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.

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.

A Tale About Adaptive Restore

For several years the company has been constantly improving the Adaptive Restore Technology which is intended to solve all issues with dissimilar hardware restore and migration. Its goal is to help you make an operating system functional again after any complex hardware replacement like installing a new motherboard or RAID controller.

The first version of Adaptive Restore supported only Vista and Windows 2008 operating systems due to use of a very simple adaptation algorithm. In short: because of the fact that these OS’s have many hardware drivers on board but in the inactive state the program just only activated them during adaptation assuming that it will make an OS bootable. There was not any possibility to add third-party drivers. The lack of this approach was obvious: some important drivers may not be found or adaptation should affect deep system layers. So the next version of Adaptive Restore was able to change OS core settings and install any additional drivers.

After several revisions Adaptive Restore become what it is now, a complicated technology with many background manipulations.

What makes Adaptive Restore Tick

Basically there are two main operations. First of all the program adjusts the OS kernel including proper HAL selection. Secondly the program installs any additional drivers. Now Adaptive Restore supports modern Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 operating systems alongside with deprecated Windows 2000 and going out of date Windows XP/Windows 2003.

Adaptive Restore is intended to be both simple and comprehensive. It usually doesn’t demand special attention or manual actions during the operation set up, but informs you about any hardware without properly installed drivers. Inexperienced users can completely rely on the internal Adaptive Restore algorithm during the operation when others, who feels themselves skilled enough, are able to change Adaptive Restore behavior.

If you choose a simple scenario you will need only to pass a path to the drivers’ repository in the program. There is no limit to amount of these repositories; the program will scan them all while searching for appropriate drivers. If the program fails it will ask you to provide a path to another repository. The lack of this scenario is that you cannot control which driver will be actually installed.

A long but detailed and interesting way to bring your system back on rails is to use the advanced Adaptive Restore scenario. In this case the program will provide you with additional Adaptive Restore parameters and tuning. First of all in this scenario you can see all the information about the hardware which drivers have to be installed for in an easy to understand manner with device names. Continue reading A Tale About Adaptive Restore

Best Practices on Virtual Server Backup Strategy – White Paper

Are you looking for the best practices in implementing and maintaining a virtual server environment?

Download the latest white paper explaining the best practices in virtual server implementation and maintenance.

IT systems have become such an integral part of the business process that down-time must be avoided at all costs. Those responsible for enterprise systems, both large and small are asking tough questions when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery, questions such as:

  • How can we keep down time to a minimum?
  • How can I future proof my business continuity solutions?
  • What new technologies deliver improved 24×7 access?
  • How can I demonstrate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a disaster recovery solution?
  • Is there a way to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with new technologies?
  • How can I build synergy into a backup solution that delivers future value?
  • How can I avoid dead-end technologies?
  • What criteria should I use to select and integrate recovery products?

Simply put, businesses large and small needing to maintain 24×7 access to IT resources are looking for a better way to deliver 24×7 access, prevent disasters and recover quickly from unpreventable events, all without breaking the bank and still maintain scalability with products that are future proofed. Continue reading Best Practices on Virtual Server Backup Strategy – White Paper

Virtualization and Server Recovery

Paragon Software is putting together a special webinar for IT Professionals, our customers and partners that are looking for more information about virtualization. The number of Virtual Servers and use of Virtual Storage is a growing at a fast pace. Are you looking into virtual infrastructures for your company?

This webinar will be great for IT Professionals of all sizes to get a better understanding of virtualization, how to manage it effectively and what Paragon Software offers as solutions to common pain points.

Here are the details on how you can register for the free webinar by Paragon Software:

Date: May 3rd 2010 11:00 am PST


  • Explain virtualization as a storage and instant recovery option.

  • Drive Backup overview

  • Adaptive Restore overview

  • P2V operations for backup

  • P2V Copy for instant recovery

In addition to attending the webinar you will be gain access to two special white papers by Paragon that explain the best practices in virtualization, storage and disaster recovery.

Storage Virtualization Helps Alleviate Virtual Server Bottlenecks

Storage virtualization is the new focus for many IT Mangers and CIOs. Paragon Software for the most part has been known for server optimization and disaster recovery in both physical and virtual environments. Our latest technologies have given us an edge in virtualization that none of our competitors have been able to replicate. The unique ability to connect to virtual machines that are dormant allows technicians to access virtual machines in ways never before possible.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Enterprise Storage Forum and got to speak about the virtualization market and what we see happening.

