StorageCraft ShadowControl

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Take charge of your disaster recovery plan with remote monitoring of backup jobs

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StorageCraft® ShadowControl puts power in your hands. ShadowControl is a free monitoring and management appliance for IT environments protected by StorageCraft ShadowProtect® or StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX backup software. ShadowControl delivers a central monitoring and reporting console for ShadowProtect or SPX operations and for StorageCraft ImageManager backup management software operations.

Additionally, for SPX-protected endpoints, ShadowControl offers:

  • Push install and activation of the latest version of ShadowProtect or SPX to unprotected Windows or Linux endpoints on the same network
  • Policy-based backup-job management that lets administrators quickly and easily assign a consistent backup job configuration to groups of endpoints

We designed this software for managed service providers (MSPs) and in-house IT administrators who oversee a disaster recovery solution for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of systems. If this sounds like you, ShadowControl can make your life simpler.

ShadowControl makes oversight manageable

ShadowControl works by deploying an “agent” (a small, unobtrusive software application) to each “endpoint” (computer within the monitored disaster recovery environment). The agent monitors ShadowProtect, SPX, and StorageCraft ImageManager activity on these endpoints and sends data to the ShadowControl “appliance.”

The appliance (a Linux-based server running as a virtual machine or on dedicated hardware) evaluates endpoint data against rules that you define to determine if the endpoint is behaving normally or having a problem. The appliance alerts you to problems so you can respond quickly and resolve issues efficiently.

A single ShadowControl appliance can manage thousands of endpoints. Organize the endpoints into categories and subcategories that are logical for your organization, and then remotely monitor every ShadowProtect, SPX, and StorageCraft ImageManager installation across the organization. Because you can see at a glance how endpoint backup jobs are doing and receive alerts when problems arise, you can address any issues before they become critical and expensive.

Features and benefits of ShadowControl

Push Install

  • Do a push install of the latest SPX or ShadowProtect version to multiple unprotected Windows and Linux endpoints quickly and easily
  • Choose to use a .CSV list of IP addresses for discovery of physical and virtual endpoints that you want to monitor and manage with ShadowControl
  • Enable automatic activation of newly installed SPX or ShadowProtect agents through ShadowControl by either a) importing text-based lists of perpetual-license product keys or b) applying MSP product keys generated through your MSP portal account

Remote Monitoring

  • Monitor your mixed Windows and Linux IT environment from one pane of glass
  • Get a dashboard view that presents summarized, sortable endpoint status data from across the entire network
  • See endpoint status data such as endpoint type, license status and type, managed folders, and backup jobs for all endpoints running ShadowProtect, SPX, and StorageCraft ImageManager
  • Quickly drill down to find detailed information about specific endpoints
  • Organize endpoints into categories and subcategories based on company or department name, physical location, hardware type, reporting needs, or other shared traits for easier oversight

Policy-based Management of Backup Jobs

  • Simplify backup-job management by applying backup-job policies to SPX endpoints
  • Assign a default job policy so that all SPX endpoints automatically receive a backup-job configuration as soon as they are subscribed to the ShadowControl appliance
  • Create custom backup-job policies and apply them to specific groups of SPX endpoints

Hypervisor Integration

  • Push-install a ShadowControl agent to any virtual machine (VM) endpoint you wish to monitor with the optional StorageCraft Plug-in
  • View all VMs running on a hypervisor host and automatically detect which VMs are not protected by the ShadowProtect agent
  • Push-install a ShadowProtect  agent to any unprotected VMs quickly and easily and then apply a pre-configured backup job so protection can start immediately
  • Monitor the current status of your VM backup jobs, including last backup time, backup errors, and next scheduled backup
  • Transition from VMware vCenter or Microsoft System Center to the ShadowControl web console seamlessly

Configurable Alerts

  • Set alert rules for a variety of conditions, including failed backup job, backup failure rate, destination disk usage, license status, and replication queue status
  • Use the same rules for all endpoints, or create multiple "rule policies" and assign endpoints to them based on any criteria you define
  • Receive automatic email alerts when a status change to “warning” or “critical” occurs on any of the endpoints you are monitoring
  • Send email alerts automatically to those responsible for particular endpoints

Reporting

  • Choose to receive a summary or a detailed report that can include ShadowProtect and StorageCraft ImageManager endpoint details as well as storage statistics
  • Choose to receive reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule
  • Have regular reports generated for clients that show the endpoints for which they’re responsible and provide feedback about the state of their disaster recovery solution

Licensing

StorageCraft ShadowControl doesn’t require you to purchase a license to use it. However, in order to install the software, you will need to accept the End-User License Agreement.

Technical specifications

ShadowControl appliance

The appliance uses a Linux operating system. You can run the appliance on standalone hardware or as a virtual machine.

For requirements and installation instructions, visit the ShadowControl User Guide: Installing the ShadowControl Appliance.

ShadowControl agent

Install the ShadowControl agent on each desktop, laptop, or server you wish to monitor. The ShadowControl agent’s hardware and software requirements are the same as those for ShadowProtect and SPX, except that ShadowControl doesn’t support Microsoft Windows 2000.

For a list of requirements, see the ShadowControl User Guide: Installing the ShadowControl Agent.