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Cachengo Offers Premises/Cloud Backups For SMBs

Startup Cachengo has launched a hybrid storage service that combines on-site file-sharing and backup appliances with an optional cloud storage service for resiliency and disaster recovery. The on-site appliances, called Directors, act as file servers to let users share and swap documents and other files. Director appliances support CIFS, NFS and iSCSI and can integrate with Active Directory and LDAP to support user authentication to files. The appliances also serve as a disk-to-disk backup platform for PCs and servers, including all data, OS and applications. Cachengo says Director can restore a PC or server from bare metal. In addition, all Directors are pre-provisioned to connect to off-site storage hosted by Cachengo. Customers can switch on this option to have a second copy for disaster recovery or simply peace of mind.

Several other companies are pursuing SMBs with hybrid premises/online backup. For instance, Egnyte lets customers choose their own storage hardware. Egnyte's software sits on the hardware and can pass data up to the cloud. Users can access files locally, or from a custom Web site. Another startup, CTERA, sells the CloudPlug, a hardware file share that lets users back up files locally and online. However, both Egnyte and CTERA focus only on files, not full OS and application backups.

Cachengo's Director appliances come in several configurations. The CD100 series are 1U devices with 2Tbytes or 6Tbytes of SATA drives and cost $4,000 and $6,000 respectively. The CD1200 is a 1U device and offers 8Tbytes of storage for $12,000. Multiple CD100 and CD1200 appliances can be clustered to increase premises storage. CEO Mike Young says as many as fifty appliances can be clustered. Agent software is available to back up PCs and servers. The agent supports the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Organizations can also skip the agent and use their existing backup software, such as NetBackup. The Director can also be set up to simply allow users to drag folders to back them up without the need for the agent.

In addition to serving files and storing backups, the CD100 and CD1200 can also serve as a virtualization platforms, though the CD1200 is best suited for this use. Cachengo says the appliance can run virtual machines so companies can run their servers directly on the appliance. The CD1200 has native support for the Xen 3.4 hypervisor, but can also run VMs from VMware or Hyper-V. It has eight CPU cores and up to 96Gbytes of memory. By using the appliance as a virtualization platform, if a server crashes or software becomes corrupted, a virtual backup can be quickly spun up, reducing downtime.

The optional Cachengo Cloud Service (C2S) costs 20 cents per Gbyte per month. The company says it has no contracts and no minimum storage requirement, and also says that if a customer's on-premises appliance is destroyed, the company can copy the customer's data to a replacement appliance and overnight it. Data stored to the cloud is encrypted. Cachengo says its servers are collocated in a SaaS 70-compliant facility, but declined to provide more details. Cachengo targets small and medium businesses of up to 100 or so employees, as well as branch and remote offices of larger enterprises.