Backup Storage Appliance Vendor 3X Systems Offers 'Bare Metal Recovery'

Remote data backup appliance maker 3X Systems today introduced version 3.0 of its product line for private cloud environments at small and midsize businesses. The upgrade offers, among other new features, bare metal recovery. With bare metal recovery, if a system crashes and has to be replaced, all the data and software applications that were on it, including updates, can be installed on the new machine so that it operates exactly like the old one.

January 11, 2011

3 Min Read
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Remote data backup appliance maker 3X Systems today introduced version 3.0 of its product line for private cloud environments at small and midsize businesses. The upgrade offers, among other new features, bare metal recovery. With bare metal recovery, if a system crashes and has to be replaced, all the data and software applications that were on it, including updates, can be installed on the new machine so that it operates exactly like the old one.

Bare metal recovery is just one of a number of upgrades in the new version of 3X's 500 and Tera Series backup appliances. Also new is a feature called "granular recovery," which allows a system administrator to restore specific files on a computer, such as a lost document or e-mail, from the backup appliance.

This is a fairly routine task for an IT administrator, but it can be time-consuming, which makes 3X's management solution ideal, says David Hill, founder of the Mesabi Group, a storage research and consulting company. "What happens a lot of times is you don't get a full disaster. You may get a local disaster where you have a disk go down or someone accidentally deletes a file," says Hill. "It's a simple thing, but it can take a lot of the system administrator's time."

The company is targeting SMBs in the health care, financial, non-profit and professional services sectors because enterprise-scale data backup technology can be too expensive, says Alan Arman, CEO of 3X Systems. Arman adds that 3X targets companies of between 30 and 700 employees.

The appliances run on Microsoft Windows systems supporting applications such as Microsoft Exchange for e-mail and SQL Server for databases. Version 3.0 also supports virtualization environments from Microsoft, Oracle and VMware. The products back up a customer's data over the Internet to a remote location, and offer data deduplication, encryption, security and disaster recovery capabilities.The backup appliances can be up and running in as few as 6-and-a-half minutes, says Arman, and give IT administrators one console through which to manage all the servers, desktops and laptops on their network. The bare metal recovery feature makes restoring data on a machine easier for the administrator and the end user.

"Once it's done, you have your system back exactly as you had it before it crashed. It's everything that was on your hard drive, the way it was configured with all applications and system updates. Everything," says Arman.

Arman identifies companies such as Acronis, Carbonite and Mozy as competitors in the online data backup space, but shared a price comparison between 3X's offering and MozyPro: In a situation where 2.5 terabytes of data was stored on five servers and 50 PCs, the five-year cost of the 3X solution would be only $24,000, versus MozyPro's $88,200.

Mesabi Group's Hill also identifies Asigra and Iron Mountain's LiveVault as key players in remote online data backup. "A lot of storage vendors are focusing on the SMB market, including the larger vendors, because it's a very important space," says Hill. "Helping those organizations manage their data centers better is important."

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