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The Bare Metal Facts

12:05 PM -- This last while, the industry focus on backup and archiving for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has produced a series of observations that seem to have taken hold. In conferences, announcements, and user testimonials, the following basic tenets of SMB backup have emerged:

  • SMBs think archiving and backup go hand-in-glove.
  • SMBs think data restoral is the whole point of backup and archiving. After all, the effort to track changes and save data is aimed at getting it back if something goes wrong.
  • SMBs would prefer to deal with a bundled hardware/software solution from one vendor, instead of buying point products.
  • SMBs don't have savvy operations folk to deal with storage.
  • SMBs are looking to get off tape and onto disk archiving.

How come the big storage suppliers aren't listening?

Oh, they claim to be. Every time you turn around, HP, IBM, EMC, NetApp, and others are in your face about their SMB support. But scratch the surface, and that support gets more complicated.

Take bare metal restoral, for instance. The ability to bring up a server from the ground up, operating system and all, doesn't come as part of SMB backup/archiving systems from EMC, HP, or IBM. (See Unitrends Steps Up.) And yet, the combination of disk drives, tape interfaces, and backup/archiving capabilities is key to SMB offerings from all of them.

EMC's AX150, for instance, does not support bare metal restoral. To get that, you have buy a program called Insignia on top of the $6,000-plus you'll pay for the AX150.

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