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Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new software package to be distributed free with its Sure Store range of tape drives. This comes as Banner, a US research company release the finding of a recently completed study of the market for backup software in the US, UK and Europe. The research found that the three most important features customers look for are disaster recovery, ease of use and error reporting. Backup solutions are currently chosen from one of three main options: operating system backup applets; independent vendors software solutions; and free in-box solutions, like the one launched by HP. Each of these solutions is aimed at a different section of the market. HP's solution, Stac's Replica backup, is targeting the entry level to mid range server market segment - the biggest slice of the market. The survey from Banner found that 60 per cent of people use a dedicated software backup product. HP is trying to address the areas raised in the survey by Banner. The Replica software has drag-and-drop restore functions, one button backup, open file backup, built in scheduling and an installation/configuration wizard. It does not have a disaster recovery option, although this can be bought separately for about $150. The storage management software market grew by nearly 20 per cent between 1996 and 1997 according to IDC, but many people do not have proper protection from data loss. Paul Mason, an analyst at IDC, said: "A backup tool is not complete without open file backup, scheduling and disaster recovery." ®

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