Condusiv Technologies Blog

Condusiv Technologies Blog

Blogging @Condusiv

The Condusiv blog shares insight into the issues surrounding system and application performance—and how I/O optimization software is breaking new ground in solving those issues.

Condusiv Introduces Undelete 11, World’s Leading Windows Enterprise Data Protection and Instant Recovery

by Dawn Richcreek 14. January 2019 11:03

Undelete® 11 protects Windows® servers, desktops and laptops from data protection gaps that risk data loss, productivity downtime and money.

 

New Undelete 11, dramatically enhances the capabilities of our industry-leading Undelete series of data protection and recovery software. New functionality in Undelete 11 makes file recovery easier, faster, provides version protection for custom file types as well as cloud support to offer additional protection from security threats like ransomware

 

Undelete Fills Data Protection Gaps

“Help! I just deleted a file from the network drive!” That’s a support call any IT professional knows all too well. “When I hear that organizations are relying only on backups or snapshots or even ‘the cloud’ as a complete data protection solution, I cringe,” says Condusiv CEO James D’Arezzo. “That leaves too many gaps for a modern data center. Undelete fills the gaps and provides a first line of defense since Undelete provides true continuous data protection for easy recovery of individual files. Undelete is tailored for quick recovery of single files that are lost or overwritten.”

 

Traditional data recovery measures such as backups or snapshots, notes D’Arezzo, can require hours to restore a single file, during which time IT personnel are pulled away from more productive activities. Backups, moreover, do not capture changes made since the last backup, so work performed during the time between backups is not recoverable or protected. While snapshots can fill some of these gaps, scheduling constant snapshots and managing space utilization only adds to the system administrator’s workload.

 

Undelete’s Powerful Recovery Bin

With Undelete 11, when a file is deleted—including files deleted or overwritten from shared network folders or deleted by the Windows command prompt—it is automatically captured and stored in the Undelete Recovery Bin. The Server, Professional, and Client editions of Undelete provide access to Recovery Bins on remote computers, allowing IT staff or users (just files they have rights too) to recover deleted files across the network. This makes it unnecessary to search backups or Windows shadow copies when a user accidentally deletes a file from the server. Undelete’s own “Dig Deeper/Emergency Undelete” feature enables the user to search a drive or directory for files that were previously deleted, enabling the restoration of files that were deleted even before Undelete was installed.

 

Undelete Saves the Day

Over 50,000 organizations rely on Undelete for instant file recovery. “We frequently hear customers say, “Undelete Saved the Day!” by being able to recover files they never thought they would be able to get back, and Undelete recovered them instantly,” added D’Arezzo.

 

“Engineers have accidentally deleted very critical files on a network share.  We've been able to quickly find/recover those files.  In addition, the versioning capability has also been very valuable in that we could go back one or two (or more) versions.  It's much better/faster than retrieving from a backup.  Since backups are nightly, the last backup might not even have the file if it were created and deleted on the same day.” Bob Sauers, Senior IT Manager, PCTEST Engineering Laboratory Inc.

 

“We use Undelete so often that almost all of our users know we have it, and count on it, to save them time in recovering files or folders that were accidentally deleted.” John Brigan, Sr Infrastructure Analyst, Marion County Board of County Commissioners

 

“We have a process where our clients 'upload' billing files to us for processing.  Due to PCI compliance we have to receive the file, seamlessly move it to the Secure LAN segment and delete it off the DMZ Web Server.  The successful moving of the file fails when there is a breakdown across the network, for whatever reason, but the Local Delete always works.  So instead of having to call the client and have them re-upload the file, we simply go to Undelete, recover the file and move on.  No company likes to call the customer to ask them to take action to solve an internal technical problem.  Undelete works.” Kem Sisson, President, Money Movers Inc.

 

“Helped us recover CAD files when a large amount was accidentally deleted. Saved us time as we did not have to mount backup drives.” Jeff Hafer, Applications Developer-Systems Administrator, Batesville Tool & Die

 

“We use this tool constantly and has been very vital in several situations where executive staff had been working on a presentation or spreadsheet for an hour or more and somehow deleted it and called our help desk to see if we could recover a file they had just created and accidently deleted it.  The ability to recover that file has been crucial and being able to provide the customer service with immediate results is great.” Steve Lauer, Senior Systems Administrator, Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court

 

New Undelete 11 Features

Recovery Bin – Provides complete file protection by capturing all deleted files, including files deleted from network shares, allowing instant recovery with just a few clicks.

