What’s New in v3.0.768?

We would like to announce the availability of BackupChain Backup Software version 3.0.768, which was released with several new data protection features.

The main new module in BackupChain is the Disk Backup & Conversion screen where entire disks can be backed up, copied, and converted at the sector level, allowing you to make a byte-level copy of a disk, rather than a file based backup. Disk-based backup is recommended only for Windows system disks but can be used on any type of disk. Feel free to contact our tech support with questions and to obtain recommendations for your specific infrastructure setting.

Version 3.0 Overview

· Hyper-V 2016 backup support and support for Hyper-V on Windows 10 + 8. Automatic backups of virtual machines running on Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V Servers. Support for mixed environments of older VM configuration versions (XML and VMCX file based Hyper-V VMs)

· Live disk cloning of system disks, RAID arrays, and data disks. The cloned boot disk can be mounted side-by-side with the original. Cloning does not require reboots and won’t interfere with services on the server

· Disk image backup: create a disk image of an entire disk or set of disks in an open standard format: VHD, VHDX, VMDK, and VDI. These files can be immediately booted as virtual machines in Virtual PC, Hyper-V, VMware, and VirtualBox.

· Support for MBR, GPT, dynamic and basic disk layouts and multiple simultaneous disk snapshots.

· Each disk can have its own target within the same backup task.

· P2P: migrate from one disk to another, including larger disks

· P2V conversion: convert the physical machine to a virtual machine (via copying disk contents to a virtual disk)

· V2P: copy a virtual machine disk to a physical disk or equal or larger size

· V2V (live VM conversion): convert one virtual disk format to another. Useful when you want to test or migrate from one virtual host platform to another

· File based and block based verification of disk images and disk clones

· All of the above can be automated with a scheduled backup task

· Virtual disk output files can be versioned. Older copies are deleted automatically

· Universal boot tool: alter boot settings to make cloned/copied/converted physical and virtual disks bootable as virtual machines or on new hardware

· Secure FTPS server. BackupChain now offers encrypted FTP over TLS/SSL. This module can be used to receive backups at a different site you operate. You can either use a purchased security certificate or generate a self-signed certificate. A policy can be set up to require secure connections or to allow both FTPS as well as plaintext FTP.

· DriveMaker (separate download) you can use BackupChain’s FTPS server with DriveMaker and host your own secure storage online, mapped as a real drive letter. DriveMaker works with a range of other FTP servers as well.

· Efficiency improvements for file-based backups through better caching

· Disk backup and virtual disk conversion functions are part of Server Enterprise and Platinum Editions.

Benefits & Sample Disaster Recovery Strategies

The above features provide the following benefits:

· Protect the Windows system disk as well as data disks using one backup tool

· Immediate system disaster recovery via disk images: You can boot disk image backups using Hyper-V, VMware, or VirtualBox

· Immediate system disaster recovery via disk clones: A separate disk can be used to boot the system in case of a disaster. The disk clone could also be moved to new hardware.

· VM Pass-through/attached disk backup: If you have virtual machines that use directly mounted disks, you can use BackupChain inside the VM and back up the entire virtual server system including pass-through disks

· By backing up via disk image backup inside VMs you can migrate from one virtual host platform to another without interrupting the VM. Most of the time this can be done from the host via V2P more efficiently.

· Set up a centralized image repository. You could set up a backup server to receive disk image backups from all your other servers on the LAN. The backup server could run Hyper-V, VMware, or VirtualBox and power up the latest disk image with a single click in case any of your physical servers fail. With the new V2V features a mixed environment can be managed as well, i.e. VMware + Hyper-V.

· Disk image to cloud / offsite backups. The central backup server mentioned above could deduplicate and upload all disk images to a cloud server or a remote office. This would free up resources as only the backup server would be compressing and uploading to the cloud.

· V2P: if a virtual machine becomes too resource intensive you can use BackupChain to test a migration to a physical system. Conversely, virtual machines can be moved to a virtual host either permanently or only in case of a total loss.

· Disk images are stored in an open standard format. You don’t have to use BackupChain in order to open and restore files from your disk image; however, BackupChain can open any disk image without additional software or drivers and restore folders without having to mount the disk. This is very useful when the disk image might be infected with malware and you wouldn’t want to mount the disk to a live system.

· Disk clone versus mirror RAID: A mirror RAID is not really a backup. It may protect from a single disk failure; however, because the RAID controller replicates block writes simultaneously there is no reaction time in case of a data loss event. Disk clones done nightly, on the other hand, would give you up to one day to react. Consider that often data corruption, virus damage, Windows system/update corruption, or accidental deletions go unnoticed for a while. In addition, the disk clone can be kept dismounted giving you further protection against ransomware. You could also use removable disk drives as disk clone targets and rotate them, just as you could do with file backups.

How to Upgrade the Software Installation

If your software maintenance period is still active you can simply upgrade the software by installing over it. Versions 2.4.526 and earlier must be uninstalled manually first as they were based on MSI, whereas the new package is an executable installer.

Even if your software maintenance period has expired the upgrade might still go through. Contact our support with your license code to check ahead of time if need be.

There are no breaking changes. All settings remain in the system after uninstalling, upgrading, or reinstalling.

If you would like to back up your BackupChain settings first, please take a copy of the folder C:\ProgramData\BackupChainService before upgrading.

Use Help->Check for software updates to complete the upgrade or download the EXE from our download page and run it manually over the existing installation when no backup is running.

V3 Feedback from a Fellow IT Pro and BackupChain User

Lucky Vitamin has been using BackupChain since 2012. After having upgraded to v3, Tim used BackupChain v3 to convert one of his physical servers into a Hyper-V virtual server using the new disk conversion feature.

It was a total breeze. EFI was our main complication as the disk was larger than 2TB. We needed EFI compatibility. After trying multiple Microsoft-suggested methods that failed, I couldn’t believe how simple and reliable the BackupChain method was. I’d probably pay for a BackupChain license just for P2V…..This is also the best support I’ve received in IT. Kudos.”

Tim Butterly, LuckyVitamin .com, one of the largest supplement retailers in the U.S.A.

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