Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud Storage Options Multiply

A diverse set of vendors and service providers are betting that online storage services -- better known by the buzzwords "cloud storage" -- will hold great appeal to enterprises large and small as the economic downturn, shrinking IT budgets, and reduced staffing put pressure on tech departments to cut costs while also storing and protecting growing stores of data. Two companies entered the online storage market this week with very different types of products.

Startup Axcient is offering a combination of a storage appliance and an online backup service that's designed give small and mid-sized business an easy way to do fast restores while also preserving data in a safe, remote location. CEO Justin Moore describes the combination as "hardware plus software-as-a-service" and says it will appeal to companies with five to 200 employees that have from 10 GB to 10 TB of data to protect.

"The SMB market is looking for more options to protect their data without spending a lot of money. With us there are no contracts and no commitments. We offer online storage for disaster recovery and local storage for fast recovery. Cloud storage is easy; recovery is hard. We've solved that with our storage appliance," Moore says.

Offered through resellers and systems integrators, Axcient is offering a family of appliances with a range of storage capacities that automatically connect to an off-site data center run by the company. The package includes a Linux-based operating system written by Axcient that's designed to make it easy to add new services and features, as well as provide centralized management, he says. The appliance discovers PCs and servers on the network, can do file- or folder-based backups, and compresses and encrypts the data before sending it to an off-site data center. Specific services include backup, archiving, disaster recovery, and server continuity, where the storage appliance takes an image of a server that it can run in case a server fails.

The system doesn't use agents or require the installation of any software, and multiple copies of data can be stored in different locations to provide greater redundancy, Moore says. Changes to crucial data can be continuously backed up to reduce backup windows. It works with Windows computers, Linux, and Macs. The product will be sold through the channel, and will start at less than $100 a month, depending on the storage capacity of the appliance and the amount of data stored off site.

  • 1