(New) New User Interface – Easy to use, simple to navigate and intuitive – Familiar File Explorer-like interface makes finding and recovering deleted files even easier.

Version Protection for Microsoft Office files – Captures old versions of Microsoft Office files allowing recovery on intermediate versions of documents.

(New) Expanded File Version Protection – File versioning has been expanded to include custom file types in addition to Microsoft Office files such as CAD, Photoshop files, PDFs and more. Simply customize what files types you want to apply version protection to in settings.

(New) Enhanced Search Features – Easy to search for deleted files by multiple criteria. One button search wizard. New capabilities include options to search by a date range, deleted by a particular person or from a specific folder.

(New) Faster Search and Recovery – the speed of search and recovery has been improved.

(New) Cloud Support – The Recovery Bin can now be stored in the cloud using OneDrive and other popular file hosting services for additional protection from security threats like ransomware.

(New) Inclusion List – Provides the ability to customize only specific deleted files, folders or file types to be saved by Undelete.

(New) Drag and Drop – Users can drag and drop files from their local Recovery Bin to a local drive. 

Dig Deeper/Emergency Undelete – Recover files deleted before Undelete was installed.

Secure Delete® – In compliance with corporate governance or governmental regulatory requirements for secure data deletion, securely erase files deleted so they are virtually unrecoverable. Using a bit pattern specified by the National Security Agency (NSA) for the Department of Defense, SecureDelete not only deletes a file but overwrites the disk space the file previously occupied making it virtually impossible for anyone to access. This is an important feature to assist with right to be forgotten provisions in regulations, such as in the GDPR. 

Wipe Free Space – Securely erase free space so remnants of data cannot be recovered.

Supports removable disks such as ZIP drives, Flash or Thumb Drives and Memory Cards

(New) Windows Desktops Themes – Your favorite Desktop Theme is now supported in Undelete Professional edition.


 

Available Undelete Editions

Undelete 11 Server – Protects server files, including those deleted by network clients. Manage Undelete Server and Professional on remote systems.

Undelete 11 Desktop Client – Allows a user on connected laptops, workstations and VMs to recover their own files from Undelete Server recovery bins

Undelete 11 Professional – Protects locally stored files and allows files to be recovered from Undelete Server recovery bins

Undelete 11 Home – Provides comprehensive protection of locally stored files

 

Undelete customers with current maintenance contract: Login to you account to access your Undelete 11 software

 

Learn more: Watch Undelete 11 videos

 

Buy Now

 

Tags:

Data Protection | File Protection | File Recovery | General | Undelete

Undelete 11 coming soon – User Feedback Drives New Features

by Gary Quan 4. January 2019 09:38

Soon to be released is a new major version of Undelete. I have been able to preview a pre-release version of this new Undelete and wanted to share the new enhancements. These changes were driven from current Undelete customer feedback looking for further improvement of the product. In a later blog, I will go into each new feature in more detail, but for now, I just wanted to briefly list some of these new features that will be soon available to you.

Ø  New User Interface: Undelete now has a familiar File Explorer-like interface that is easy to navigate, which makes it easy to find and recover deleted files.

o   The interface is also much faster and more responsive than before.

o   A Drag and Drop feature has been added to easily recover local files from the Undelete Recovery Bin.

 

Ø  Expanded File version protection: In previous Undelete editions, the popular ‘Versioning’ feature was limited to just Microsoft Office files. This versioning protection has been expanded to other file types.  This means that if you accidently save a new version of a file with incorrect changes, Undelete can help you go back to the previous version to recover from those unwanted changes.

Ø  Enhance Search Wizard: Expanded search capabilities have been added to help find the user’s deleted files in instances where the user cannot recall the name of the file or where it was located. This includes wild card names search capabilities, plus deleted date ranges, plus who deleted the file.

Ø  Inclusion List: For those users who only want specific deleted folders, file names, or file types to be protected, they can now specify them with this inclusion list capability.

Ø  Cloud Support: The Common Recovery Bin can now be stored or located in the cloud using OneDrive and other hosting capabilities. This has several benefits, including saving space on your local storage, plus protecting these recovery files from security threats like ransomware.

 I look forward to our customers using this new and improved release of Undelete.

