As of January 31, 2011, Quest vRanger 5.0 is now publicly available and out of beta.
There are now two versions of vRanger available: vRanger Standard Edition 5.0 and vRanger Pro 5.0. Pro buys you these additional features that people have been looking forward to: Replication, LAN Free, Catalog, and Linux FLR. Here's a look at them:
vReplicator is integrated into vRanger Pro
You no longer have to buy two separate products to do backups and replication if you choose to go the Quest route. You can use one single product for both.
Support for NFS and FTP Repositories
We already had support for CIFS and SFTP targets. The addition of NFS and FTP gives more flexibility on what you can use as a backup target. They didn't integrate credentials into the NFS support, however, so you will need to make sure that you lock down your NFS shares in other ways.
Linux File Level Restores
I know a number of people who are excited about this one. You've always been able to do FLR on Windows VMs, and now you can do the same with LinuxVMs.
You now have the option to catalog your file and directory structure during the backup process, rather than having to wait for it to propagate during your restore process. Awesome thing if you are always doing the type of restore where someone is sitting over your shoulder because they needed the file (that they deleted, coincidentally) yesterday; now they can't scream at you for it taking too long. My concern is that it might increase the backup window (one of the big selling points for vRanger for me is the speed) - I'm going to have to test it out and see.
LAN Free Restores over Fibre
Allows you do restores on your fibre network without touching the bandwidth on your lan.
Unfortunately, I notice several key features missing that were promised, that we will probably have to wait for vRanger 6.0 (current due date 2012) until they are released:
Direct-to-Target backups from ESXi (it has to backup using the vRanger box as a proxy) via a Virtual Appliance. You can currently do Direct-to-Target from ESX, but due to the lack of service console on ESXi, it will need a VA.
FlashRestore, which allows you to start running a VM before it finishes restoring. Very cool for those who are under a time crunch (wait, I believe that's the whole IT industry).
If you want to read more, or download a trial, you can from the Quest vRanger Website.
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