LiveVault Online Data Backup and Recovery FAQs

Following are Frequently Asked Questions about our LiveVault server online backup and recovery service which fully automates and streamlines the protection of your data. Learn more:

Q1. How does the LiveVault service work?

01/17/2010- The LiveVault service provides continuous protection or continuous data protection for customers’ critical server environments by electronically vaulting their data to two geographically separated, secure off-site facilities and providing a completely managed, pro-actively monitored service. When customers subscribe to the LiveVault service, an account is generated for their company. When the customer first logs in, they are asked to add the servers to the system that they would like to protect. LiveVault then creates a unique software “kit” that is associated with each server. This ensures secure authentication. After the customer downloads and installs the agent on each server (a re-boot is required), the customer then configures the backup policies for each server through the “MyLiveVault” web interface. This is simply a matter of deciding which data to protect. We strongly encourage customers to protect their whole server, then take away things that they know they don’t need to protect. Once the backup is configured, LiveVault then performs an initial synchronization (very much like a full backup). LiveVault then simply monitors file system activity on the servers and transmits only byte-level changes, as they occur, continuously. This allows customers to recover data from just minutes before a failure, instead of having to rely on last night’s backup. During this whole process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring and managing the entire process for you, from ensuring that your data is properly backed-up to ensuring that your restores are successful. At any time, you can go to the web interface to initiate a restore or make any backup policy modifications necessary.

Q2. How do I restore my data with the LiveVault® online data backup and recovery service?

01/17/2010- Customers have a number of choices when restoring data when they use LiveVault for online data backup. They can select anything between a single file and a full system to restore. They also have choices about how to deliver the data, including over the secure Internet connection or restoring data via a media device like a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. Most typical restores are quickly performed over the Internet. However, larger restores (such as entire systems or databases) are often reserved for NAS devices. In the case of an actual disaster or emergency, some customers select a hybrid approach, where some data is recovered electronically over the Internet and some data is sent via the media device. During this whole process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring and managing the entire process for you.

Q3. Do I have to do my initial backup (synchronization) over the Internet?

01/17/2010- Although LiveVault does technically have the ability to perform “seeds” of customer data to our vaults using NAS, in virtually every situation, it is (surprisingly) more efficient to do this over the secure Internet connection. Because of the wide variety of tape formats and backup software, LiveVault is not able to do this from backup tapes. Most customers find that when they actually deploy LiveVault, the initial synchronization process is very quick, smooth and easy. It is also very easy to plan ahead to limit the impact of this on resources. Customers find that they can continue to run their traditional backup while this process is going on, limiting exposure. Many times, larger customers will schedule the initial synchronizations to run on nights and weekends, while most smaller customers find that a single week-end is sufficient to get an initial synchronization done. During this whole process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring and managing the entire process for you.

Q4. How long does it take to get set-up with LiveVault?

02/03/2010- Once a customer decides to purchase the LiveVault service, the set-up process is very quick and painless. Most customers find that they can have everything set-up and configured in just a couple hours. In fact, many customers are protecting their servers the day they sign up for the service. Generally there are only two areas of potential delay: 1.) A re-boot is involved in the Install process, which often has to be scheduled for after-hours. 2.) Customers need to decide exactly which data they need to have protected. The actual configuration of this takes only a few minutes. Once completed the LiveVault initial backup or initial synchronization can take place. During this whole process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring and managing the entire process for you.

Q5. Can I use LiveVault to backup servers at remote locations?

02/03/2010- LiveVault is ideal for protecting data at remote offices. Most companies find that remote offices maintain highly critical data, yet often lack local full time IT staff, which exacerbates the challenges of doing successful backups there. Locally run tape-based backup systems involve a variety of moving parts from multiple vendors, as well as significant daily human intervention. As a consequence, reliability is often low, especially in remote offices. LiveVault provides technology and service to provide guaranteed protection of server data in these remote offices. Additionally, LiveVault provides a web-based user interface for centralized management functions and specific role and responsibility delegation, which allows customers to give access to specific servers only to the appropriate people. During this whole process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring and managing the entire process for you.

Q6. What operating systems does LiveVault support?

02/03/2010- LiveVault supports all Windows NT-based operating systems (NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows XP, Microsoft Small Business Server). LiveVault also supports Red Hat Linux and Sun Solaris (refer to our web-site for specific version support). LiveVault does not support Novell, Windows 9x (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME), Macintosh, mainframes or other varieties of UNIX. However, LiveVault can protect data created on these other platforms that is STORED LOCALLY on one of our supported platforms. LiveVault CANNOT protect mapped drives, as the LiveVault technology operates in the file system which is below the level where drive mapping occurs.

Q7. Does LiveVault protect desktops?

02/03/2010- LiveVault is focused exclusively on protecting servers because there are a number of fundamental differences between protecting desktops and laptops and protecting servers. 1.) Desktops are often shut down, whereas servers are typically always on. 2.) Desktops often have a lot of the same files on them, whereas servers have almost entirely unique data. 3.) Desktops have relatively small amounts of data, where servers often have large amounts of data (file sizes are often larger as well). 4.) Desktops do not run transactional databases, where servers often do. 5.) Desktops usually function as autonomous units, whereas servers are often part of a larger group of computers (active directory, domains, etc). These differences present a number of unique challenges in protecting each. The technology required to do either optimally is quite different. LiveVault is focused entirely on solving problems unique to servers. Our Connected® service is specifically designed for online data backup and recovery for PCs and MACs, including laptops of course. During the whole evaluation process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring the entire process for you.

