Better safe than sorry! Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 is out now!

Pabr16Logoragon Backup & Recovery 16 is an advanced backup and safeguarding software that enables private users to perform complex backup tasks with ease. Thanks to Backup and Recovery 16, there is absolutely no need for deep IT skills or advanced computing knowledge in order to protect files and folders, partitions, disks or even the entire system. Paragon Backup & Recovery makes PC protection child’s play.

Software wizards

Not sure which setting is most suitable? No need to worry! The powerful software wizards of Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 guide users step by step through the backup jungle – and the newly designed UI will clear the path!

Free download for a limited period!
$39,95Free download for a limited period!

Backup Job Wizard

Backup Job Wizard - Backup & Recovery 16
Backup Job Wizard – Backup & Recovery 16

The Backup Job wizard is the ultimate in automated backups. Thanks to intuitive presets, less than 8 clicks are needed to set automated backup jobs for the entire windows system, single files, folders or partitions.
However, advanced users get the full control at their hands and can refine and modify existing strategies or define custom ones.

  • Set-and-forget technology: continuous PC protection without questions
  • All backup technics: including incremental backup, file based backup, differential backup, full backup, backups of particular file types, backup to virtual hard disks…
  • Flexible scheduling: daily, hourly, weekly, monthly and even erratic schedules are possible (e.g. daily, every second week, not on Wednesdays and Fridays)
  • Powerful retention mechanism: automatically deletes older backups. Based on intuitive presets or manual definitions. Backup & Recovery automatically ensures that the most recent backup is always available.
  • Pinned backups: exclude single backups from the retention policy with a single click
  • And many more

Continue reading Better safe than sorry! Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 is out now!

Why do you need an extra partition on your Mac and how to create it

Today we’re going to talk about partitions. What is it anyway?

A partition is a specific area of a hard drive, which has a beginning and an ending point, and the space between those points equals the total amount of size the partition defines.

Sometimes people confuse a partition with a volume, but there is a big difference between the two.
A volume is a file system on a partition your Mac or PC can recognize. Common types of volumes include DVDs, hard drives, and partitions or sections of hard drives.

Practically any type of storage you use for your Mac (SSDs, hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.) can be divided into partitions. Each partition can use one of four formats compatible with OS X: HFS/HFS+ (simple and encrypted), ExFAT and FAT.

There are good reasons to split your device into multiple partitions. For example, you want to run multiple versions of OS X on your Mac; organize your data PC-style; manage your backups efficiently or run Windows on your Mac. Especially if you are a big fan of OS X and install all OS X beta-versions, it is strongly recommended by Apple to install all beta versions on a separate partitions, as they can truly ruin your Mac!

To partition a drive, we can use the Disk Utility – a built-in Mac program to manage your hard drives.

NB: Your data will be erased during the procedure, so be sure to back up the information first.

  • Step 1: Open the Disk Utility by searching for it via Spotlight or finding it in Applications > Utilities
  • Step 2: Select the storage device you want to partition from the left pane. The selected drive will appear in the right pane together with its details, such as location, the way it’s connected, and the partition map in use
  • Step 3: Select the drive and then click the Partition button in the Disk Utility’s Toolbar. You will see a drop-down panel displaying a pie chart of how the drive is currently divided
  • Step 4: To add a partition, click the plus (+) button right below the pie chart
  • Step 5: Enter a name for the volume in the Partition field to be displayed on your Mac’s desktop. Press Apply

You can also adjust the volume size by either entering its value in the text box, or by shifting a pie slice anchor in the required direction.

However, some errors might occur in the process, causing you to end up with an unallocated space on your disk unseen in the Disk Utility. An unallocated space is like a void on your hard drive you can’t detect and use with Mac’s inbuilt apps. The only way to manage such space is to use the Terminal, but it is rather complicated and may lead to corruption of files and partitions.

For such cases we have a card up our sleeve: The new Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac Preview helps you to easily manage this unallocated space and use it to create partitions, add the unallocated space to the existing partitions, resize free space between Mac OS and Bootcamp partitions and much more.

With HDM for Mac Preview you can resize your partitions in 3 clicks.

Click 1: Select the storage device you want to partition. Choose Move/Resize partition

HDM for mac Preview

Click 2: Shift the anchor to select the size you need. Press OK

Resize partition

Click 3: Press Apply Operations at the top right of the menu

Press Apply

As you can see from the screenshot below, Disk Utility won’t show full information about an unallocated space on your storage device:

Unnalocated space

With HDM for Mac Preview you can additionally format all partitions to HFS+, NTFS, FAT32, ExtFS 2,3,4, exFAT:

FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, HFS+

Find these tips useful? Start using your Mac as a pro right now!