Compounding the mismatch between server virtualization and storage resources is a tough economy that has brought increased pressure to maximize virtual infrastructures by increasing virtual machine density. This increased density puts additional pressure on an already strained storage infrastructure.

“IT managers are being forced to do more with their existing infrastructures with less resources being made available, and this is forcing them to look for new ways to reallocate free space on their storage to save on hardware,” said Koka Sexton, manager of business development at Paragon Software. “IT managers are learning how to analyze their virtual infrastructures more closely and implement projects of migrating data to lower-performing drives to free resources.”

Some of the key factors in choosing a storage system for a virtual environment, according to Sexton, include ensuring that storage customers possess a complete understanding of the virtual platform that they are planning to implement and that they are sure that the system can scale to meet their needs.

“In general, the more VMs you have on a host, the more NICs you’ll want,” said Sexton. “However, the network workload of these VMs is the biggest influence. For example, if VMs have light workloads, you’ll need fewer NICs; if VMs have heavier workloads, you’ll need more NICs. As a rule, you’ll probably experience other resource bottlenecks before the network becomes an issue on virtual hosts.”

There are many aspects to consider when using virtualization one of the primary things to consider is the ability to scale and use a tool that can be virtual environment independent.

What are the major concerns you have about virtualization?

Disaster Recovery in Minutes Using Virtualization

We have been seeing a trend lately with our customers regarding disaster recovery for businesses. Disk imaging is a quicker way to restore than regular file backups. The next trend of backups for businesses are being used along with virtualization technology. With servers being consolidated and migrated into virtual machines, disaster recovery is a very realistic solution and Paragon Software Drive Backup makes this a quick process.

Virtualization is no longer about consolidation. It’s about 24 by 7 by 365 application availability. It’s about simplification. It’s about massively reducing manually intensive tasks.

Migrate Windows XP to a Win7 Virtual Machine

Upgrading your computers from Windows XP or Windows Vista to the latest Windows 7 operating system was not something Microsoft made very easy to accomplish.

Network World wrote an article about the Seven tips to migrate and manage Windows 7 and make the point that there will be software application issues and migrating to a virtual machine may be a better option.

5. Consider client virtualization.

The release of Windows 7 has companies considering another new technology: virtual desktops. The promise of ease of management and increased security that virtual desktop technology offers could drive customers to consider the technology when they have budget dollars for a PC refresh.

For its part, Microsoft offers two products that take advantage of virtualization and could be considered a means to managing a migration to or ongoing deployment of Windows 7. Microsoft Application Virtualization, the company says, helps reduce downtime for customers by turning Windows applications into “centrally managing virtual services that are delivered to any licensed Windows desktop or laptop.” And Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization allows desktop administrators to create, deliver and centrally manage a virtual Windows XP or 2000 environment (based on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007) and run legacy applications on Windows Vista desktops, the vendor says.

But Microsoft isn’t the only vendor touting virtualization as an option. VMware and Citrix also boast virtual desktop infrastructure and could provide viable alternatives to a full-blown Windows 7 migration, industry watchers say.

“IT managers would be able to go with a virtualization solution as well. If you are doing desktop virtualization, you can deploy your virtual container for the new desktop environment down to each one of the client endpoints. It would be as simple as setting one up and deploying it out to many,” Brasen says. “Microsoft, VMware and Citrix would all have options for customers here.”

Two of the more useful features are the ability to convert a Paragon image to the .vhd format (which you can mount or run under Windows 7 natively), and the boot manager (which allows you to boot to both your old operating system and Windows 7). Microsoft does provide a free downloadable utility–Disk2vhd–that can copy a partition to .vhd. If you install Window 7 to partition other than the one your current OS resides on, Disk2vhd creates a dual-boot menu for you automatically. Paragon’s versions, however, are a bit slicker.

Paragon Software also has a Virtual Migration software that can simplify the process of moving a server or desktop into a virtual drive on your Windows 7 PC.

From the feedback from our partners, this is the best option when having to migrate applications and data. The alternative of starting from scratch and reinstalling all of your applications.