Q8. Can I test before I buy this service?

02/03/2010- Every contract that Data Mountain LiveVault customers sign includes a 30-day LiveVault risk-free trial period. If a customer is unhappy with the service in any way during the first 30 days of service, they are able to cancel the service with no fees whatsoever. Most customers find within the first week of their trial period they see the value of the service and understand how it will help them better serve their backup and DR needs. In certain situations, typically with very large prospects in complex environments, we often offer a trial period with slightly different terms. However, Data Mountain does not generally offer free “open-ended” pilots or trials. We believe that our service is well established and our large, exceedingly satisfied customer base and our 30-day no risk period in every contract addresses the needs of most prospects looking for trials. During the whole evaluation process and ongoing, the Data Mountain and HP/Autonomy Digital support team is monitoring the entire process for you.

Q9. What software does Data Mountain’s LiveVault service use?

02/03/2010- The LiveVault service is based on LiveVault’s own backup technology. This proprietary technology allows LiveVault to lead the on-line server backup market. Unique to LiveVault’s software is the ability to protect data continuously, as well as the ability for LiveVault’s expert management team to provide exceptional 24×7 pro-active support. LiveVault’s technology also runs the “back-end” of the service, providing historic versioning of data, as well as redundancy in key areas. In addition to the core LiveVault technology, LiveVault’s operations group uses best of breed third party hardware and software tools and systems to provide the high levels of support our customers expect. The only software a customer needs to install is the LiveVault agent software that resides on each protected server. LiveVault’s propriety technology is award-winning and patent protected.

Q10. Does LiveVault require me to buy any software or hardware?

02/03/2010- LiveVault does not require you to purchase or maintain any additional hardware at your facility. Additionally, the only software required to run the service is the LiveVault agent software, which is included in the cost of the service. The agent includes no third party separately licensed software. There is, at the same time, an optional onsite appliance called the Turbo Restore Appliance which can be deployed to help meet more stringent Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs).

Q11. Can I continue to use my existing tape backup system?

02/03/2010- You can certainly continue to use your existing tape backup solution. Many of our customers initially continue to use their tape backup solution for a period of time until they become comfortable with the LiveVault service. Most of our customers eventually stop dealing with the hassles of tape drives and backup software. The only caveat is that LiveVault is not compatible with open file managers, so they will have to be uninstalled on servers where LiveVault is running.

Q12. Can I buy LiveVault software and run it myself?

02/03/2010- Yes, LiveVault technology is available for purchase outside of the fully managed service. A number of significant advantages of the service are inherent to providing it as a service, such as off-site vaulting of data, 24×7 pro-active management, the web interface and the elimination of labor and cost of traditional backup. However, many Enterprise customers license our software and deploy it in their own offsite locations using our software and their hardware.

Q13. What does an ideal LiveVault customer look like?

02/03/2010- LiveVault serves a variety of verticals, such as financial services, insurance, legal, health care, professional services and government. The common thread is that our customers understand both the value of their data and the vulnerability associated with traditional backup methodologies. Many are also subject to the growing number of privacy and security regulations such as GLBA, HIPAA, HITECH, SOX, state privacy laws, etc. We often find more success with companies whose average “moneymaker” hourly rate is high (such as healthcare, financial services and legal). Interestingly, customers in “higher rent” areas tend to be better fits for our service. Our customers range in size from 1 server and a dozen or less employees up to 100’s of servers in large private and federal organizations. The sweet spots are organizations with 30-200 GB in a single location (3-20 servers) and organizations with remote offices that have servers.

Q14. Who uses LiveVault today?

02/03/2010- LiveVault has over 14,000 existing service customers today that range in size and type of business. LiveVault is very popular in financial services, insurance, professional services, government, legal, health care and manufacturing. Our smallest customers have a single server and our largest customers have 100’s of servers. On our web-site (, we have an excellent range of published customer stories in different industries. We have also received a number of awards and favorable reviews. In the two most recent customer surveys, 100% of our customers who responded (>50% of polled customers) would recommend our service to a peer!

Q15. How many companies use the LiveVault service today?

02/03/2010- LiveVault has over 14,000 customers today, ranging from small businesses to large corporate and government clients all over the world. Small and medium businesses (SMBs), small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and Enterprises can utilize LiveVault in a number of ways ranging from primary data center backup and recovery to protection of “orphan servers” in remote offices/branch offices.

Q16. How much does LiveVault cost?