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

  • System Integrity Protection in OS X 10.11
    El Capitan support;
  • Core Storage backup and restore;
  • Snapshot-driven backup;

Learn more about Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

Removing Boundaries Between Physical and Virtual Environments

Virtualization is a current key trend across all IT segments.  The benefits of virtualization are well known and widely leveraged since data can now be stored and managed over diverse virtual environments in large data centers – or simple standalone servers. Even the most populous segment – home users, can now virtualize their existing software or make cross-platform configurations.

This article highlights how Paragon ConnectVD Technology addresses many data management challenges on diverse virtual and physical machines. ConnectVD allows a myriad of tasks to be performed with ease in a virtual environment – such as partitioning, data transferring, imaging, copying and many other complex tasks.

Virtualization Challenges

One of the key benefits of virtualization is that you can run several virtualized environments on one physical computer using currently available hardware.  The number of serviceable systems may widely differ when using a single physical computer/single system approach or when leveraging dozens of virtualized systems. However the capabilities of IT personnel and administrators are not unlimited and expanding number of virtualized systems may cause a significant work backlogs.

Another thing to consider is that there are many different types of virtualization software. The main vendors are VMware, Microsoft, and Oracle, who offer incompatible solutions with many versions: enterprise or home user; bundled to the OS or independent; copyrighted by license or open-sourced. Managing and transferring data between these environments can be highly complex and nerve-wracking if things go awry.

These vendors naturally provide instruments for data management, migration, and conversion on virtual machines, but there are few vendor independent software tools that support all types of virtual machines. Administrators are typically faced with using many different tools simultaneously to perform tasks such as copying files between VM’s or virtual disk conversions.

Additionally, a typical VM is a complex environment that completely copies the physical computer’s partitions, file systems, one or several operating systems, software and data. On each level a special type of management is needed, which may or may not be provided by the VM software. If you recently installed all the necessary utilities, tools and management software to one or several physical machines, now you have to repeat this process with many virtualized clones. Having software that provides tools for the external management of data on dozens of VM’s from an original single copy is quite handy.

In brief, the major virtualized system management issues are the following: efficient management of a large number of virtual machines  using a limited number of physical servers; the need to support data transfer and management between different types of VM’s; and the need for universal data management tools that can service as many VM’s from the outside physical world as possible.

Paragon ConnectVD technology addresses today’s compatibility issues and ensures easy data management and transfer operations between different types of virtual machines

Connect to Virtual Disk

View more presentations from Paragon Software Group.

Paragon ConnectVD technology resolves virtualized system management issues by utilizing software  tools that connect with virtual disk files or snapshots and treats them as if they were physical hard disk drives – for easy data management, backup, virus removal, server optimization and many other tasks.

ConnectVD mounts a virtual disk file or snapshot in a read and read/write state, and depending on the desired outcome and the state of the original virtual machine – allows the user to either read data while it’s running or write data after it stops.

Mounted virtual disks or snapshot are not visible to the OS because special drivers are used to give virtual data a higher level of security that is inaccessible to third-party or malicious applications.

Software developers can enhance their own solutions using Paragon’s ConnectVD technology to give users easy workflows for virtualized systems of many different types. Using VIM SDK – a special version of ConnectVD for embedded software, you can manage data on VMware ESX/Workstation/Fusion, Microsoft Hyper-V/Virtual PC, Oracle VirtualBox machines.

Paragon Software uses ConnectVD technology in many of its products. By merging this technology with partitioning, backup, copying and optimization solutions, these tools have evolved into robust and advanced solutions for virtual data management. Our virtual migration technology combined with ConnectVD-enabled applications are the answer for anyone interested in virtualization, but put-off by the attendant complications for single users and companies alike.

Paragon’s ConnectVD technology can take your virtualized environments to the next level with these easy to implement scenarios:

  • Utilize one universal virtual disk file application from diverse types of VMs. You can easily perform sector and file backup operations over partitions, whole disk and files to resolve data security issues. You can also easily restore data from archives or convert archives directly into virtual machines. In connection with mounting snapshots, you will be able to maintain data version policies of any complexity.
  • You can easily perform different partitioning operations: create, move, resize, merge and split. Reconfigure your partitioning scheme to obtain the perfect volume configuration alongside the file system. Convert file systems of different types and change their properties.
  • Perform rapid volume and data copying: create empty virtual disks and copy volumes to them, clone volumes, transfer volumes between virtual drives of different virtual machines and physical computers. This feature allows you to rapidly move specific partitions from physical disks to virtual and vice versa.
  • Easily copy files and folders between physical and virtual volumes with NTFS, FAT, Ext3, HFS+ file systems. Maintain the required versions of files and preserve any important data. Secure data on file level with sector imaging.

