StorageCraft ImageManager - Take Charge of Your Backups–Onsite, Offsite, and in the Cloud

What is StorageCraft ImageManager, and who should use it?

StorageCraft® ImageManager is free backup management software for IT administrators who use StorageCraft ShadowProtect® backup and recovery software. StorageCraft ImageManager provides continual backup image verification and local replication.

Additionally, this management software features consolidation and retention. If you’re an IT administrator who schedules continuous incremental backups, you need this software to effectively maintain and manage the accumulated backup image files and the storage space they use. StorageCraft ImageManager collapses the incremental files into daily, weekly, monthly, and “rolling” files, which reduces the length of the backup chain needed for a recovery.

StorageCraft Recover-Ability solutionStorageCraft ImageManager also offers licensable features for replicating remotely and for pre-staging a recovery—these premium features make your organization truly disaster resistant.

StorageCraft ImageManager is part of the StorageCraft Recover-Ability™ solution, which provides you with all the tools you need to recover systems, applications, and data anytime, anywhere and from any disaster.

Effectively manage your continuous backups

Anyone who uses ShadowProtect will benefit from having StorageCraft ImageManager to verify backup images. However, those who employ a continuous incremental backup schedule must use StorageCraft ImageManager.

A continuous incremental schedule means that only one full backup is taken—from then on, all backups are incremental and can be taken as frequently as every 15 minutes. Continuous incremental backups are ideal for backing up high-availability servers or large data volumes.

Using continuous incrementals reduces the backup window and backup image size—but they require managing. If left unmanaged, continuous incremental image chains become so long that they can hamper recovery efforts.

That’s where StorageCraft ImageManager comes in. StorageCraft ImageManager enables you to set consolidation and retention policies for ShadowProtect backups. These policies reduce the backup chain length and, in turn, the storage space needed while sustaining the organization’s capability for file and folder recovery.

StorageCraft ImageManager premium features allow for replicating local backup images offsite and for pre-staging a recovery before a disaster ever happens.

A necessary element of backup and disaster recovery planning

Scenarios for which IT administrators and other IT professionals use StorageCraft ImageManager:

  • Verifying and re-verifying backup image files to ensure the backup is ready when needed
  • Managing continuous incremental backup image chains through consolidation and retention policies
  • Replicating backup images to a local drive so as to be prepared for the most common disasters, such as human error or hardware failure
  • Replicating backup images over the network or remotely so as to be prepared for a site-wide disaster (requires buying a premium-feature job license)
  • Reducing recovery time by pre-staging a backup on a virtual machine (VM) (requires buying a premium-feature job license)

Features and benefits of StorageCraft ImageManager

Verification

Verification

The Verification Service and Settings let you:

  • Verify the integrity of your backup image files and chains to ensure they’re in a known good state for fast and reliable recovery (if verification fails, backup images won’t be consolidated, retained, or replicated)
  • Define if and how frequently backup image files are automatically verified and re-verified
  • Configure verification actions to be the same for all managed folders (of backup images) or configure specific verification actions for each managed folder
  • Manage how computer processing resources are used during verification functions
Consolidation

Consolidation

The Consolidation Service and Settings allow you to:

  • Reduce restoration time, risk of backup-file corruption, and needed storage space by automatically consolidating continuous-incremental backup image files
  • Consolidate these continuous-incremental backup image files into daily, weekly, and monthly files to reduce the length of the backup image chain
  • Roll up multiple monthly consolidated files to further shorten the backup image chain
Retention

Retention

The Retention Policy and Settings and Global Agent Retention Settings mean that you can:

  • Minimize the storage space your backups use by managing the retention policies for continuous-incremental and consolidated backup image files
  • Balance restoration granularity and storage consumption by managing the retention of continuous-incremental and consolidated backup image files
  • Manage backup image file cleanup for all managed folders (of backup images) on a network by setting global retention policies
  • Override global settings to configure a retention policy for a particular managed folder (of backup images)
  • Set different retention policies for backup images replicated locally versus replicated offsite (see premium features)
Notification and Monitoring

Notification and Monitoring

The Notification Settings, Backup Images Service, and Managed Folder pane let you:

