posted by Eugenia Loli on Fri 28th Apr 2006 00:39 UTC
IconZmanda, Inc. introduced recently the first business-ready open source backup solution: the Zmanda Network is a suite of enterprise-ready software and services based on the popular Amanda open source data backup and recovery technology. Today we are very happy to feature a mini-interview with Zmanda's CEO, Chander Kant.

1. What are the software/feature differences between the community and the enterprise Amanda edition?

Chander Kant: The difference between Community edition and Enterprise Edition are in:
- Simplicity of installation and configuration.
* Enterprise Edition provides special utilities (amserverconfig and amaddclient) that create configuration settings for any new Amanda installation and make it easy to add new clients.
- Flexible enterprise-grade security.
* In addition to symmetric encryption provided by Amanda Community Edition, the Amanda Enterprise Edition also supports asymmetric encryption schema via gpg.
- Support for ACLs and extended attributes so Amanda Enterprise Edition would recover a file with the finest level of permissions.
- Scalability of supported environment.
* Amanda Enterprise Edition provides support for VERY LARGE backup images (up to 2 to the power of 64 bytes).
- Better protection of enterprise environments.
* Amanda Enterprise Edition can backup files with any characters in a file name (including spaces).
- Enterprise Edition can run multiple backups of the same file systems per day so customers can have more granular Recovery Point Objectives. For example, in case of emergency, a file server could be recovered to a state not 24 hours ago, but only 4 hours ago (depends on how many backups per day you want for that server).

2. What kind of changes/additions you had to make over the original Amanda code?

Chander Kant: Zmanda was a driving force behind Amanda Community Edition version 2.5. We have changed at least 20% of code between Amanda 2.4 and Amanda 2.5. Following page goes over the enhancements done in Amanda 2.5.

3. How is the indemnification offer against intellectual property infringement works exactly for the customers?

Chander Kant: Zmanda has 100% confidence in the integrity of the Amanda code. For customers who have at least 50 Amanda clients we provide an optional indemnification. If a customer is sued for intellectual property infringement in Amanda code, Zmanda will provide legal defense and financial support for that customer.

4. What new features users should expect on the next stable version of Amanda?

Chander Kant: The next release of Amanda will be focused on: - Further simplification of administration. For example, we will provide a web-based GUI for Amanda so a system admin could manage Amanda installation remotely.
- native client for Windows
- an application API so it will be easy to use Amanda for backup of applications such as MySQL & SugarCRM

5. Are there any efforts to port Amanda to also work with PostgreSQL, or mySQL is the database of choice?

Chander Kant: - Broader application and database integration is an important part of Zmanda's product strategy. We are working on an open application API which will make it easier to integrate Amanda with applications such as MySQL & PostgreSQL.

We do have a very close relationship with MySQL, and are working with their engineers to create a seamless database hot-backup solution.

6. How Amanda compares to other Unix backup and recovery applications, feature-wise?

Chander Kant: Attached document provides detailed overview of Amanda functionality in comparison to incumbents, but basically:
- Amanda provides the same core functionality as incumbents
- Amanda is THE ONLY backup solution that allows to recover data without vendor's software
- Amanda media provides instructions how to recover data from media without Amanda in plain English text (of course there will be no key for encrypted data)
- Amanda has a unique scheduler that simplifies life of a system administrator.

7. Are there any plans for a graphical multi-platform Amanda client?

Chander Kant: Zmanda is working on a web based graphical interface to configure, manage and monitor various data protection technologies. This intuitive interface will make managing Amanda dramatically easy.This multi-platform management console is planned with the next major Amanda release.

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