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Quadric Software Delivers Powerful Protection For Virtual And Physical Server Environments

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Quadric Software was founded in 2008 by a team of passionate technologists and business executives. Quadric Software’s Alike product line delivers powerful protection for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, as well as physical machines. Alike’s unique capabilities also give customers the resources they need to create and deploy a successful disaster recovery plan.

Below is our iinterview with Phil Baskette, CEO at Quadric Software:

Q: Could you explain the most prominent advantages of your enterprise BDR solutions?

A: Our Alike software is unique because it balances a comprehensive set of sophisticated BDR features with a highly intuitive management system, allowing users to easily manage their jobs and keep track of their systems. Traditionally, enterprise backup software was equipped with an extremely complex configuration package to support large scale environments. The problem with these enterprise solutions is that they include unnecessarily complex and cumbersome solutions designed to have more features than function. Traditional enterprise solutions also target a limited percentage of businesses, and they don’t offer any benefit to companies that do not have the same business continuity requirements as the target enterprise population, nor do they have the infrastructure to handle it in many cases. Additionally, these solutions are outside the budget of businesses who want the same powerful features but who need to scale down rather than up. We wanted to cut our own path in the industry and provide an option that combines the power of enterprise BDR features without the complexities or high cost of most solutions. That’s why flexibility is baked into the Quadric ethos and has always been an integral part of Alike’s design.

While other solutions continue to frontload their UI with an infinite and overwhelming number of configurations, we purposefully avoid that by refining our web-friendly interface with the user’s actual needs in mind. Admins at any level of experience can quickly and easily navigate our software, which expedites backups and prevents the stress of knowing their job may be on the line if they can’t recover lost data quickly enough. Therefore, the depth of Alike’s functionality, combined with the simplicity of the UX, allows us to provide enterprise BDR solutions at an affordable price point. Alike provides businesses of any size everything they need to manage backups and mitigate risk without ensnaring the user in an unnecessarily complex architecture. This gives us a huge advantage over our competitors and provides our customers with the ability to scale up or down according to their specific needs.

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Q: How does the functionality of your software make your solution more compelling to customers?

A: In addition to being vastly easier to use than other solutions, Alike was originally designed in 2008 to work specifically with XenServer, giving us the leverage to become the leading backup software for the XenServer platform. Our expertise in this platform continued to help transform the open source XenServer community. After Citrix acquired XenServer, Alike was the first deduplicating backup solution to gain Citrix Ready certification. Because of Alike’s inherent integration with XenServer, our software is capable of adapting to major shifts within the platform in a way no other solution can. New customers who know XenServer well, or have used other solutions that don’t have the same capacity to support XenServer, are always impressed with the performance Alike achieves in XenServer environments.

Alike’s unique capabilities also give our customers the resources they need to create and deploy a successful disaster recovery plan. For instance, we offer both agentless and agent-based backups to provide endless flexibility for recovering data. Users can choose between our exclusive Q-Hybrid or Enhanced backups to give them a wider set of options for the type of data and programs they are protecting. Because both methods are 100% compatible, data backed up using either method will always be available and fully recoverable.

Alike DR is our disaster recovery edition, and one of its most unique features is the single pass backup and true standby VM replication. Alike’s replication leverages the same powerful deduplication technology that powers our point-in-time recovery processes.

We are not aware of any other solution that can compete with the amount of time and memory saved by our global deduplication and exclusive backup and replication features. We’re also working on rolling out a new feature that will save even more time on backups. Because Alike offers cross-platform protection, regardless of the platform, it also stakes a claim as an extremely compelling and affordable solution for organizations with heterogeneous environments.

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Q: Name a common challenge in backing up virtualized environments, and explain how a specific feature of your software has helped overcome this challenge.

A: Virtualization makes it vastly easier to add VMs and manage systems because the obstacles of creating new servers are eliminated. However, mixed environments with 2 or more hypervisors complicate what should be a simple process to protect the entire infrastructure. Solutions with certain hardware loyalties add a considerable amount of cost to the businesses that use them, and these methods prevent organizations with mixed environments from having a single solution that protects all transformative data.

