Last week Vembu released a Free Version of their BCDR suite which is over and above Paid Version. In the Free version, Vembu is heavily focusing on organizations who do not have a proper backup mechanism for Virtual Servers, Physical Servers, and Desktops. For the first month you get access to full features of paid version, post 30 days you either have an option to insert key or product automatically changes into the Free version.
What is in Free Version?
- Agentless backup functionality for Image-Based Backup
- You can Backup VMs from vCenter. VCenter Integration is part of free edition
- There is no limit as to how many VMs you can backup in Free edition
- Options to backup full Operating system and or to exclude disk are part of the free edition
- Backup Transport mode e.g. SAN, Network is similarly available in the free version.
- Application-aware backup a feature I consider a must in any backup software is surprisingly a part of free edition
- Cross Hypervisor migration feature is also there in free Edition
- Free version not only allows you restore files but also have features to recover Exchange mailboxes, MS SQL Databases, MS SharePoint, Active Directory users, groups and File
- Web-based management, Backup Monitoring, and Reporting is still possible in free edition
- Singularly in Hyper-V, you can backup VMs stored on Cluster Shared Volumes
- For the Physical servers, you can backup GPT disks, do Raw Device Mapping disks and Pass-through disk mapping. Not only this, but you can also the backup Physical server with drives size more than 2 TB.
- Finally, you get end to end encryption, compression and scale out repository in Vembu
Are you missing any Features in Free Edition?
Not really if you ask me. You are missing on quality features in the product which in my opinion are relevant to Enterprise only. Let me list down.
- You do not get CDP. What is the impact? Your backup Window will increase.
- Continuous Data Protection, a feature which allows taking backup as frequently as 5 minutes. In addition to CDP, Retention Policies are missing from Free Edition. What is the impact? Free edition cannot protect Business critical application protection.
- Backup Types (Forever Incremental, Reverse Incremental) are not available in Free Edition. What is the impact? Your Backup Window is increased hence you backup size increases.
- Particular missing feature in Free edition is the VM Replication and Failover. Then direct restore to hypervisors (Hyper-V, VMware, and KVM) is also not component of the Free copy
- Lastly, missing advanced features which the only enterprise need like
- Offsite DR/Cloud DR Replication e.g. AWS
- WAN Acceleration
- Bandwidth Throttling
- Centralized management of Physical servers
- Automated Backup Verification
In conclusion, Vembu has released BCDR suite 3.7 which has the free version of their software with all bare minimum features vital to protect your data. Now, anyone can protect data such as small size IT company or Startups who prefer to backup their infrastructure without spending anything on the backup software. Later, as company gets familiar with their product they can enhance to paid version anytime.
It is like Forever POC of Vembu BCDR suite. Use it till you wish.
If you would like to have the shorter backup end, offsite backup protection, in this case, you should buy the paid version.