02/03/2010- LiveVault’s pricing model is based on the idea that the cost for customers should be consistent, predictable and easy to understand. The basic service cost includes 24×7 Support, unlimited Internet-based restores and all software involved. The only additional costs are a one-time setup fee per server and a nominal charge for media restores if/when the customer chooses this option. LiveVault offers 2 different pricing models for different size customers. • Per GB plan • Per Server Both models use the same “metric” (measurement) for determining cost: amount of protected data on each server. This measurement is based specifically on the total amount of data on each server that the customer chooses for LiveVault to protect. [For example, a server that has 72 GB of space, 30 GB of which is used, the customer would be able to choose exactly which files of that 30 GB of data should be protected. And, the customer would only be charged for that amount of data.] For some customers, “per server” pricing is more appropriate. In this model, the customer will be given a fixed monthly or annual cost per server, based on the amount of data that they are protecting on that server. So, for each server, the customer will have a specific monthly or annual charge for protecting that server. For larger accounts, LiveVault offers “aggregate” (aka enterprise) pricing. This provides customers with an opportunity to aggregate their total protected data across servers. The customer will then have one fixed “per GB” cost, paid annually or monthly. The customer will also commit to a minimum GB level for their environment. In both these models, the only additional costs are a one-time set-up fee per server and a nominal charge for media restores if/when the customer chooses this option.

Q17. How do I calculate how much this service is going to cost?

02/03/2010- In order to calculate the cost of the LiveVault service, customers need to determine the amount of data that they would like to have protected on each server. LiveVault STRONGLY recommends that customers protect everything, except the things that they know they don’t need. This will ensure that the customer has everything that they need in order to restore the entire system if necessary. Once the amount of data is calculated for each server, LiveVault offers a choice of pricing plans that offer predictable, consistent pricing for our customers. During the whole evaluation process and ongoing, the Data Mountain support team is ready to support you.

Q18. What costs does LiveVault offset?

02/03/2010- Most customers who use the LiveVault service find that they stop doing traditional tape backup as a result. There are a variety of costs that this eliminates, such as tape drive depreciation and maintenance, backup software and maintenance, daily labor from changing tapes and reading logs, labor spent doing restores, diagnosing problems and resolving issues and the opportunity costs that these labor costs really represent (i.e. if an IT person is dealing with a backup issue, what other issues aren’t they addressing?). Additionally, customers are typically eliminating the costs of moving and storing tapes off-site, testing recovery procedures and of course purchasing the tapes. The real value of LiveVault is not just in reducing costs, it is in providing 100% guaranteed success in restoring data while freeing up IT resources to do more business critical tasks.

Q19. How long has LiveVault been in business? Other business characteristics?

02/03/2010- The LiveVault service has been in marketplace, focusing on server data protection since 1993. LiveVault was a privately held, venture-backed company, with top tier investors including Matrix Partners, Atlas Ventures, HP/Autonomy and Sevin Rosen. HP/Autonomy acquired LiveVault in 2005 and has maintained the name as one of its strongest brands. LiveVault is the most widely used online server backup solution in the industry. Data Mountain has been an HP/Autonomy Channel Partner / Reseller since 2004 and won the coveted Gold Partner status in 2005.

Q20. Can end users restore data themselves?

02/03/2010- Yes! Through the MyLiveVault web interface, customers have the ability to restrict specific rights and roles to individual users. However, we strongly recommend that in most end user environments that it is safer to restrict access to the LiveVault service to IT staff and sometimes managers (or regional office managers). Being able to restore data is a very powerful tool, and as such should be respected. Without some training on the basics of servers and backup and restore procedures, end users could damage their work environment by restoring the wrong information or by overwriting good information.

Q21. How do I know my data is safe?

02/03/2010- HP/Autonomy and the LiveVault service provide the best available security for all aspects of the LiveVault Online Backup and Recovery Service. There are really 5 areas of concern that need to be addressed to understand the “security model” that LiveVault utilizes. A. Physical Security and Access 1. All data is stored in two (2) secure, Class “A” off-site data bunkers. The data centers use black box security, meaning that physical servers are never physically identified by content or function. The facility uses all best of breed methodologies in preserving physical and environmental security. 2. LiveVault allows customers to delegate roles and rights to individual users on specific servers. This ensures that only the appropriate people will have access to specific LiveVault functions on specified servers. 3. The MyLiveVault interface employs SSL security to ensure that access to this interface is secure. Additionally, the web interface offers no direct access to customer data, only to the ability to restore the data back to its source server. This ensures that customer data is never compromised in the case of a user password breach. B. Electronic authentication (prevents spoofing) LiveVault uses Verisign digital certificates exclusively for authentication of servers. This ensures that someone outside cannot “spoof” either end of the connection. We do not rely on IP address, server name, MAC address or any other “spoof-able” identifier. C. Eavesdropping (someone intercepting data traffic) LiveVault uses 256-bit AES encryption in all communications to ensure that if any data was intercepted in transit that it would not be recognizable or usable data. D. Tampering with data in transit LiveVault uses digital signatures on all packets to ensure that we are aware of any modifications in transit. Any modified packets are immediately discarded and re-sent. E. Securing the customers network LiveVault uses a single out-bound initiated port for all communications with the customer’s servers. This allows LiveVault to securely pass through customers’ existing firewalls and routers. LiveVault has a registered port (2147), but will dynamically look for another port (again, out-bound only) if this one is unavailable. LiveVault supports environments that use DHCP and (port) “NAT” (Network Address Translation). In addition to these 5 areas, LiveVault also provides a fully managed service operations center where we are taking advantage of the best 3rd party tools to continuously monitor all security aspects of our service and operating environments.

