This is the first post in a series that will discuss the recent updates to StorageCraft’s Recovery Environment. For part two click here.
StorageCraft recently released an update to the existing StorageCraft Recovery Environment. The Recovery Environment provides a bootable environment with additional hardware management tools for restoring StorageCraft ShadowProtect backup images. These backup images can be restored to either bare metal or to a virtual device, allowing you to quickly recover to a specific point in time in the event of a disaster.
In the past, StorageCraft has licensed Microsoft’s Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) for redistribution as the underlying operating system platform for the StorageCraft Recovery Environment. This allowed StorageCraft to build and distribute a bootable CD while at the same time paying Microsoft a small licensing fee. These licensing fees were never a large revenue stream for Microsoft, which may explain why at some point they decided to discontinue WinPE redistribution licenses for all their partners.
As a Microsoft Gold partner, StorageCraft was made aware of this early on and began working on a solution that would continue to provide the same tools and functionality provided by the existing StorageCraft Recovery Environment. These efforts resulted in two products. The first is StorageCraft’s Recovery Environment – for Windows and the second is StorageCraft’s Recovery Environment – CrossPlatform. Both of these products provide the same type of functionality and user interface as the legacy StorageCraft Recovery Environment.
The StorageCraft Recovery Environment – for Windows solution is based on Microsoft’s WinPE 8.0 environment and contains in-box hardware drivers used by the Windows 8 / Server 2012 operating systems. This Recovery Environment has all of the same functionality as the legacy Recovery Environment, however, it requires the user to construct the Recovery Environment by downloading the Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) from Microsoft’s website. This ADK contains the WinPE environment necessary to run the Recovery Environment. StorageCraft has provided a Recovery Environment Builder application which automates the process of downloading the Microsoft ADK and creating an ISO which can be burned to CD/DVD or a USB flash drive. When burned to disk, this ISO will provide the finished StorageCraft Recovery Environment – for Windows. To download a copy of the RE Builder application, please click here.
The StorageCraft Recovery Environment – CrossPlatform is an alternate solution which leverages a Linux operating system as a bootable platform. This OS platform does not require redistribution licensing and therefore allows StorageCraft to continue providing a Recovery Environment independent of the decisions of other companies. This Recovery Environment is also a logical step towards StorageCraft supporting Linux systems with StorageCraft’s award-winning backup and recovery technologies and cloud services. The StorageCraft Recovery Environment – CrossPlatform uses the same user interface and functions with a few minor differences which will be addressed in a subsequent post.
If you’re interested in reading more detail about the StorageCraft Recovery Environment, please click here.
Stay tuned for part two of this StorageCraft Recovery Environment series.