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Seagate polishes mirrored drive, backup service for SMEs

Real-time and remote services and RAID 1 Maxtor box

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Updated Seagate's i365 has added near-real-time EVault data protection offerings for small businesses, along with a disaster recovery service, plus a mirrored Maxtor backup storage server for the do-it-yourselfers.

DIY Backup

The single-drive Maxtor Central Axis external storage box announced in June has gained a brother, a twin-drive product sold in mirrored (RAID 1) configuration. This Central Axis Business Edition (CABE) comes with two 1TB drives, meaning 1TB of usable space, and support for up to twenty networked servers running Windows XP or Vista, or Mac OS X. Their data can be automatically backed up to the new box. Incremental backups are supported and a couple of USB ports means that an external drive can be connected to backup the Central Axis itself. External backup disks could be taken offsite in a rotation scheme to provide extra protection.

The other USB port could be used to hook up a shareable printer. A neat touch is that the CABE box can be securely accessed via a web browser to give remote access to your files. (No need for clunky FTP.) If a CABE drive fails then the customer can replace it himself.

Seagate is competing directly with its channel, the Buffalos, the La Cies, the Iomegas, for SOHO and SME small networked server business. How soon before it has a 3-drive array or a 4-drive one? It already has a network-attached storage (NAS) box in the shape of the Maxtor Shared Storage II (2X 1TGB SATA drives for $649.99 - say £445).

It's not going to compete with its server channel partners or its main storage array partners like EMC and NetApp but it is going full tilt into the external storage area for customers in the SME and below category.

Maxtor's CABE will be available in November UPDATE - Seagate has pushed availability back to February 2009 - and no price was supplied. The 1TB single drive Central Axis can be found online for around £175 so expect a price between that and about £400.

Faster SME and SOHO protection services

Seagate's services company, i365, has added three new services to its EVault online backup and recovery software. They are for SMEs who want near-continuous protection and faster restoration. The Real Time Protection service will backup files with intervals as short as five minutes to offer a near-continuous protection service. It offers volume-level protection of Windows 2003, 2008, and XP with fast restoration of entire volumes or individual files from a local data store

System Restore is said to offer a recovery in minutes onto similar or dissimilar hardware, or a virtual machine. Ii is available as an extension to EVault Software or Real Time Protection which, in turn, is available as an extension to the main EVault software product. System Restore integrates directly with EVault backup products, and can recover system, applications and data in a single pass

Remote Disaster Recovery is a third new, and hosted, service and it comprises a warm standby site for a guided recovery and virtual access to servers when the supported site is down. Apparently operational systems and data can be recovered in 24-48 hours.

An ESG Research Report, Data Protection Market Trends, published in January, is cited by i365 to claim that more than half of mid-market organisations can only tolerate four hours or less of downtime before having significant revenue losses or other bad business news.

No pricing information was supplied, but the services are said to be available through i365.

Seagate, in the shape of i365, can now offer data protection software to safeguard against this, a service to provide disaster recovery and, through Maxtor, a mirrored twin disk product for people who want to protect themselves. For Seagate, third-party SME backup software and hardware is fair game for its competitive attack. ®

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