Q22. Where is my data stored?

02/03/2010- All customer data is vaulted continuously to a secure, off-site vaulting facility. Then, it is immediately replicated to a second world-class secure facility. Each is a top-tier, state-of-the-art facility with complete redundancy, fault tolerance and security controls in place. This includes redundant power supplies, bandwidth and HVAC.

Q23. Who has access to my data?

02/03/2010- a. With LiveVault, customers can be assured that their data is always safe. All access to LiveVault systems and the secure data centers is thoroughly monitored and auditing trails exist for all access. No customer will ever have any access or visibility into another customer’s data or servers. Through the web interface, customers can only restore data back to its original server. Re-directed restores (i.e. restores directed to other servers) are VERY tightly controlled, requiring independent validation and authorization. Every redirected restore request is escalated inside the LiveVault service organization. b. The data inside the data center is protected in a variety of ways, including i. Black box security (no identifying labels are on any servers corresponding to specific functions or customers) ii. Highly secure, bio-metric accessed facility iii. Data is not stored in a browse-able format, so even if someone gained access to a server, they would not see recognizable files or directories iv. All vaults are protected with Windows domain security (i.e. password protected terminal access).

Q24. Does LiveVault rely on IP address/MAC address/Server name for authentication?

02/03/2010- LiveVault relies exclusively on Verisign digital certificates for authentication. Server name/MAC address/IP addresses are never used for authentication. This eliminates the possibility of spoofing. During the installation process, LiveVault associates a unique digital certificate to each customer server. We also associate the “install kit” with the server name for the installation itself. This is to ensure that each customer server is properly represented in the web interface and to ensure that the customer installs the correct install kit on each server. Once this is done, the server name can be changed and is never a part of the actual communication authentication.

Q25. Can I give different levels of access to different people?

02/03/2010- LiveVault allows customers to provide users with different levels of access on a per server basis. For example, an office manager at a remote office may only have the ability to do restores on a single server, while a member of the IT staff will have full access to all servers. LiveVault also allows customers to enforce password rules to further increase security through the web interface.

Q26. Is data encrypted at the data bunkers vault?

02/03/2010- Yes! LiveVault encrypts data before it leaves your servers/systems, encrypts it again while in transit and keeps it encrypted in our secure data bunkers. As a customer, you maintain your private encryption key to which no one else has access.

Q27. Do I have to make changes to my firewall?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers unique technology that actually dynamically adjusts to your current router and firewall set-up. We automatically and dynamically find an available OUT-BOUND port and establish a bi-directional secure tunnel through that single port. If desired, customers can control which port we use, but we recommend using our registered port (2147), as this will allow the best control and monitoring of our traffic. The MyLiveVault interface ever attempt to connect directly to the customer’s server. Instead, it connects to web servers at the secure data center that then communicate with the appropriate vault which is securely connected to the customer’s server(s). Under no circumstances does LiveVault ever require an inbound port to be opened or does LiveVault even attempt to initiate a connection from our side.

Q28. Do I need training to use LiveVault?

02/03/2010- LiveVault was designed from day one to be simple and intuitive to use. The “learning curve” for 90% of the LiveVault functionality is usually about 1 hour! And, because we offer a fully managed service, customers will not have to worry about on-going support and maintenance. However, LiveVault does offer extraordinary on-line help that is both context specific (i.e. help for the task at hand) and searchable. The help system actually combines a traditional help system with a thorough knowledge base.

Q29. Who supports the LiveVault service?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers a fully managed service, where LiveVault provides 24×7 pro-active management and support. Although customers have complete control of all functions through the MyLiveVault interface, they are off-loaded from the burden of daily maintenance. In fact 85% of LiveVault’s support calls are out-bound to customers. Data Mountain is your first line of defense/phone call in the event you need any assistance.

Q30. Do I get a report telling me that my backups are successful?

02/03/2010- Yes. LiveVault provides continuous protection for most of our customers. As a result, we don’t provide daily email alerts about backup success/failure. Instead, we monitor this for our customers on a daily basis and offer our customers a weekly report that illustrates key service statistics, such as how much data is being protected and how many restores have been run. Additionally, the MyLiveVault interface provides 24×7 ability for customers to see status on everything the service is doing.

Q31. What kind of manuals or documents comes with this service?

02/03/2010- As on on-line service, LiveVault does not provide paper-based manuals. However, from the very first communication customers receive when they subscribe to our service, we include very specific instructions on the next steps, as well as an excellent, robust online help system that is available from any web browser that allows customers to get detailed help and instructions on everything we do.

Q32. How does customer support work? Is 24×7 support available? Do I pay extra for after hours support?

02/03/2010- As part of the standard LiveVault agreement, customers are offered 24×7 support. This is included in the cost of the service. However, the LiveVault service is a fully managed service and most of our customers find that we contact them before they even know about an issue. In a real customer emergency or disaster, LiveVault will immediately escalate the support to whatever resources are needed to ensure a 100% successful recovery process. LiveVault is really a recovery company. And, when customers really need us, we shine brightest. This level of service is completely covered in the basic service fees.