  • Enable email notification for backup operation failures, warnings, agent inactivity, and diminishing storage space so you know what’s going on with your backups
  • Browse a historical record of backup image file creation by date and time to see general information about the file
  • See a managed folder’s used and free space as a percentage, in gigabytes, and in a pie chart
Throttling

Throttling and Concurrent Processing

The Agent Throttling feature, Replication Throttling feature, and Agent Settings enable you to:

  • Manage the network bandwidth StorageCraft ImageManager uses to transfer backup images to a remote site (restrict usage during peak business hours, and throttle up after closing)
  • Control how much central processing unit (CPU) time StorageCraft ImageManager can use to do its work
  • Control the number of backup image folders, replication jobs, and recovery jobs to be processed at the same time for max efficiency
Local Replication

Local Replication

The Replication Service, Agent Settings, and smart replication technology allow you to:

  • Create redundant copies of backup image files
  • Save backup image copies to a locally attached hard drive
  • Avoid transferring unnecessary or obsolete backup image files

 

Premium features and their benefits

These features require a license fee.

Network Replication

Network Replication

The premium-feature job license (for StorageCraft intelligentFTP® technology), Replication Service, Agent Settings, and smart replication technology let you:

  • Create redundant copies of backup image files to a local or wide area network share (LAN, WAN)
  • Set your LAN or WAN replication target to be a network server, VMware ESX server, BDR appliance, or network-attached storage (NAS)
  • Avoid transferring unnecessary or obsolete backup image files
Offsite Replication

Offsite Replication

The premium-feature job license (for either StorageCraft intelligentFTP or StorageCraft ShadowStream® technology), Replication Service, Agent Settings, and smart replication technology mean you can:

  • Send copies of backup image files to a remote server, co-location facility, or a data center
  • Replicate incremental files offsite while populating and shipping a base backup image on a drive
  • Avoid transferring unnecessary or obsolete backup image files
StorageCraft Cloud Offsite Replication

StorageCraft Cloud Offsite Replication

The premium-feature job license (for StorageCraft intelligentFTP technology), Replication Service, Agent Settings, and smart replication technology mean you can:

  • Replicate encrypted backup image files to the StorageCraft Cloud (you must have a StorageCraft Cloud Services account)
  • Replicate incremental files offsite while populating and shipping a base backup image on a drive
  • Avoid transferring unnecessary or obsolete backup image files
Recovery with HeadStart Restore

Recovery

With the premium-feature job license (for StorageCraft HeadStart Restore® technology), you can:

  • Pre-stage a recovery: start a restore operation to a virtual machine while the original production server continues to run
  • Finalize the restore operation by applying the original production server’s final incremental backup to the pre-staged virtual machine
  • Migrate or restore a server to the virtual machine in the time it would take to reboot your server (because your recovery is pre-staged)

Want to learn more or get your hands on a printable document?

See our support documentation, listed below, for more information:

  • Data Sheet – an overview complete with features and benefits
  • Product Brief – a look at IT challenges and how this product helps you solve them
  • Scenario Guide – proven examples of when to use this product
  • Quick Start Guide – steps to start using your software right away
  • User Guide – the user manual—step-by-step instructions
  • ReadMe – a supplement to the user guide—system requirements, enhancements, issues

Licensing

StorageCraft ImageManager doesn’t require you to purchase a license to use it. However, in order to install the software, you will need to accept the End User License Agreement.

Job-based licensing

To use StorageCraft ImageManager premium features, you need to purchase jobs. When you purchase jobs, you receive a product serial number, which may contain one or more job licenses. You can assign these job licenses to the same or different computers, and you can move them between computers as needed.

Job Licenses Available for Purchase:

  • Network replication
  • intelligentFTP replication
  • ShadowStream replication
  • HeadStart Restore

See the User Guide: Licensing for specifics.

Technical specifications

StorageCraft ImageManager runs on most Microsoft Windows operating systems, but we recommend using a Windows Server operating system. (Please be aware that StorageCraft ImageManager 6 will not work on Windows 2000).

StorageCraft ImageManager requires you have Microsoft .NET 3.5 service pack or higher installed.

Note: In order to take full advantage of StorageCraft ImageManager 6 features, be sure you use with ShadowProtect 5 or newer backups.

For a complete list of requirements and supported operating systems, see our User Guide: system requirements page and the ReadMe.