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Overland branches out

Adds replication and CDP product

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Joining the likes of Double-Take and Neverfail, Overland Storage is adding server protection to its product line with replication and continuous data protection.

The REO Business Continuity Appliance (BCA) is a rackmount Intel server plus embedded software and SATA Drives, attached by a LAN link to a small number of application servers. They run small footprint agent software which sends volume-level block changes to the BCA which, in turn, replicates them across a LAN or WAN link to a local or remote failover server. The BCA can also carry out schduled file-level protection.

This is a product for small and medium businesses, the ones who might buy Overland's REO disk backup or Snap network-attached storage (NAS) products.

THe host servers can be physical or virtual ones - VMware, Hyper-V and Citrix - and the Overland pitch is that you need a BCA when you can't endure data loss when a server fails, when backup sessions are too far apart. The recovery software is application-aware to the extent that it supports Exchange and SQL Server as well as Windows and Linux file systems. Exchange and SQL can be restored to a consistent state. Recovery is triggered by a button press, takes minutes, and can be to a particular point in time or to a bookmarked event.

Oveeland says it lowers bandwidth needs between the BCA and failover server through compression and coalescing techniques. Its use of appliances reduces the burden of host-based replication approaches. A profiling reporting function is claimed to help accurately provision network bandwidth and storage resources.

Support for SharePoint and Oracle will be added in the future.

The product has been developed with the help of contributing partners such as InMage for the continuous data protection technology.

Overland CEO Eric Kelly said the company had just closed its fiscal 2009 year and business grew in every region. Overland is recovering from dire mismanagement of its tape and disk-based data protection products in the past and has aqnnounced factoring deals in various geographies as well as a focus on the video surveillance market.

Kelly says the tape business is viable and strategic, with each dollar spent on hardware generating another dollar spent on services. The tape business will be with us for a long time he says, like the mainframe business. Overland is sticking to the LTO format and has no plans to embrace others, such as HP's DAT.

Overland recently bought the Snap NAS business from Adaptec for $3.6m and hopes that it can be grown to become successful again. There are no plans to add solid state drive support to it but, if SSD costs go down and market needs require it then Overland could change its mind.

The current Snap revenue run rate is thought to be around $4m quarter. Although the Snap NAS is under the radar for EMC Celerra and NetApp FAS products, it will face competition from EMC's Iomega unit which is now in the low-end NAS business.

There are two BCA products, with the 1U BCA 50 supporting up to five application servers and costing from £16,000 ($24,000). The larger 2U BCA 100 supports up to ten application servers. Both are available now. ®

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