Tags:

Data Protection | Cloud | Data Recovery | General | Undelete

Fix SQL Server Storage Bottlenecks

by Spencer Allingham 23. October 2018 20:58

No SQL code changes.
No Disruption.
No Reboots.
Simple!

 

Condusiv V-locity Introduction

 

 

Whether running SQL in a physical or virtualized environment, most SQL DBAs would welcome faster storage at a reasonable price.

The V-locity® software from Condusiv® Technologies is designed to provide exactly that, but using the storage hardware that you already own. It doesn't matter if you have direct attached disks, if you're running a tiered SAN, have a tray of SSD storage or are fortunate enough to have an all-flash array; that storage layer can be a limiting factor to your SQL Server database productivity.

The V-locity software reduces the amount of storage I/O traffic that has to go out and be processed by the disk storage layer, and streamlines or optimizes the data which does have to still go out to disk.

The net result is that SQL can typically get more transactions completed in the same amount of time, quite simply because on average, it's not having to wait so much on the storage before being able to get on with its next transaction.

V-locity can be downloaded and installed without any disruption to live SQL servers. No SQL code changes are required and no reboots. Just install and typically you'll start seeing results in just a few minutes.

Microsoft SQL Server I/O Reliability Certification LogoBefore we take a more in-depth look at that, I would like to briefly mention that last year, the V-locity software was awarded the Microsoft SQL Server I/O Reliability Certification. This means that whilst providing faster storage access, V-locity didn't adversely affect the required and recommended behaviors that an I/O subsystem must provide for SQL Server, as defined by Microsoft themselves.

Microsoft ran tests for this in Azure, with SQL 2016, and used HammerDB to generate an online transaction processing type workload. Not only was V-locity able to jump through all the hoops necessary to achieve the certification, but it was also able to show an increase of about 30% more SQL transactions in the same amount of time.

In this test, that meant roughly 30% more orders processed.

They probably could have processed more too, if they had allowed V-locity a slightly larger RAM cache size.

To get more information, including best practise for running V-locity on MS SQL servers, easy ways to validate results, customer case studies and more, click here for the full article on LinkedIn.

If you simply want to try V-locity, click here for a free trial.

Use the V-locity software to not only identify those servers that cause storage I/O issues, but fix those issues at the same time.

Solving the IO Blender Effect with Software-Based Caching

by Spencer Allingham 5. July 2018 07:30

First, let me explain exactly what the IO Blender Effect is, and why it causes a problem in virtualized environments such as those from VMware or Microsoft’s Hyper-V.



This is typically what storage IO traffic would look like when everything is working well. You have the least number of storage IO packets, each carrying a large payload of data down to the storage. Because the data is arriving in large chunks at a time, the storage controller has the opportunity to create large stripes across its media, using the least number of storage-level operations before being able to acknowledge that the write has been successful.



Unfortunately, all too often the Windows Write Driver is forced to split data that it’s writing into many more, much smaller IO packets. These split IO situations cause data to be transferred far less efficiently, and this adds overhead to each write and subsequent read. Now that the storage controller is only receiving data in much smaller chunks at a time, it can only create much smaller stripes across its media, meaning many more storage operations are required to process each gigabyte of storage IO traffic.


This is not only true when writing data, but also if you need to read that data back at some later time.

But what does this really mean in real-world terms?

It means that an average gigabyte of storage IO traffic that should take perhaps 2,000 or 3,000 storage IO packets to complete, is now taking 30,000, or 40,000 storage IO packets instead. The data transfer has been split into many more, much smaller, fractured IO packets. Each storage IO operation that has to be generated takes a measurable amount of time and system resource to process, and so this is bad for performance! It will cause your workloads to run slower than they should, and this will worsen over time unless you perform some time and resource-costly maintenance.

So, what about the IO Blender Effect?

Well, the IO Blender Effect can amplify the performance penalty (or Windows IO Performance Tax) in a virtualized environment. Here’s how it works…

 

As the small, fractured IO traffic from several virtual machines passes through the physical host hypervisor (Hyper-V server or VMware ESX server), the hypervisor acts like a blender. It mixes these IO streams, which causes a randomization of the storage IO packets, before sending out what is now a chaotic mess of small, fractured and now very random IO streams out to the storage controller.

It doesn’t matter what type of storage you have on the back-end. It could be direct attached disks in the physical host machine, or a Storage Area Network (SAN), this type of storage IO profile couldn’t be less storage-friendly.