Not only does Alike seamlessly protect virtual machines on both XenServer and Hyper-V platforms, but it can also fully restore from one to the other without additional steps or added hardware required. Put simply, mixed environment’s systems are fully protected and easily recoverable with Alike DR, no matter how much needs to be protected and without the need for conversions or added costs.

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Q: What’s the achievement Quadric Software is most proud of?

A: Our ability to break the enterprise storage cost curve through a variety of unique functions within Alike. Enterprise level storage can be expensive since, traditionally, administrators added SAN storage to meet growing data protection needs. However, through innovative backup technology, they could gain secure redundancy without breaking the bank and without the time-consuming headache outdated methods. Alike’s unrivaled global deduplication offers incredible compression ratios, giving customers an advanced, reliable way to secure their data while minimizing bandwidth and storage space, resulting in a sizable reduction in operational costs for our customers.

Breaking the storage curve means helping businesses gain comparable levels of protection without the enterprise cost, and this has always been part of Quadric Software’s mission. When we started Quadric Software, we made it a priority to find ways to help smaller businesses who were unfairly constrained by the cost of enterprise storage. Despite the fact that storage prices have been falling, it is a tremendous challenge for most small to mid-sized businesses to budget to keep up with their explosion of data. We wanted to find unique ways to give customers the strongest storage features at the software level.

In doing so, we found data deduplication to be under-exploited in virtual backup solutions.
We began to explore its potential to unlock storage savings for XenServer environments, regardless of their underlying storage infrastructures. Another design philosophy of Alike has always been to do as much as possible while taking up the least amount of the user’s valuable system resources. With that in mind, we focused Alike’s powerful deduplication capabilities on saving money locally, and in the cloud. Alike regularly achieves impressive and unrivaled compression ratios, as high as 96% in some cases. Alike’s block-level incremental backups also save time and bandwidth, and our exclusive Q-Hybrid technology eliminates the need to over provision costly SAN storage to perform backups.

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Q: You’ve recently released Alike v4.2; tell us something more?

A: We made some significant improvements to Alike in our latest update. Alike v4.2 was optimized for faster backup performance and greater efficiency. Multiple processing enhancements and algorithmic changes were designed to achieve faster compression, faster read times, and ultimately faster subsequent backups. With backups now up to 50% faster, our customers were very excited about the results. In fact, after the launch of v4.2, some customers reported even faster backup times than what we found in our initial tests.

We also lowered the overall processing requirements so that v4.2 uses less CPU and I/Os through optimizing our streamed data compression. We are happy to report that because of this, Alike 4.2 is the most efficient and powerful version to date. Lastly, we added a new Bottleneck Analysis feature that displays instant bottleneck notes when congestion is detected. This allows users to find performance issues within their environment quickly and easily. So far, our customers have been extremely pleased with the latest version of Alike. We also offer a 30-day free trial for potential customers who want to test out Alike in their environment. You can get the free trial keys directly from our website.

Q: What are your plans for next six months?

A: In the immediate future, we plan on launching a new feature in Alike for XenServer, which will provide users with even faster backups. We will offer the option to perform near continuous backup and replication jobs. These near CDP jobs only detect the data that has been changed, but Alike will no longer have to scan the entire block of data to detect the changes. In our initial testing, VMs jobs that took hours can now be done in a matter of minutes. This will give us a huge advantage in the XenServer market since we have yet to find another solution that offers this option for XenServer with the same incredible time savings. In the next six months, we have aggressive plans to simplify the acquisition, deployment, and management of our solution, making it even easier for users to install and use. We are also currently exploring ways to extend Alike’s support to other popular platforms and cloud services, specifically adding support for VMWare to widen our customer base. We are very excited about the opportunities available to us as Quadric Software expands our product line and business model.

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