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Phil Gilmour has learned the value of backing up -- the hard way: As an accountant, he lost valuable financial data due to a system failure. The crisis led him to a new career as head of a technology company.

I was a CPA for umpteen years,” says Gilmour, CEO of storage services provider EVault Inc. “I was always involved with technology as a fun thing, because accounting was so damn boring.”

During Gilmour’s accounting days, his company ran a service allowing customers to manage 401K plans online. Then the database failed. “I always thought accountants were anal people and would have it all backed up; but I’ll be darned, we were backing up corrupt data on tape and it didn’t restore. I lost lots of money and market data."

The experience prompted a life change. Gilmour bought his own small backup company in 1997, re-named it EVault, and moved it from Toronto to Walnut Creek, Calif. Today, Gilmour’s customers are people like himself who fundamentally distrust tape. Although EVault does offer tape backup, most of its business is disk-based backup products and services.

“We find that companies are anxious to give up tape,” he says. “There’s no question tape is a much more burdensome methodology, a 40-year-old methodology born out of old mainframe technology."

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