The storage is now only receiving data in small chunks at a time, and won’t understand the relationship between the packets, so it now only has the opportunity to create very small stripes across its media, and that unfortunately means many more storage operations are required before it can send an acknowledgement of the data transfer back up to the Windows operating system that originated it.

How can RAM caching alleviate the problem?

 

Firstly, to be truly effective the RAM caching needs to be done at the Windows operating system layer. This provides the shortest IO path for read IO requests that can be satisfied from server-side RAM, provisioned to each virtual machine. By satisfying as many “Hot Reads” from RAM as possible, you now have a situation where not only are those read requests being satisfied faster, but those requests are now not having to go out to storage. That means less storage IO packets for the hypervisor to blend.

Furthermore, the V-locity® caching software from Condusiv Technologies also employs a patented technology called IntelliWrite®. This intelligently helps the Windows Write Driver make better choices when writing data out to disk, which avoids many of the split IO situations that would then be made worse by the IO Blender Effect. You now get back to that ideal situation of healthy IO; large, sequential writes and reads.

Is RAM caching a disruptive solution?

 

No! Not at all, if done properly.

Condusiv’s V-locity software for virtualised environments is completely non-disruptive to live, running workloads such as SQL Servers, Microsoft Dynamics, Business Information (BI) solutions such as IBM Cognos, or other important workloads such as SAP, Oracle and the such.

In fact, all you need to do to test this for yourself is download a free trialware copy from:

www.condusiv.com/try

Just install it! There are no reboots required, and it will start working in just a couple of minutes. If you decide that it isn’t for you, then uninstall it just as easily. No reboots, no disruption!


Help! I hit “Save” instead of “Save As”!!

by Gary Quan 19. June 2018 06:30

Need to get back to a previous version of a Microsoft Office file before the changes you just made?  Undelete has you covered with its Versioning feature.

Have you or your users ever made some changes to a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or a PowerPoint presentation, saved it and then realized later that what was saved did not contain the previous work? For example, and a true story, a CEO was working on a PowerPoint file he needed for a Board of Directors presentation that afternoon. He had worked about 4 hours that morning making changes and he was careful to periodically save the changes as he worked. The trouble was the last changes he saved had a large part of his previous changes accidentally overwritten.  The CEO then panicked as he just lost a majority of the 4 hours of work he just put in and was not sure he could redo it in time for his presentation deadline. He immediately called up his IT Manager who indicated the nightly backups would not help as they would not contain any of the changes he made that morning. The IT Manager then remembered he had Undelete installed on this file server. This was mainly to recover accidentally deleted files, but he recalled a Versioning feature that would allow recovery of previous versions of Microsoft Office files. He was then able use Undelete to retrieve the previous version of the CEO’s PowerPoint presentation and recover the work he did that morning. The CEO was extremely happy, and the IT Manager was a ‘hero’ to the CEO!

Another very common scenario is users making edits to original files and then selecting “Save” instead of “Save As” and then the original files are now gone. As an example, a customer had a budget file in Excel and several people had accessed it throughout the day. At some point, someone had inadvertently made multiple changes to it for his department, including deleting sections that were not relevant to his department all the while thinking he was working in his own Save-As copy. Boy, were the other department heads upset! The way our IT Admin customer tells the story it sounded like a riot was about to erupt! Well, he swoops in just in time and recovers the earlier version in minutes and saves the day. We hear stories daily about Word document overwrites that IT Admins are able to recover the previous versions of in just a few minutes, saving users hours of having to recreate their work.

While the most popular functionality of Undelete is the ability to recover accidentally deleted files instantly with the click of a mouse, the Undelete Versioning feature is certainly the runner up, so we wanted to remind users, or prospective users, that it’s also here to save the day for you, too.

The Undelete Versioning feature will automatically save the previous versions of specific file types, including Microsoft Office files. The default is to save the last 5 versions, but this is settable.  Undelete then allows you to see what and when versions were saved and are then easily recoverable. A vital data protection feature to have.

If you already have Undelete Server installed on your file servers, check out the Versioning feature. If you have any of your own “hero” stories you would like to share, email custinfo@condusiv.com

If you don’t have Undelete Server or Undelete Pro yet, you can purchase them from your favorite online reseller or you can buy online from our store http://www.condusiv.com/purchase/Undelete/

 

Tags:

Data Protection | Data Recovery | File Recovery | General | Success Stories | Undelete

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