Carbonite data protection, a familiar face with powerful data protection tools


Most if not all of you have heard of Carbonite, tremendous data protection solutions for home and small businesses. They have made some really cool additions to now give small business more options and larger businesses and enterprises better options for data protection. Today I am going to take you on a tour of the new portal (Carbonite Data Protection Console) that was recently rolled out with some new features and capabilities around virtualized infrastructures. This document assumes deployment of this solution to be completely on-premise where there is a simple hybrid deployment that leverages a cloud management console hosted by Carbonite.

First, I want to point out a few things that I love about this console, it is fast, responsive, and super easy to deploy and use. So, let’s start from the last one and move our way to the first. Many say things are easy and with varying levels of experience assumed it is hard to say in general terms, that something is easy. For example, changing a tire is easy but if you know nothing about a jack or what a lug-wrench is or if you are not sure what a tire or wheel is then changing a tire could be impossible. In my writing I am assuming a few things that I will spell out here.

1. You have some knowledge of virtualization on either Hyper-V or VMWare

2. You know what a server is and more importantly what a virtual server is

3. You have a basic understanding of deploying a server in one of the two aforementioned platforms

With these three things in mind deploying Carbonite’s new portal is super easy. First you start off with an OVA for VMWare or a VHD for Hyper-V. Deploying the OVA is as simple as copying the OVA link into the deployment wizard in vCenter or ESXi, accepting the licensing agreement, selecting thick or thin for virtual disk format, and putting in your environment variables such as IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS. Now depending on your network speed, the OVA will deploy in as little as 10 minutes to over 30 minutes if there is a slow WAN connection. The slow WAN connection can be eliminated from the equation by downloading the OVA to a local machine in the same environment. I have seen this deployment go as quickly as 2 minutes when doing the deployment locally .vs. over the wire.

Now you have your new Carbonite Data Protection Console deployed and ready to use. Please note that deploying this console in your environment is only needed in the event you want to leverage your own datacenter for the DR copy or do not want to replicate to the Carbonite cloud (this is considered an on premise install) because if you’re protecting data locally on an appliance and replicating to the Carbonite cloud you can leverage the production cloud portal provided and hosted by Carbonite.

Moving around in the UI is very easy and super responsive. Let’s take a look at the dashboard. Below is my map (figure 1-0) for navigating this comprehensive tool. Each component that can be managed is highlighted below in a blue shaded box. You may notice that I did not highlight my name and that is because when you click on your name it launches the user manager. When you click on the view all links within the different job status blocks it takes you to a filtered view of the Manage All jobs window filtering for the respective status. You can also click Manage in the All jobs block and select your filter manually or have multiple filters as seen in figure 1-1. Also, it is worth noting that the infrastructure and view all infrastructure links highlighted below take you to the same location. The plus sign denotes the ability to jump right to adding a component within the selectable blocks. For example, clicking on the + sign in All jobs will take you right to adding a new job.

Figure 1-0

Figure 1-1

When in the All jobs management window as seen in figure 1-2 below you have three dots to the right called an ellipsis menu or kabob that gives you additional selectable options to perform different tasks within a job. For example, you can view the job details, run a job, or edit a job. When there is an “In Progress” at any point in the job you will see additional options to view that progress as depicted in figure 1-3. These ellipsis menus are used in other windows such as Infrastructure to manage local backup storage locations or DR storage location and configuration.

Figure 1-2

Figure 1-3

Now another really cool option that I like is the ability to manage many locations under another location. This is helpful where a large company with regions can manage via each region’s HQ office/location and have many sub locations underneath, all rolling up to the main HQ office/location. This can also work well for MSPs who want to leverage this setup to manage their partners while their partner can manage their customers as needed. There is also an extensive API and API explorer built-in to help with any custom configurations, automation, or other tasks. Simply put, this tool will do what you need it to do and more as it is built with many growth and future-proof options allowing for customization when and where needed.

Now that we have gone over at a high level the Carbonite Data Protection Console and how it simplifies management of data protection within your environment. Let’s take a little time to discuss the new virtualization features that Carbonite has released.

Carbonite has added to their extensive offering new features for virtual infrastructures. Some of these features include, being able to recover the full VM, booted directly from the backup appliance/location in minutes, restore to the same or different hypervisor (ESXi, vCenter, Hyper-V, and cross-hypervisor restore including KVM), the ability to granularly recover (files, folders, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, Active Directory), mount backup data for fast granular access just like it was an attached block device, or download or restore a virtual disk (VHD, VHDx, VMDK, RAW) from a VMWare or Hyper-V based backup. Other options include, back up locally and replicate to a secondary location, with optional integrated hardware, compressed, encrypted, forever-incremental backups (AES 256-bit in-flight and at rest), flexible recovery options, including full or granular restore, scale-out architecture, robust APIs for customer automation with an API explorer, on-boarding and recovery support from our certified experts, 24×7.

As if it wasn’t enough that Carbonite has combined the best of bread technologies to give a full end to end comprehensive data protection solution they’ve really stepped up their game around virtualization technology combining over two decades of experience to give customers exactly what they need to protect their virtual environments. With options like instant VM recovery, cross hypervisor restore functionality (not requiring a VM converter tool), fifteen minute protection intervals, or the ability to protect applications without an agent elevates Carbonite to that next level type of solution. Take all of this and couple it with an end to end hybrid cloud offering, integrated appliances (as an option), HWaaS options, extremely competitive and simplified pricing models, and one throat to choke for the entire solution and you’ve found one of the best cloud data protection companies on the planet, Carbonite.

I expect to see great things from Carbonite in the coming months and look forward to reporting back more once I have tested some of the new features out for myself like SQL object level restore without an agent.