Q33. How much bandwidth does LiveVault use?

02/03/2010- LiveVault makes very efficient use of a customer’s bandwidth. Using byte-level replication, compression and connection resiliency, LiveVault is able to use significantly less bandwidth than other methods of moving data. However, there are certain requirements for bandwidth in order for customers to have successful implementations. We recommend that a customer have at least 20 kb/s of upstream bandwidth for each GB of data being protected. For example, a customer with a (1.54 Mb/s) T-1 connection can protect roughly 80 GBs of data with our service without experiencing significant impact to other applications sharing that Internet bandwidth. At any given point in time, LiveVault will generally use much less than this guideline. This guideline is designed to provide reasonable room for data growth, as well as to accommodate the ups and downs of daily server activity. In addition to being very efficient, LiveVault also offers the ability to “throttle” the bandwidth so that customers can decide the maximum bandwidth LiveVault can use at any given point in time on a per server basis. This allows customers to “smooth out” the peaks and valleys of activity that is typical in most server environments.

Q34. Will LiveVault impact the performance of my servers?

02/03/2010- LiveVault is extremely efficient in terms of server overhead. The rule of thumb is: “If your server is properly configured for what it is doing now, then LiveVault will not cause any measurable degradation in performance.” LiveVault generally drives less than 5% use in any key server resource (memory, CPU cycles, disk usage). We do recommend that customers have about 10% free disk space on their server when using LiveVault, as there is some caching involved in our efficient and secure data movement.

Q35. Do I need dedicated bandwidth?

02/03/2010- No. Virtually all customers to date use LiveVault with their existing Internet connection. Most customers find that because LiveVault is mostly using up-stream bandwidth (combined with efficiencies and throttling) that LiveVault does not have much measurable impact on their bandwidth performance. If customers have multiple paths to the Internet from a given site, we can work with them to determine the best way to route our traffic.

Q36. What happens if my Internet connection goes down?

02/03/2010- Resiliency is a very core component of LiveVault’s technology. As the Internet is inherently unreliable, LiveVault is designed to automatically recovery from all Internet outages without any human intervention required. Specifically, LiveVault caches data changes to the customer’s server for up to 5 minutes in the case of a complete communication break down (100% packet loss). In the event that an outage lasts more than 5 minutes, but less than 2 hours, LiveVault will automatically re-connect and re-synchronize data, sending only the pieces of files that have changed since the outage. This is an extremely efficient and quick process. In the event that the outage lasts beyond 2 hours, LiveVault’s Service Operations Center will be notified and they will take appropriate action, often working with the customer to resolve the issue. In every situation, when a connection is re-established, LiveVault automatically and efficiently “catches up” and ensures that customer’s data continues to be protected.

Q37. Can I control the amount of bandwidth that LiveVault uses?

02/03/2010- Yes. LiveVault allows customers to “throttle” their bandwidth usage on a per server basis. This allows customers to ensure that LiveVault never exceeds a certain threshold of bandwidth usage. In most cases, this throttle serves as a mechanism for leveling out the peaks and valleys of typical server activity. Because LiveVault is so efficient in protecting data because of its byte level replication with compression, most customers don’t find a need to use the bandwidth-throttling feature.

Q38. What does LiveVault’s “Guarantee” really mean?

02/03/2010- LiveVault’s guarantee is made up of two components: past performance and remedy for failure to perform. LiveVault is extremely proud of our success record in recovering customer data. No other company in the storage business can come close to matching our success record. With that in mind, we offer a remedy to provide further assurance to customers that their data will be protected. In the event that LiveVault fails to meet the requirements set forth in our Service Level Agreement, customers are entitled to a refund of the fees paid for that specific service.

Q39. What is “continuous protection”?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers its customers a very unique benefit. LiveVault offers customers the option of protecting data continuously, throughout the day, not just at night, like most backup software. Once a customer subscribes to the LiveVault service, they perform what we call an initial synchronization of their servers (like a full backup). Once this is done once, it will never have to be done again. And, after this, LiveVault is only transmitting bytes of data as they change. LiveVault’s agent actually resides in the file system, taking advantage of a Microsoft API to actually monitor activity in the file system. When a file that we have been asked to protect (by the customer during backup configuration) is changed, the file system “hands us” those changes. We then package them up (compress, encrypt) and securely transmit them to the secure off-site vaulting facility. We are doing this on a continuous basis. It is very important to note that there is generally a “latency” of a few minutes between when changes happen and LiveVault has successfully received those changes. There are a number of variables that impact the degree of latency, but most customers can expect to be within 15 minutes of current at most times. What this means is that if a customer wants to restore the most current version of a file or database, it will typically not be more than 15 minutes old. So, if a customer’s server crashed at 5 pm, they would be able to recover their server as of 4:45 or so that day, not just from the night before. It is important to note that customers also have multiple historic versions of files available for restore in addition to the most current versions. See the “What versions of data can I restore?” section to learn more about the historic versions available for restore.

