Light Virtualization - the first year....

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by BlueZannetti, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Are you saying you can now save across a reboot??


    PS. Price for that feature, if true, is steep. Might discourage sales.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  2. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    BlueZannetti's posts have always that quality that is often found in excellent journalism: a neutral approach to the subject and a very detailed informative description of all players giving the readers all the necessary elements to make up their mind. This is what the internet should be all about. It would be nice to have him more often as a reviewer.

    I'm also a 'fan boy' of ShadowUser. I still have it on my XP machine working perfectly (almost 4 years now). I'm using Shadow Defender on my Vista computer (and find it excellent), but if SU were updated for Vista, I'd install it straight away, this is obviously subjective, I think at Storagecraft they have excellent programmers but because of marketing reasons they find it more profitable to put their energy into ShadowProtect.
  3. BazileCCS

    BazileCCS Registered Member

    This is the only field that has not yet become true today for the general public.

    I think that administrator, who wrote the post, was not interested in the possibility of DWC. Perhaps it was just due to the fact that we still have not updated the page comparison, which was not indicated compatibility with ExFat filesystem, Windows Vista x64 and Windows Server 2008. I have updated it :)
  4. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

    Arg,just when I thought I heard them all.What does DWC do differently then the others?Does it protect against killdisk.Good Gosh $89.00 for the Pro No thanks
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    No supposedly it allow's retaining everything thru a reboot. Going to test the new version now.
  6. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

    This made me think of the two people I know with the most minimal of setups.

    The first is a retired software engineer, 25+ years in business. He uses a Win98 system with no added security, not even a firewall. Win98 is very easy to secure - there are no "Services."

    The second is a self-employed writer, who uses WinXP secured by the Windows Firewall and Software Restriction Policies. Nothing else added.

  7. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

    Thanks peter for you reply, always appreciated.Please let us know what you think.
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Okay, I gave the latest version of Disk Write Copy Pro. I didn't test against malware, just to see it's capablitlites.

    The install went fine. First thing, is any mode changes require a reboot, so this is a bit of a negative. I put it in Normal mode and rebooted. Then I deleted 2 files from my desktop and rebooted. As with SD and Returnil, the files were back. Then I switched to Incremental mode, and rebooted. I again deleted the 2 files again. Rebooted and the 2 files were still gone. Then I switched the protection off, and rebooted, and the 2 files were back, so indeed things look promising.

    I then completely uninstalled Online Armor. The installation would be a good test, as when installing Online Armor, it starts up for initial set up and then has to be rebooted. I then put DWC in it's incremental mode, and installed Online Armor. Everything went fine, and then I rebooted as planned. Once the system was back up, Online Armor failed to start as it's service couldn't start. All the files were in place, but apparently Windows couldn't start it's service. Several reboots failed to do anything different. I switched off DWC's protection, rebooted, and indeed everything was gone.

    Uninstalled without incident.

    One last comment. In terms of using it as a normal run all day to protect your computer in lieu of other security software, not yet. You run it half the day, and suddenly discover a problem. You can reboot back to normal mode which gets rid of the malware, but also half a day's work. I saw no way to commit data prior to the reboot.

    In short DWC Pro looks promising, but at this stage I wouldn't say it's near worth it's price. Let's see what they can do with it.

  9. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

    Thanks peter nice testing sounds like it has great potential if it doesn't suffer support from lack of sales from the high price tag.
  10. BazileCCS

    BazileCCS Registered Member

    What do you mean?
  11. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

    The price differential of the Personal and Pro version is $29.95 vs. $89.95. In the consumer market, the Personal version is priced fine. Products like these really have to be (my personal opinion here) in a price point of $20-$40. Why? It's basically an "impulse purchase".