Conclusion

Each solution with Paragon ConnectVD technology is a fully independent solution. There is no need to install it on VMs directly, thus you not need a great number of similar solutions spread across each virtual machine in one company.  Support all of your virtual environments with one simple universal solution.

SSD Storage Demands Proper Partition Alignment

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Storage system performance is dependent on many factors, one of which is a properly aligned partitioning scheme. Misaligned partitions cause a significant reduction in the I/O performance of a disk drive through redundant read/write operations and a subsequent reduction in an SSD lifespan by as much as one-third. The introduction of 4K sectors in the latest disk drives creates even more alignment problems for a large proportion of IT administrators. Implementation of enterprise virtual environments and the use of different RAID technologies are also susceptible to misalignment. In most cases, a mismatch between actual physical and logical representations of data causes a significant decay in overall system performance and hardware longevity.

What is Partition Alignment?
A hard drive can be dissected into different sections or partitions for many reasons – such as to segment data or because an operating system typically sits on one partition while applications and files sit on others. These partitions are positioned on the hard drive to optimize the way data is read and written to them. With new hard drives that rely on a different sector base than legacy drives, computers may not be able to recognize this change, effectively reducing the performance of hard drives and in some cases decreasing the lifespan of the drives dramatically.

Read the entire article in Computer Technology Review Continue reading SSD Storage Demands Proper Partition Alignment

Enabling Hardware Independent Data Security Policy

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Paragon Software has a new article available on the popular Disaster Recovery Journal that was written by Sergey Solomatin.

Today, IT specialists have a wide range of options available to make the data security policy more composite and comprehensive. There are many tools and instruments presented for any level of demand on the IT market. Some of them are intended to be simple and convenient, others have to fit well into the larger enterprise infrastructures.

In this article, two important aspects of all-encompassing data security and management plan are described in more detail. First, I would like to discuss a hardware independent system recovery (HIR) and migration to virtual environments options. Even if you decide HIR is not your solution and do not attach much importance to it, HIR enables you to significantly increase a number of possible recovery, data migration and copying scenarios. In the light of the progress of modern virtualization technologies, HIR gets another great value – smooth system transfer between physical and virtual platforms.

Data Imaging and Virtualization

Creation of images is still the best way to get the maximum level of security for any computer data. It is the oldest and the most popular method of data backup. Despite the fact the technology principles are rather classical; the sector imaging continues its progress.

Nowadays, sector images are commonly used to protect important data and system as a whole. They make possible to store full software environments and system copies in one or several files. With the introduction of high-capacity storages in SOHO segment, imaging technologies break the limit of large enterprises sector and are now affordable to any PC user.

Sector imaging evolution yielded such methods and instruments as incremental and differential images, CDP, granular recovery, hot processing and much more. Another important technology is hardware independent restore that is one of this article’s topics.

Data imaging and virtualization intersect in many IT segments. Both of them come from the enterprise market and are now available everywhere, on any platform. Both of them operate by large containers with data. Recent developments have introduced a merging of the two technologies there more and more data management solutions support data imaging and data management in both physical and virtual realms.

Read the entire article on www.drj.com

How to Perform a Bare-Metal Backup and Recovery (video)

Thanks to the group over at Windows 7 Forums for putting together a great video tutorial on Drive Backup. Windows 7 Forums uses Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 to demonstrate why it is always better to perform a bare-metal backup, as opposed to a live backup using Windows Backup or other products. This demo explains how to perform a bare-metal backup and restore in a two part series.

PART 1

PART 2

It’s very exciting for us to see fans creating videos of our products. If you have created a video let us know in the comments section and we may highlight it in a new post or in our Facebook page.

Not All Physical to Virtual Conversion Tools are Equal

Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion tools are quickly becoming a necessity in the corporate server environment and data center. When used properly, a P2V tool has the potential to save hours of work when converting a physical server or PC over to a virtual server or PC. P2V conversions are accomplished using native or third party tools from a number of vendors. For the most part, when used properly, P2V tools work as expected.

However the P2V conversion process is a very complex endeavor and there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. The likelihood of problems seems to increase exponentially when performing conversions during an emergency as part of a disaster recovery plan. What’s more, most tools require several manual steps and can introduce hardware compatibility problems. Hardware compatibility issues can stop a migration dead in its tracks.

To overcome hardware issues, it is critical that a P2V conversion tool is able to access and modify the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) of the physical operating system. If the HAL is incompatible with the new hardware and/or virtual environment on the target system, the virtualized version of the OS will fail to work, potentially wasting hours of work and introducing unwanted delays into the conversion process. Paragon Software’s Adaptive Restore is the solution to this and works 100% of the time ensuring that your virtual machines boot the first time without issue. Continue reading Not All Physical to Virtual Conversion Tools are Equal

Prepare For A Storage Explosion

We have the good fortune of having opportunities to contribute our insights to readers of popular online editorials like Processor.com. We have been featured by Processor.com for everything from how web development businesses use our products to the challenges to disaster recovery and even the power of partitioning.