Q40. What versions of data can I restore?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers different data retention levels for customers. Our standard offering is 30 day retention, where we will provide at least one copy of all files (that have changed) per day for the past 30 consecutive days, in addition to the current versions (usually within 15 minutes of current) of files available for restore. This means that a customer who wanted to restore an older version of a file would be able to easily go into our web UI and browse through all versions of that file available for restore. And, there would be at least one copy of that file available for each of past 30 days. LiveVault also offers 1 year and 7-year retention levels. Each of the longer-term retentions is additive (i.e. it has everything the level before it has plus additional versions). The 1 year retention service adds month-end copies to the 30 day daily versions going back 12 months, again on a rolling basis. So, a customer would be able to restore the end of month copy of a file or database for any of the previous 11 month ends. The 7-year retention adds to the 1 year offering quarter-end versions going back 24 consecutive quarters on a rolling basis.

Q41. How long does it take to restore data?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers different delivery mechanisms for restoring customer data. Virtually all customer restore requests are performed via the secure Internet connection. There are a number of variables involved in determining the amount of time required to complete a given restore. In most cases, as a general rule, a customer can expect to restore a GB of data every 90 minutes for each mb/s of bandwidth they have (i.e. a customer with 3 GB can expect to restore about 3 GB in 90 minutes). Compression ratios, bandwidth throughput and competing applications (for bandwidth) all play roles in determining the actual length of restoring a given amount of data. LiveVault also offers media restores (CD and NAS) for customers who need to restore a large amount of data and/or are in a real or test recovery process. In these cases, customers often have less bandwidth and with media restore, LiveVault can start delivering the data WHILE a customer is preparing new hardware in a recovery facility (parallel instead of serial processing). The LiveVault SLA is that we will ship media for any server up to 200 GB within 24 hours. LiveVault describes more details in our SLA.

Q42. How does LiveVault backup its data center?

02/03/2010- There is a significant amount of redundancy and fault tolerance built into the LiveVault service at every level. For instance, the entire service operations center is virtual (totally web-based) and a secondary facility is available if the primary becomes unavailable. What we offer all customers is a significantly higher level of protection and reliability than they are able to achieve themselves. Most companies today take a single set of tapes to a single local off-site facility. LiveVault offers customers the ability to get their data off-site to a (generally) geographically isolated secure data center. In this data center, all customer data resides, in all cases, on at least two autonomous media devices, disk and tape. In fact, most customer data resides on 3 or more physically separate media devices. Additionally, for customers who select the longer-term retention policies, their data is taken off-site again from our data center to another local facility for an additional level of protection. Because of these layers of protection, there would have to be simultaneous site-level disasters at both the secure off-site data center and the customer’s facility in order for customers to potentially lose data.

43. How do I know that LiveVault is really working (i.e. that I am really protected)?

02/03/2010- This is actually a fairly common question about LiveVault for two reasons. First, many companies have had bad experiences in the past with failed restores from “successful backups”. And secondly, because LiveVault is both continuous and fully managed, the concept of reporting is very different. With LiveVault’s continuous protection, there really is not a concept like there is in traditional backup of “backup job completed”. LiveVault is always “just finishing” a full backup. Because of this and because LiveVault is a fully managed service, monitored 24×7, LiveVault is able to resolve issues in “real-time”, unlike nightly backup processes which are usually diagnosed between scheduled jobs, which significantly increases companies’ data vulnerability (i.e. if a backup fails at night and the problem is resolved before the next scheduled backup, then the customer has just experienced roughly 48 hours of data vulnerability). As a fully managed service, LiveVault takes on the responsibility of day-to-day monitoring, maintenance and management of the end-to-end process. LiveVault also offers its customers two specific reporting mechanisms: the MyLiveVault web interface allows customers to, at any time, from any web browser, view all aspects of the LiveVault service and LiveVault offers the customers the option of receiving a weekly status report that describes key characteristics of service usage (such as amount of data under protection, current status of servers and restore summary).

Q44. Can LiveVault support clustered servers?

02/03/2010- Yes. LiveVault is cluster compatible. However, we are not cluster “aware”. LiveVault is able to protect clustered servers in one of two ways. We can protect the “shared storage” of the cluster through the cluster “A name”, which will allow us to fail-over with the cluster to continue to protect data, even in a failed over situation. This is typically the best method for protecting “active/passive” clusters. For active/active clusters, LiveVault can protect each member of the cluster individually. The advantage of this is that we can then protect all the data that the cluster is serving. The disadvantage is that, in the case of a fail-over”, it will appear to us as if the remaining server has lots of new data (the data from the now off-line other cluster). This would mean that we would have to protect this data again, which can add some time to the process. Most customers are using clusters in the active/passive setup and find LiveVault’s approach to protecting this configuration to work exceptionally well.

Q45. What redundancy exists in the LiveVault infrastructure?

