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Asigra Updates Cloud Backup, Extends NetApp Partnership

Asigra's Cloud Backup software update, Version 11.2, offers deeper array snapshot integration, increased support for virtualization and mobile devices, increased performance, and service delivery enhancements. In addition, the company is extending its strategic partnership with NetApp to provide what it says is the first fully vetted joint offering from the NetApp Cloud Solutions Team--a data-processing-as-a-service solution that is intended to make it easier for telecommunications companies to launch backup services more quickly (in as little as six months, compared with up to 36 months). Both products are intended primarily for the high-end Tier 1 telecommunications market.

"End users are increasingly relying on array-based snapshots and replication for data protection, but what they really want is tight integration between backup software and snapshots," says Dave Simpson, senior analyst for storage at 451 Research. "This is what Asigra is providing in Cloud Backup 11.2 and in the data-protection-as-a-service collaboration deal with NetApp."

Last June, Asigra added handheld device support to Cloud Backup, as well as improvements intended to make the software more attractive to providers, such as performance improvements of up to 400% and support for 10-Gbps interfaces. The company claims it is the first backup, recovery and restore (BURR) product to support handheld devices, including devices running the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

The NetApp-Asigra data-processing-as-a-service system consists of core NetApp hardware that leverages the single unified storage operating system that NetApp provides, married with Asigra Cloud Backup software in order to create a best-of-breed solution, says Doug Ko, director of strategic alliances and product marketing for Toronto-based Asigra. It is intended for large telecommunications and service providers, and addresses all carrier markets, including mobile, consumer, enterprise-class business, and small to midsize business. Neither company is licensing the other's hardware or software, but instead is offering a joint sale that overlays sales and marketing teams from the two companies, he says.

Version 11.2 offers improved array snapshot integration that, at the customer site, provides faster and more reliable data capture from snapshots, provides concurrent snapshots across multiple data volumes and supports NetApp. In the data center, improved array snapshot integration offers faster recovery, as well as offsite replication, disaster recovery and archiving. In addition to supporting NetApp, the software now supports Symantec's network-attached storage offering.

The software now supports VMware 5.0, which offers a performance improvement of up to three times, support for Cluster Hyper-V and support for XenServer 6.0. In the area of mobile support, the software enables enterprise mobile device backup and telco mobility backup service, offering a single back-end repository. In addition, it now supports the Apple iPhone iOS 5 Google Android 4.0 operating systems.

With it, the software means that a company can provide backup for mobile devices, whether the devices themselves are corporate-sanctioned or not, Ko says. While such functionality could theoretically be used for purposes associated with electronic discovery, that is not a focus for the company, he says. In addition, the software now takes advantage of an application programming interface to do backups and uses change-block-tracking technology to ensure that only the changed parts of files are saved and backed up.

The Cloud Backup software is priced on a capacity basis that starts at $5,000 for 1 Tbyte. It is available now.

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