This is the most recent article that we were able to contribute to. We were asked to respond to a series of questions related to storage and the growing trend of virtualization.

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Strategies For Growth

Without knowing where to start, it’s impossible to determine an effective and efficient strategy for growth. A key to gaining that knowledge is determining current storage requirements, says Aaron Van Velsir, senior account executive at Abtech Systems (www.abtechsystems.com). Van Velsir recommends that administrators perform a trend analysis, which consists of current information plus any new applications, projects, and new users to be added. With this data, future growth patterns can be extrapolated; assuming a three- to five-year life expectancy for a storage array means administrators should develop total storage requirements for three to five years, says Van Velsir.

Enterprise growth requires scalability in the data center; with storage technology that doesn’t scale well, enterprise growth will be, at best, difficult to manage. At worst, the lack of scalability could hinder business growth when it’s needed most.

Koka Sexton, manager of business development for Paragon Software Group (www.paragon-software.com), says administrators should be sure to use solutions that scale easily to growing storage demands. Consolidating free space with software can reduce new hardware expenses and maximize existing storage infrastructure, Sexton says; however, when new virtual machines or virtual storage is deployed, administrators should look for tools that can manage different virtual platforms.

Read the entire article here

Why Misaligned Partitions are a Problem for SSD.

The Misaligned partitions problem is even more important for SSD drives than for traditional hard disk drives. Many modern SSD drives have an internal memory page size 4096 bytes or larger accordingly to 4K size, which are some analogue for 4K sectors. Thus all previously mentioned problems are the same for SSD partitions alignment.

This issue of SSD misalignment was highlighted in a recent OCZ forum where it was stated:

Take note here, partition alignment with SSD is the most important factor you have to deal with when installing your new drive. Tuning the drive’s alignment can add 30 to 50% more performance so failing to apply the correct alignment could ruin the experience you have with the drive.

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There is one crucial SSD issue besides file system speed decline (which is not so noticeable in comparison to traditional HDD). It is the SSD memory cells degradation after some amount of write operations. So if partitions on SSD are misaligned beside downgraded system speed you put your solid state drive in danger. After partitions alignment, PAT eliminates all redundant read/write operations and thus provides speed boost and grants the SSD a longer lifetime.

Is SSD alignment an issue for you? Find out here. Continue reading Why Misaligned Partitions are a Problem for SSD.

Paragon Software Wins “Best in Show”

Paragon Software Group was invited to the  Orange County SMBTN (SMB Technology Network) meeting in Irvine recently. The group consists of local IT consultants and resellers. The focus of this meeting was to have a shootout between the who’s who of disaster recovery software. The players in this competition were Acronis, Windows 7 imager, StorageCraft, Windows Home Server, Symantec and of course Paragon Software.

The scope of the comparison was all the source machines were to have a basic OS installation (no data). These machines would be backed up and timed. Once imaged the backup archives would be restored to dissimilar hardware.

All of the software preformed backups without errors except for Windows 7 imager. A time comparison was made and gig for gig Paragon’s speed was at 1 GB per minute to USB 2.0 which put it in the middle of the pack.

All the destination machines were booted to their respectable boot media. All were WinPE or Linux based. Paragon was the only software that had the option to boot to flash memory. Paragon was one of the only applications that was able to do this recovery to dissimilar hardware without extra steps. Paragon restored from a Gateway laptop running Vista to a Dell Latitude 6500.

For the next round of restores, the destination machines were switched. Paragon was tasked to restore on the same box where Storage Craft failed. Paragon Drive Backup restored the partition and did the P2P adjust. The restored image started without any issue on the optiplex 270.

SMB Technology Network, thank you for having us at your event and showcase our Drive Backup software. We appreciate getting the “Best in Show” award and look forward to the next meeting.

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The SMB Technology Network has its roots in partner groups focused on IT solutions & services for the SMB (Small Medium Business) space. Our focus includes Windows platforms including SBS (Small Business Server).  One of the first SBS focused groups in the nation was created in 2002 by Roger Otterson in San Diego, California.  Shortly after attending the San Diego meetings in 2005, Jim Locke formed the Los Angeles SMB User Group.  Additional groups have formed in, Orange and Ventura County, the Inland Empire, Bakersfield, Fresno and across the country including the Carolina’s.  All consolidated as SMBTN.  Each group holds monthly meetings to discuss the latest small business trends.  In addition, the group has partnered with Microsoft at Connections and TS2 events, further penetrating the SMB space.  All groups have decided to merge under one umbrella to best serve the interests of the members.  The network is in an exciting position, poised to further expand and generate new opportunities for both our members and partners.