02/03/2010- There is tremendous redundancy and fault tolerance in all aspects of the LiveVault service. i. All customer data exists on at least two and usually three or more different, autonomous media devices. ii. There are redundant bandwidth carriers to the secure vaulting facility. iii. The Service Operations Center is entirely virtual (web-based). It can be run securely from anywhere on the web and we maintain a secondary command and control center. iv. The web and SQL components of the service are all run on clustered and fault tolerant hardware. Many of these systems feature complete redundancy. v. All LiveVault systems use tier 1 hardware with redundant and fault tolerant systems (like RAID, redundant power supplies, etc). vi. The secure off-site data center has redundant power sources and HVAC systems. vii. All customer agents point to primary and secondary “Internet gateway” machines, which handle efficient and secure communications.

Q46. Will LiveVault increase my exposure to viruses?

02/03/2010- Absolutely not. Customer data only resides on LiveVault Vaults. On those vaults, no files are ever opened (they don’t exist in usable formats) and no files are ever executed. Additionally, the vaults are completely isolated from the outside world (separate, secured networks). They do not have direct Internet access. As a result, no viruses can ever be spread on a vault from either outside sources or from other customer’s data. Because of this, the vaults do not run anti-virus software (this would entail reading and modifying customer files, which we don’t do). However, the systems that protect and isolate the vaults do run anti-virus software, as well as intrusion detection and other appropriate protection measures are in place.

Q47. What data should I protect?

02/03/2010- The best rule of thumb for determining which data to protect is the following: “protect your entire system, then exclude the things you KNOW you don’t need to be able to recover.” Customers have the choice of exactly which data they want to protect, from a single file to an entire system. LiveVault also offers advanced exclusion rules to exclude categories of files. In fact, we automatically exclude most common temporary and caching directories and files. It is important that customers understand that with the LiveVault service, they can recover their entire functioning systems ONLY if they protect all the files and directories needed to recover. This is why we recommend erring on the side of caution when selecting which files to protect.

Q48. How can I recover an entire system?

02/03/2010- LiveVault provides a unique and remarkable ability for customers to recover their entire systems even to different hardware platforms (on Windows 2000 and 2003 servers) in the event of a complete system loss. This is especially important for customers in a real disaster recovery situation, where it is often the case that identical hardware, comprehensive documentation, application software and expertise are not available. The very first thing a customer does is to call LiveVault support. We will help the customer through the entire recovery process. In order for this process to be effective, the customer needs to be protecting all system files, databases, operating system files, application files and their system state. The process is very simple. First, the customer decides how they would like LiveVault to deliver their data (i.e. via NAS or network). Then, the customer will only have to recover the basic operating system with network connectivity and the LiveVault agent. Once this is done, they simply use LiveVault to restore back all data and the “system state” information. [Note: there are some specific procedures to follow and we strongly recommend involving our support when doing this.] Then, the customer will just re-boot their system. The server will then come back on-line and function just like the production server did just minutes before the failure event.

Q49. Can LiveVault protect open/locked files?

02/03/2010- Absolutely. In fact, LiveVault is able to natively protect open files and databases without the use of any 3rd party technology. LiveVault’s core data movement technology is really a file system replication engine. LiveVault developed this replication technology about 6 years ago and it has been used on 10,000’s of servers. LiveVault also owns a number of patents on this technology. As a result of this technology, LiveVault is able to act very much like an open file manager, living below the level where files are locked, when moving full files (such as during the initial backup and when a new file is created). Additionally, LiveVault is able capture byte level changes to files as those changes occur, allowing us to provide continuous data protection, not just nightly like most backup technology.

Q50. How does LiveVault protect my Exchange database?

02/03/2010- LiveVault’s unique technology allows us to provide a higher level of protection for Exchange than most backup technologies, without relying on any third party plug-ins. LiveVault is able to provide continuous protection for customers’ Exchange servers. Combining this with our integration with native Exchange functionality provides customers with an excellent and complete protection strategy for Exchange. With this solution, customers are able ultimately able to recover individual items and mailboxes (in Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 with the Exchange native tools) in most cases without having to restore the database, in addition to providing the ability to recover the entire Exchange server (even to different hardware!) including all program files, system files and system state information (i.e. a complete functioning server). Even more remarkable is LiveVault’s ability to automatically detect and configure effective backup of Exchange. Instead of being the most difficult application to backup, Exchange is the easiest and most reliable with LiveVault! See “Does LiveVault protect Exchange mailboxes?” for more details on more granular restores.

Q51. How does LiveVault protect my SQL database?

02/03/2010- LiveVault is able to natively protect SQL databases, as well as any database running on Windows servers, using our core replication engine. In fact, we are able to protect SQL continuously, significantly reducing the vulnerability of your business data throughout the day. LiveVault strongly recommends that customers use our service to protect the SQL database(s) and transaction logs, but not the database backups. This is because LiveVault is able to protect the database itself (continuously) extremely efficiently, moving only byte- level changes as they occur. Some LiveVault customers continue to do database dumps periodically in addition to using our service. Generally, customers use these database dumps to run reports, testing and non-production applications against the database. LiveVault encourages customers to continue to do this for these reasons.

Q52. Does LiveVault protect Exchange mailboxes?

