Lasso Joins CDP Roundup

EEEaww!! Tiny startup aims CDP at the low end. Git along, there, SMBs!

March 12, 2005

3 Min Read
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With continuous data protection (CDP) still emerging and evolving in the enterprise, along comes a startup promising to deliver CDP to SMBs.

San Francisco-based Lasso Logic is getting ready to come out of stealth next month with LassoCDP, an appliance that will allow small businesses to back up their data to remote sites (see Backup Company Loses Data).

This raises two questions: Does the world really need another CDP vendor, and is CDP a bit of overkill for small businesses?

Lasso Logic CEO Steve Goodman answers yes and no, respectively. Goodman says he got the idea for his product when he tried in vain to find adequate backup for his own small business, a non-profit company called Jefferson Medical that sells diabetic medical supplies.

Backup products weren’t solving our pain,” he says. “Tape was reliable, but I always had an issue when I tried to recover. HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] issues came back to bite us when we had an audit from Medicare. HIPAA required us to take our data offsite, but I didn’t want to pay Iron Mountain or another service.”Goodman says he tried SMB backup software such as Dantz [now part of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)] and Yosemite Technologies Inc., and offline providers such as EVault Inc. and LiveVault Corp.He says the former were good for onsite and the later for offsite backup, but none gave him enough control over his data both onsite and remotely.

That’s when Goodman, who formerly managed developers at Anderson Consulting, rounded up his old team. He hired four of his former developers, pulled in $2 million of angel funding, and started Lasso Logic to create backup software for small businesses. That was 10 months ago. Goodman says his product is in beta with about 15 customers evaluating it.

CDP refers to software that makes ongoing updates to the data it replicates, so it is possible to restore the data from a specific point in time. Lasso’s CDP software runs on a network-based appliance containing a hard drive. It requires client software to be loaded on all of the PCs and laptops on the network. When users save data, it gets backed up on the appliance and Lasso’s offsite data hosting center. Lasso primarily supports Exchange, SQL Server and other Windows-based applications, and small business applications such as ACT and QuickBooks.

Lasso will sell through resellers, but Goodman expects a typical installation to cost around $800 plus a $100 monthly subscription for offsite hosting. Goodman says his product is in beta with about 15 customers evaluating it.

Meanwhile, the CDP field is filling up. A Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) CDP special interest group initiated last month drew 14 charter members (see CDP Gets SNIA'd). Several have been selling CDP products for at least six months, such as Alacritus Software Inc., Mendocino Software, Revivio Inc., TimeSpring Software Corp., Storactive Inc., and XOsoft. (See Revivio Revs Up With $25M, Startups Go the Distance, and Alacritus Debuts Continuous Backup).Lasso’s focus on small businesses -- and its small price tag -- set the 10-person company apart for now. Eventually, Goodman says that will change. “My background is the enterprise,” Goodman says of his days at Anderson. “We’re headed north in our approach as far as the business we’re dealing with.”

As for the need for CDP, Goodman says SMBs in medical, digital imaging, accounting, and legal verticals can benefit.

“Take a radiology office,” he says. “There’s downtime between the time that ultrasound hits the network and is backed up. What if they have to go back in a few weeks, and they don’t have a snapshot from two weeks ago? Or a law firm that bills $300 an hour. If they have a file corrupted, they can go back five minutes before the corruption. They can save hours of recreating the file.”

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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