SafeData Launches Hosting Service for HA and DR
July 26, 2005 Alex Woodie
An iSeries high availability business partner has spun off its hot site hosting business into a separate company with the goal of providing small and medium size businesses with IT resources to get their business back up and running after a disaster. SafeData, which formally launched last week, promises to put iSeries and Windows applications back online from between two and 48 hours, depending on the recovery time objectives of the client.
Peter Briggs, president and CEO of SafeData, gained experience implementing and running iSeries high availability systems with Application Design Services, a hardware reseller and consultancy that he founded in 1995. As a Lakeview Technology business partner, ADS gained expertise with the MIMIX suite of HA software.
“I started to develop an ASP [application service provider] model around high availability, and decided to take the company to the next level,” Briggs says. Briggs found a partner in Larry Putterman, who developed a successful shoe business in the Dominican Republic, and decided to launch SafeData in Warwick, Rhode Island. With the jumpstart provided by ADS, SafeData already has nearly 20 customers, and a revenue stream of about $2 million a year, Briggs says.
While larger companies often have the money and manpower needed to buy and run a high availability environment by themselves, SMBs companies rarely can justify the expense of redundant hardware. SafeData hopes to service this unmet need by enabling SMBs to pool their resources into a shared model and making better use of SafeData’s iSeries and Windows servers and other IT equipment located at two East Coast data centers.
SafeData has three offerings, including SafeData/HA, SafeData/DR, and SafeData/HS. Under SafeData/HA, companies replicate their data in real-time to SafeData’s servers using one of several packages available on the market, including Lakeview’s MIMIX and iTera‘s Echo2 for OS/400 data replication, or NSI Software‘s DoubleTake for Windows data replication.
With SafeData/HA, companies are responsible for implementing and managing the HA software, but they don’t have the added expense of buying and maintaining a secondary server, which is often one of the most expensive components of an HA implementation. In the event of a disaster, companies can failover to the iSeries and Windows servers located at SafeData’s data centers, where they have been replicating their production data. The recovery time objective (RTO) for SafeData/HA is two hours or less.
SafeData recognizes that all organizations do not need real-time (or near-real-time) failover capabilities, and for these organizations, the company offers SafeData/DR, which carries an RTO promise of 10 hours or less. With SafeData/DR, clients send point-in-time “snapshots” of their data to SafeData at intervals ranging from every hour to every day. The software that takes these snapshots and sends them across the wire is developed by EVault, which introduced an iSeries backup agent less than a year ago (see “EVault Brings Online Backups to the iSeries”). EVault now supports most major platforms.
Like SafeData, EVault operates data centers where very large storage arrays keep customers’ data safe and sound. The difference between the two companies’ business models is EVault doesn’t provide the servers on which to perform the restore. “If you hire them to do the vaulting, and you lose your data center, they’ll restore the data onto a portable device, and ship it to your designated locations,” Briggs says. “It’s great in that your data is protected and ready to go. But it’s bad in the sense that, if you don’t have a facility [then you have nowhere to restore your data].”
SafeData/HS is for companies that don’t require speedy restores. This offering carries an RTO of 48 hours or less, and involves manual recovery from tape or other removable storage medium.
Briggs says all of his services offerings will save customers money. The SafeData/HA offering, which he says carries a price tag of about $4,000 per month for iSeries shops replicating 500 GB of data, saves clients 30 to 40 percent off the cost of hosting the secondary server themselves, Briggs says. Pricing for the SafeData/DR offering is also based on the amount of data being backed up, and averages about $1,000 per month.
This article has been corrected since it was first published. EVault does assist customers with restores, although it doesn’t provide the servers on which customers can perform restores. IT Jungle regrets the error. [Correction made 07/28/05.]