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Persist Packs Away Email

Backup startup Persist Technologies Inc. leapt out of stealth this week, with an already-shipping appliance that it claims solves the problem of backing up email messages (see Persist Punches In).

Many companies are facing flooded inboxes and clogged backup servers as email volumes continue to explode, and business realities and regulations force companies to store their emails more securely and for longer periods of time. Persist says it addresses these problems with its AppStor appliance, which is purely dedicated to backing up and restoring reference data like email. The appliance can also be used for backing up other reference data, including office documents, medical imaging, and multimedia files.

"Reference data occupies about 50 percent of total storage today, and it gets very costly to keep that in expensive storage," says Persist CEO Paul O'Brian. "Were offloading all the excess onto our appliance... This is not only about being able to keep the information, but also about being able to make that information available."

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based startup’s appliance is based on proprietary software integrated with PC hardware from vendors like Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and incorporates the database structure needed to index and search the archives.

Persist says its appliance has been shipping since last December and is already pulling in revenues from three paying customers. [Ed. note: Wow! That's about one every two months!] In addition, the company says between six and eight companies are currently testing the box. Current customers include E*Trade Financial and the United States Army.

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