Asempra Assembles $20M

DR startup ready to prove it's a different flavor of continuous data protection

February 22, 2006

3 Min Read
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Asempra Technologies doesn't think of itself as a continuous data protection (CDP) company, but it has scored $20 million in Series B funding at least in part because of its CDP momentum. (See Asempra Secures $20M.)

Asempra, which calls itself a business continuity software provider, is among the first companies to claim a granular form of CDP that allows users to not only return to a previous point in time to recover data, but to earmark a specific item in the application for rapid recovery. So far, it's an approach touted mainly by Mendocino Software, whose event-based CDP debuted last fall. (See Mendocino Makes an Event of CDP.)

Asempra claims to be even more granular than Mendocino, though the comparison might be a matter of semantics. Using software installed on a 1U, Linux-based appliance called the Business Continuity Server, Asempra continuously tracks Windows files, Microsoft Exchange, and SQL databases by transaction, execs say. (See Asempra Launches Server .) This enables users to recover entire files based on specific words, database items, or other minutiae.

According to Asempra execs, their wares not only get back the transaction specified, but guarantee that the rest of the surrounding document or database is consistent. That is, all part of the same version.

"Our CDP is transaction aware... There's no storage snapshot, no block-level activity," boasts VP of marketing and products Marty Ward, who was formerly director of product marketing at Veritas. Instead of tracking big blocks or files, he claims Asempra focuses at the byte level.The distinction has helped Asempra score an unspecified number of customers. (On that count and other specifics, Ward's keeping mum.) Among the early adopters is Kern Weissman, director of infrastructure at CD&L, a ground delivery and logistics company that operates throughout the U.S.

Six months ago, Weissman evaluated backup products from FalconStor, Kashya, and Revivio -- as well as Asempra -- as potential backup products for the firm's nearly 6-Tbyte data store on 40-odd servers (both Windows and Linux). His team picked Asempra because they liked its data consistency guarantee and the fact that CD&L had the option to restore data to a live environment as well as to a backup server. Other vendors didn't offer this combination of features, he reports. What's more, Asempra told him they planned to support Linux servers and data replication in the future, though no neither he nor Asempra are sharing the dates for these additions.

Weissman and his team bought into Asempra's claims after conducting a successful six-month trial that ended a month ago. Still, CD&L's commitment was relatively modest: While he can't say how much he spent, Weissman is only protecting 1.5 Tbytes of Windows-based data with the new appliance. He'll add more protection as Asempra makes it available for Linux.

Of course, Asempra must now live up to its promises. That's where the new money comes in. Ward says the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm will beef up its 60-employee workforce with additional sales, marketing, and support personnel. There's also a move on to expand the company's direct sales model with appropriate resellers -- a key move to help compete with Mendocino's OEM deal with EMC.

Asempra was founded in 2003 by Dan Fraisl, CEO, who formerly worked at Network24 Communications, an Internet broadcasting software company acquired by Akamai Technologies, and by Siew Sim-Tang, CTO, who is an expert in WAN file systems.Menlo Ventures, USVP, and Polaris Ventures contributed to this round.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Asempra Technologies

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Kashya Inc.

  • Mendocino Software

  • Revivio Inc.

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