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What's Hot - 26 Jul 2005

Readers recommend the best products

Perform Backups of VMs
vizioncore's esxRanger

esxRanger from vizioncore is software that can schedule online hot backups of guest OSs on VMware ESX Server. esxRanger can back up virtual machines (VMs) locally or across the WAN by compressing the disks before sending them to the destination server. You can schedule esxRanger to run using the standard Windows scheduler. You don't need agents on the ESX servers or the guest OSs.

Richard Ewalt of Oak Brook, Illinois, provides high praise for vizioncore's esxRanger. He says, "esxRanger is a hot product. We use it to back up approximately 15 VMware ESX servers and 100 virtual machines. This product can back up all of our ESX servers from one Windows terminal, so we don't have to touch each ESX server. We can even give access to non-administrators to back up their own virtual machines on the ESX server without giving them ESX server access. This product will also compress the virtual machines (.dsk files) to conserve space on the destination backup location, and since the machines are compressed, we can send them over a T1 line to an offsite location for disaster recovery. esxRanger also lets us perform hot backups by snapping a redo log before copying, then applying the redo log afterward.

Richard Ewalt
Oak Brook, Illinois

Protect Vital Data
UltraBac Software's UltraBac 8.0

UltraBac Software's UltraBac 8.0 is backup and disaster recovery software that features Ultracopy for creating duplicate media for off-site storage, barcode medial pool support, differential image backup, and native 64-bit support for Intel and AMD processors. Other features include a centralized SQL-based database indexing option, direct backup and restore support of CD/DVD writer devices, remote autoloader support, firewire device support, throughput throttling, and reporting of bad blocks for worn tapes. Pricing starts at $495 per server with the ability to backup an unlimited number of workstations.

Gary Sanderlin of Fort Wayne, Indiana, says, "I've used UltraBac to back up various Microsoft server types (i.e., Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, SQL Server 2000), and I've been most impressed with the speed and reliability. UltraBac has saved my job more than a few times. I've been most happy with the pricing and support. UltraBac is awesome backup and restore software!"

Gary Sanderlin
Fort Wayne, Indiana
UltraBac 8.0

Close Security Holes

Sargent W. Jordon Shaw of Nashville, Tennessee, uses Patchlink's PATCHLINK UPDATE, patch management software. He says, "In our organization, we use PATCHLINK UPDATE and it has been a great product. PATCHLINK UPDATE lets you see what's vulnerable on each computer and you can deploy the patches to get the computer up to date. PATCHLINK UPDATE is great because it works with all Windows products as well as UNIX, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Macintosh OS X, and Solaris. You can use it to set up your own custom groups, custom users, and roles. The GUI is a Web interface. PATCHLINK UPDATE also features reporting capability. You can also do OS, software, hardware, and service inventory."

PATCHLINK UPDATE features enterprise-wide monitoring capability to apply patches throughout your enterprise. The software also features Patch fingerprinting technology that compiles a digital inventory profile by scanning all software, hardware, and drivers in your enterprise. Contact PatchLink for pricing.

Sargent W. Jordon Shaw
Nashville, Tennessee

Eliminate Server Farm Bottlenecks
ScaleOut Software's ScaleOut StateServer

Mark Sullivan of Overland Park, Kansas, uses ScaleOut StateServer from ScaleOut Software, a solution that eliminates server farm bottlenecks and offloads back-end storage servers by storing workload data directly on the farm using distributed, in-memory storage. Sullivan explains, "At my company, we build and host unique Web sites, which we run on multiple server farms. When we architected our farm environment, we decided to store session-state in a SQL Server database. At the time this was our only choice to ensure high availability of state information in our load-balanced environment. As our number of customers grew, our database became overloaded, and our response times started to increase to a point where it was becoming noticeable to our clients. We discovered ScaleOut StateServer. The product's approach lets us reliably store fast-changing data and shopping carts, in-memory on the servers rather than in the database. Since deploying ScaleOut StateServer, we have seen a 50 percent improvement in overall application response time. High availability of data is essential. We can't afford to lose user data during Web sessions. ScaleOut StateServer handles this concern by intelligently replicating session objects to additional servers and ensures that the required session objects are always available to the application, even in the event of a server or communication outage. The software's self-healing feature automatically restores data replicas after a failure is detected. Because ScaleOut StateServer is completely transparent to our ASP.NET applications, we were able to easily migrate to it without making any code changes. We're delighted with the fact that as we add servers to our farm, our session-state storage automatically scales to meet the increased demand. This means our customers continue to see fast response times and reliable sessions and we avoid database bottlenecks."

Pricing starts at $4495 for a maximum of three servers.

Mark Sullivan
Overland Park, Kansas
ScaleOut StateServer
ScaleOut Software
503-643-3422, [email protected],

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