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DataFort Hi-5 review

Verdict

DataFort’s Hi-5 is a complete server cloud backup and disaster recovery solution that has every angle covered

Review Date: 18 Mar 2011

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £250 (£300 per month inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

DataFort’s latest Hi-5 service covers every eventuality, since it amalgamates cloud backup with full on-site, and optional off-site, disaster recovery. Starting at £250 exc VAT a month per server, it claims to get your critical servers up and running within 30 minutes of a disaster.

DataFort deploys an appliance at your office that’s delivered and configured by its engineer. The appliance runs Windows Server 2008 R2 and VMware Server and the engineer sets it up to back up your chosen system. It creates a VM of the server locally, which is updated every 15 minutes with snapshots, and all data is also sent off-site to DataFort’s remote vault.

To recover files, you call DataFort’s support services and tell them which ones you want to restore. They access the appliance remotely and present a mapped drive to your server, so you can restore files with drag and drop.

File versioning is supported, so if you want to go back in time, you can tell the support engineers which dates you’re interested in. They then make the relevant versions available for copying using the same procedures.

Should your server go belly up, you can call support and they’ll invoke the VM on the appliance. Since this is a perfect copy of your server there should be minimal interruption to services, and users carry on as normal when the VM has booted up.

DataFort Hi-5

When you’ve replaced your server, DataFort sends an engineer to transfer an image from the appliance back onto your new system. If access to the premises has been denied and you have a contingency site, DataFort can send an engineer along with a new appliance that has the latest VM loaded.

The optional cloud disaster recovery service costs an extra £50 per month for each server. If you’ve lost everything and don’t have anywhere else to go then DataFort will invoke the VM at its site and make it available over the internet.

To test this, we used a Fujitsu RX330 S1 server running Windows Server 2003 R2. A DataFort engineer dropped in at the appointed time with a ProLiant ML110 desktop appliance and proceeded to secure the server to it. A copy was also taken to removable media, which was personally taken back to seed the DataFort vault.

We left the server running for a few days, where it provided simple file, FTP and web services. Without warning we called DataFort’s support line, which was answered immediately, and requested a file restore. A mapped drive from the appliance with the required files was made available in less than five minutes.

A little later, we pulled the plug on the production server and asked for the local VM to be invoked. This was presented in 15 minutes and, as far as we were concerned, it was as good as the real thing. Lastly, we asked for the remote VM to be activated, and this was up and running inside 30 minutes.

Businesses that can’t afford to lose their Windows servers for more than a few minutes should look at DataFort’s Hi-5. It takes over all the hard work involved in server backup and recovery, and is very good value as the price includes unlimited storage.

Author: Dave Mitchell

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