02/03/2010- LiveVault takes advantage of native Exchange functionality in addition to providing continuous, guaranteed protection of the Exchange database and server. In most situations, customers will find that, if properly configured, Exchange’s native object and mailbox recovery will allow customers to recover from most object losses. In the case that a recovery is not possible using this functionality, LiveVault allows customers to restore an historic copy of their database and use Microsoft or 3rd party tools (such as Ontrack’s Power Controls) to recover specific objects. Microsoft’s utility Exmerge can also be used to perform “brick level” backups of the information stores if desired. In most cases, customers find that Exchange native tools negate the need to do this however. Due to the various technical problems with using the MAPI (brick level) approach to protecting individual mailboxes, LiveVault has elected not to use this. And, Microsoft, in more recent releases of Exchange (2000 and 2003) has addressed most of the reasons that a customer must elect to do brick level backup (such as Exmerge, object and mailbox retention and recovery storage groups in e2k3).

Q53. What happens if I get my data back via NAS device? How does it work?

02/03/2010- The LiveVault media recovery options allow customers an alternative delivery mechanism, especially well suited to larger data sets and emergency situations. The easiest way to understand how these works is to think of them as delivery mechanisms, not storage devices. For the most part, the customer makes all the decisions about how they want the restore to work (i.e. overwrite options, re-direct choices, file and directory selection, etc) BEFORE the NAS (or CD) is built. This way, LiveVault is able to “package” the data on the NAS in a secure format that is extremely easy to restore from when delivered. Restoring data is tougher than copying data, as we have to be concerned about a variety of file attributes (like NTFS permissions) as well as dealing with overwriting files that are currently in use. As a result of this, the NAS (or CD) comes delivered with a restore utility that simply “finishes” the restore process that was started when the customer initiated the restore job. Basically, the restore utility just has a “go” button to finish the restore job.

Q54. How does LiveVault compare to EVault?

02/03/2010- LiveVault offers a number of significant differentiators from other on-line backup services, including EVault and its resellers (AmeriVault, DPS and others). i. LiveVault is delivered as a fully managed end-to-end service with a real SLA, where EVault is a “hosted” solution that requires customers to take responsibility for the success of their backup and restore processes. Most LiveVault support calls are out-bound. ii. LiveVault provides continuous protection (in addition to the ability to schedule) where EVault only provides nightly, scheduled backup 1. This allows LiveVault to resolve issues in real-time when they occur, instead of having to wait until the backup window “comes around again” to try out potential problem resolutions. 2. This significantly reduces the vulnerability of customer data throughout the day. iii. LiveVault provides a truly web-based user interface ( where EVault provides a win32 local console that requires a customer to be either at the same location as the servers or have a VPN to manage remote servers. The EVault management console cannot connect through firewalls, proxies or NAT devices. It must be on the LAN or a VLAN. MyLiveVault allows customers to monitor and manage all aspects of the LiveVault service 24×7 from anywhere on the web. iv. LiveVault provides native protection of all open files and databases where EVault depends on 3rd party plug-ins and 3rd party open file managers. With LiveVault, there is no such thing as “file skipped during backup” which is a fairly common error message with EVault and other traditional backup technologies. Since LiveVault developed this technology and manages the operation of the service, we are able to escalate any issues directly to the technology developers, where EVault is left to depend on the support line of its 3rd party software vendors. v. LiveVault provides an easy to understand, predictable and consistent pricing model where EVault’s pricing is based on variables that are unpredictable. LiveVault charges based on the amount of data on a customer server being protected. Historic versions of these files are included in the base cost. EVault charges for the combined storage requirements on their vaults to store both original data and historic copies. This can be very confusing and the cost has a tendency to grow at a rate greater than the growth of the company or native data size on protected servers. vi. LiveVault offers 24×7 pro-active and re-active support in the standard service fees. EVault provides 24×7 RE-ACTIVE support to some customers and charges others extra for support calls after-hours. Most EVault resellers charge extra fees for after hours support. vii. LiveVault offers customers the ability to recover entire systems (Windows 2000 and 2003 servers) including all the system files, applications and data (everything to recover full server functionality) even to different hardware! EVault offers just data protection, with no stated ability to recover an entire system.

Q55. What is LiveVault’s competition?

02/03/2010- LiveVault’s primary competition continues to be traditional backup (inertia). LiveVault replaces the hassle, unreliability and complexity of traditional backup with a fully managed, continuous service that guarantees data protection and recovery. In addition to traditional backup, there are a number of on-line backup companies in the market today. Most focus on desktops and laptops, like Connected, Novastor, @backup, DS Televaulting and Capsure. Most of these have no ability to protect open files or databases. All the differences referenced in “How does LiveVault compare to EVault?” apply to most of these providers also. The only providers that we come across on a regular basis are EVault and its resellers (AmeriVault, DPS). See the aforementioned topic to see more about these

Q56. How does LiveVault compare to mirroring/RAID? Replication? Clustering?

02/03/2010- LiveVault is designed to take the place of (or complement in some cases) traditional backup. It doesn’t provide fault tolerance or redundancy like RAID and clustering. It is also not a high availability solution like some forms of replication. We are an excellent complement to these technologies. In this case, LiveVault provides what backup has historically provided in these environments. We provide recovery from catastrophic failure, recovery from corruption events, recovery from deleted files and folders and the peace of mind that comes from having data continuously replicated off-site.