    Look at Shadow User Pro. Basically the most advanced product out there in that it is able to carry shadow sessions across reboots. It was priced at $69.95 for years. For this segment, the market really does appear to want to bear that cost, and there's no demand for the product. They've dropped it to $49.95, but the competition is now sitting between $25-$40. One can make the case that the ability to carry a shadow session across restarts has some value, but the product is a bit tainted by being undeveloped for a number of years now. When I purchased my own copy, it was basically on a sale at the $49.95 price point, and even then I sat on it for a while before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Compare that to the other 3 products which I purchased almost on a whim. That's even true with Returnils subscription model of $25/year. Clearly, in three years of use, the total cost of ownership would exceed the cost of any of the competitive products. However, in three years, if I am still using this product with the same regularly that I use it now, that won't bother me a bit, while an initial lump sum outlay - not knowing whether I would tire of it or find usage issues in 6 months - would be problematic. I can say that with some conviction since I have already purchased a second license for personal use on my main machine and will be renewing my original license when it comes up in March or so on a secondary machine. Shadow Defender is on my netbook (the fabulous Samsung NC10), while PowerShadow is not in the mix at the moment. Pricing is a real art and you really have to listen to the market and the competition.

    If I understood Pete's description correctly, a restart is required to change program modes. What that operationally means is that Disk Write Copy Pro is extremely close to ShadowUser Pro in feature set offerings. If you could enter a virtualized session on the fly and carry sessions across restarts, there would be a cogent reason to premium price the product. However, right now that functionality doesn't appear to be in the Pro version and, if the Disk Write Copy Pro feature set is as I understand it, ShadowUser Pro is a much cheaper solution. In essence, they're your competition now, but if you really want to gain traction, you need to look at the other products mentioned in this thread, they are your real competition at the moment.

    It's minor, but as I note above, being able to enter virtualized sessions on the fly was what turned me from a very occasional user of ShadowUser Pro when I had it installed to a continuing user of Returnil/Shadow Defender/PowerShadow. This simple feature is huge in making this enter genre of applications something that becomes a used product - at least in my opinion and I still realize that it is something of a niche market.

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Two other big factors.

    1) While retaining files across reboot worked, installing a product that needed a reboot, was unable to start it's services. So the advantage DWC might have over say Returnil and SD in being able to test software that need's a reboot, still isn't there.

    2) Worse still as I pointed out with no type of ability to commit some changes making them permanent to run in incremental mode as protection from infection is of greatly diminished value, as you would also loose any documents created. Granted you need not protect all drives, but still I consider this a significant disadvantage.


    PS. Please don't take this the wrong way. It's to everyone's benefit to see you succeed. We are just pointing out an outsiders view to help you.
  13. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

    Awesoome summary:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  14. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

    It makes great differnece for me too since an image restore itself takes just a minute , hence i have dumped shadow user pro for the time being.
  15. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

    Thanks for the update Blue! I wonder if Returnil has registry virtualization yet.
    I own Returnil and it hasn't failed me yet. It keeps getting better and better.
  16. Dan_Aykroyd

    Dan_Aykroyd Registered Member

    Great post OP!

    About the "desired behavior" of entering "shield" mode on the fly and carrying it over sessions, I have to say that Acronis Try & Decide, in the latest 11 version, does exactly that!

    I've read that for some users I wasn't working OK, but I extensively used it in Windows 7 RC 1 7100 and let me tell you that it worked great!

    The only caveat to the app is that you have to create a hidden partition (an Acronis hidden one) for it to hold the changes (plus other backups you might do). I assigned it 25 GB out of my 250 GB disk and that's it.

    So to clarify, with Acronis Try & Decide you can:

    - Toggle a start on the fly of the guard mode
    - Keep the guard session through reboots
    - Apply the changes on the fly, or discard them with a reboot

    Hope this helps... see ya1
  17. minasmwl

    minasmwl Registered Member

    great thread with wonderfull information
  18. Joeythedude

    Joeythedude Registered Member

    Are you using Try and Decide with ATI Home 2009 or another Acronis product ?

    I don't know what version 11 refers to :)
  19. Dan_Aykroyd

    Dan_Aykroyd Registered Member

    Sorry for not being clear :shifty: ! I was referring to ATI Home 2009; it's the one that has those feature (on the fly toggle to protection mode and keeping track across sessions). There's even a trial in their site.
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