On the face of it, news that backup appliance maker ExaGrid now works with EMC's Networker software seems, well, mundane. (See ExaGrid Supports EMC NetWorker.) But closer scrutiny tells a tale of notable progress in a short amount of time.
Certification with Networker is just the latest in a slew of compatibilities unveiled in the last year. Besides Networker, ExaGrid now supports CA ARCServe, Symantec Backup Exec, Symantec NetBackup, CommVault Galaxy, and Microsoft SQL Dump. (See Symantec Certifies ExaGrid, CommVault Certifies ExaGrid, and CA Certifies ExaGrid.) Support of IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager is in the works, the vendor says.
OK, so that list is pretty predictable, too. But at least one analyst thinks it points to ExaGrid's vigorous push into the SME market.
"There are a bunch of things I think they're doing right," says analyst Brad O'Neill of the Taneja Group consultancy. "This shows they're abstracting out the backup vendor selection process from how customers should store data." Clearly, ExaGrid doesn't want to miss any opportunity to work with any kind of backup server.
ExaGrid's goal is to offer a modular SATA disk-based data storage system that takes data off backup servers, reduces its bulk via byte-level de-duplication (as opposed to file-level de-dupe), and stores it on multiple sites. Up to six ExaGrid appliances can be linked in a load- and capacity-balancing grid, the vendor claims. According to Fred Pinkett, ExaGrid's VP of market development, a NAS interface eases use for SME users, whose firms can range in size from a few hundred to a few thousand users. Systems support 1 to 5 Tbytes of backup server data and start at prices around $20,000.