virtual:
- Performing bare metal recovery after a hypervisor succumbs to malware
- Restoring to the same hypervisor after the hypervisor or server crashes
- Migrating to new hardware or virtual environment
- Recovering data such as files and folders
- Testing new applications prior to introducing them into your production environment
- Testing your business’s disaster recovery plan
Read our ShadowProtect Scenario Guide for detailed, proven examples of when to use ShadowProtect Virtual.
Features and benefits of ShadowProtect Virtual
Lower Price for Virtual Machines
The VM-based licensing model lets you:
- Enjoy all the features and functionality available in ShadowProtect at a price point appropriate for virtual environments
- Support Windows guests in many types of hypervisors (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, Red Hat, and Xen)
The Backup Wizard enables you to:
- Capture everything—systems, applications, configuration settings, services, data—on your VMs
- Back up Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint VMs and other critical application VMs, including updates in memory
- Encrypt a backup job to protect backup images to securely protect data
- Save backups to any disk device (such as removable, local, and network drives) or any optical media (CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs)
- Back up a non-bootable system before attempting a restore operation (using StorageCraft Recovery Environment)
The Backup Wizard also lets you:
- Execute a one-time full backup that you can archive
- Schedule backups to occur automatically
- Schedule incremental backups to run as often as every 15 minutes
- Set up subsequent full backups to be differential to save on storage space
- Manage the retention of backup images
Management view and client/agent options enable you to:
- Install the ShadowProtect agent on a VM without having to visit the machine
- Remotely manage both ShadowProtect Virtual and ShadowProtect Desktop nodes
- Choose to receive notification when VM backup jobs succeed or fail
With the Verify Image tool, StorageCraft ImageReady™ technology, and StorageCraft VirtualBoot™ technology, you can:
- Verify backup images to ensure they’re in a known good state for fast and reliable recovery
- Automatically run Chkdsk or other scripts on mounted volumes to determine data and application integrity
- Mount an Exchange Server backup (including system, data, and log volumes) to test the .EDB files and verify they’re intact or run cleanup if they’re in a dirty shutdown state
- Boot a backup image to a virtual machine to test whether a restored system would function properly
With the Image Conversion Tool, you can:
- Consolidate files (full backup plus incrementals) into a single new backup image for archiving
- Split a backup image file into smaller files (a spanned set) for backup on DVD or Blu-Ray
- Convert backup image files to a virtual disk in either .VHD (Hyper-V-compatible) or .VMDK (VMWare-compatible) format for restoration or migration to a different VM
- Set a consolidated or converted backup file’s compression setting or encryption
The Restore Wizard, Explore Backup Wizard, VirtualBoot, and StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore™ technology let you:
- Perform a bare metal restore in minutes
- Restore a system to the same or different virtual environment
- Restore a system to a physical machine
- Mount a backup image quickly and browse it in order to recover a file or folder
- Restore an entire data volume from a backup image file
- Quickly restore access to a database server by mounting a point-in-time backup image
- Rapidly boot a backup image as a virtual machine (temporary system failover)
The Backup Wizard, Restore Wizard, Image Conversion Tool, and Hardware Independent Restore allows you to:
- Migrate a backup image of a VM to a different VM
- Migrate a backup image of a virtual environment to a physical server
Want to learn more or get ahold of a printable document?
See our support documentation, listed below, for more information:
StorageCraft Technology Corporation uses a per-VM licensing model rather than a per-hypervisor licensing model. Per-VM licensing gives you:
- Consistent backups of each VM while they each are running (capturing the state of multiple working VMs on a hypervisor is complex and reduces reliability of all backups)
- Simplified restores since only an affected VM needs to be shut down for recovery (contrast that with having to do a complete restore of the hypervisor during which you must shut down every VM just to recover the single affected one)
- Flexible migration options—including to a new, dedicated system (migrating just one VM from a hypervisor-based backup is challenging at best)
The ShadowProtect Virtual licensing model allows you to purchase a single ShadowProtect Virtual license or licenses in bundles of 3, 6, 12, 24, or 50.
Please note: A ShadowProtect Virtual license allows you to migrate or restore a VM to a physical environment. However, once restored to a physical system, the virtual license ends. Use a new standard ShadowProtect license to continue to make backups in a physical environment.
If you are a managed service provider, StorageCraft offers you a subscription-based option. Visit the User Guide ShadowProtect for managed service providers page for more information.
Requirements and supported environments
ShadowProtect Virtual supports Windows guests in these hypervisor environments:
- Microsoft Hyper-V
- Oracle VirtualBox
- Red Hat KVM
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)
For a list of supported operating systems, see matrix below.