Call a Specialist Today! 800-886-5369

StorageCraft ShadowStream Technology
Quickly and Easily Transfer Backup Images Offsite


Overview:

What is StorageCraft ShadowStream technology, and who should use it?

StorageCraft ShadowStream technology is a high-performance transfer tool. This transfer tool lets you send StorageCraft ShadowProtect backup image files to a remote site such as a second office, a co-location facility, or public or private cloud.

ShadowStream is part of StorageCraft ImageManager backup management software, but you need to buy a job license to enable it. Any IT professional who uses StorageCraft ImageManager and needs to replicate backup image files offsite can take advantage of ShadowStream.

In low-bandwidth, high-latency, or high-packet-loss network conditions, ShadowStream is faster than File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Under these conditions, ShadowStream can significantly reduce the time needed to transfer backup image files. In high-bandwidth network conditions, ShadowStream makes efficient use of bandwidth, resulting in rapid offsite replication and maximum available bandwidth for other traffic.

ShadowStream, along with ShadowProtect and StorageCraft ImageManager, is part of StorageCraft Recover-Ability. This disaster recovery solution provides you with the tools you need to recover your Windows machines every time, everywhere, from any disaster.

When to use ShadowStream

Offsite replication

  • You want to replicate ShadowProtect backup images to an offsite location as part of your organization’s disaster recovery plan. That way, should a fire or hurricane destroy your facility, you’ll be able to access your offsite backup images and keep the business running.
  • As a managed service provider (MSP) who offers disaster recovery as a service, you want to replicate your clients’ backup images offsite so that if an earthquake or flood takes out client offices, you can spin up their backup images so they can continue functioning.

In both instances, ShadowStream is a fast, reliable method for transferring backup images.

Features:

The latest version of ShadowStream features:

  • Faster file transfers, especially in environments with high-latency network connections and high packet loss
  • Increased connection stability, including improvements to resuming file transfer after an interruption
  • Automatic adjustment to network traffic to reduce network congestion
  • New administration console with increased controls, client and server views, and support for file upload
  • Enhanced throttling support, including the ability to change throttling during a file transfer
  • Lower memory usage and disk input/output load when compared to legacy ShadowStream (legacy: version 5.0.5 and older)
  • Support for 64-bit operating systems, which allows for 20 times the number of concurrent active replication jobs
  • Simplified configuration for MSPs through a system of shared folders and subfolders on the ShadowStream server

Note: Although ShadowStream is fast and reliable, you should base your choice of file transfer tool on the network between your local and remote sites. StorageCraft offers another excellent option for high-speed data transfers called StorageCraft intelligentFTP (iFTP) technology.

Also a part of StorageCraft ImageManager, intelligentFTP might be the better option, depending on your network typology. See ShadowStream Performance Benchmarks and Best Practices to learn about the differences between ShadowStream and iFTP.

Licensing:

ShadowStream transfers StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX and StorageCraft ShadowProtect backup image files, and it is part of StorageCraft ImageManager backup management software. But you need to buy a job license to enable it.

When you buy a ShadowStream job license, you receive a product serial number that contains one or more job licenses. You can assign these job licenses to the same or different computers, and you can move them between computers as needed. Each ShadowStream license supports one remote (offsite) replication job using ShadowStream.

Technical Specifications:

Supported Environments and Requirements

ShadowStream Server (including the administrator console) supports Windows Server operating systems.

For a list of those supported operating systems as well as requirements, see:

Supported Operating Systems for the ShadowStream service and administrator console:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Source and Destination Ports

Shadowstream replication communicates bi-directionally. This requires that the UDP ports are opened on both the source and destination networks for both the incoming and outgoing direction. 

ShadowStream uses these UDP ports by default:

  • 4366 UDP Data connection control port
  • 4367 UDP Admin connection port

Confirm access to these UDP ports through your firewalls to successfully run ShadowStream.

Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) Size

The Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size needs to be a static setting. It also needs to be the same on both the source and destination network.

StorageCraft has determined that the default MTU, in many cases is 1500. Some items require a specific MTU (for example PPOE requires an MTU of 1492). StorageCraft recommends analyzing your environment and evaluating what the specific settings for your network should be. This will help you properly select the right MTU.

Customers with Different MTU Size

If you have multiple customers who replicate to your system with different MTU sizes, you need to setup multiple receiving servers to match the MTU size for each specific customer.

Additional notes

Although ShadowStream is fast and reliable, you should base your choice of file transfer tool on the network between your local and remote sites. StorageCraft offers another excellent option for high-speed data transfers called StorageCraft intelligentFTP (iFTP) technology.

Included with StorageCraft ImageManager, intelligentFTP might be the better option, depending on your network topology.

To learn about the differences between ShadowStream and iFTP, see ShadowStream Performance Benchmarks and Best Practices.