VAULT400 Offers Free Insurance with ‘Quick-Ship’
November 6, 2007 Alex Woodie
There’s nothing like a good disaster to make one realize the value of insurance and planning. Without putting in the time, money, and effort to prepare, there can be no assurance that things will turn out well on the other side. United Computer Group, which is in the disaster recovery business with its VAULT400 online backup service, gave its iSeries customers the equivalent of a free insurance policy last week when it unveiled its new Quick-Ship program.
It’s been just over a year since UCG formally launched its VAULT400 online backup business, which is based on technology it OEMs from online backup pioneer EVault. By providing a way for System i customers to back up their data over the Internet to UCG’s data center (after it’s compressed and encrypted, of course), UCG is helping customers shrink their backup windows while improving their disaster preparedness, particularly among small and mid-size businesses.
With the new Quick-Ship program, UCG is now helping VAULT400 customers recover from disasters, not just prepare for them ahead of time. Under Quick-Ship, UCG is promising to ship to customers within 48 hours a System i machine that they can use to recover their data and applications.
UCG is offering Quick-Ship free of charge to all VAULT400 customers with current subscriptions. In other words, it’s a feature of VAULT400. Users must pay for the cost of the replacement server and shipping, but that’s it. The only other thing required of the VAULT400 customer is sending UCG an e-mail stating the model of System i server along with CPW, storage, and memory resources. (Obviously, this must be done before the disaster, so UCG knows what to send.)
From a competitive standpoint, VAULT400’s Quick-Ship program would appear to line up favorably against the managed DR services offered by the likes of Sungard and IBM Business Continuity and Recovery Services (BCRS)–particularly for smaller companies that run the iSeries.
“We evaluated our current program as well as others offered in the marketplace and decided to include this offering at no additional charge to current and future VAULT400 subscribers,” UCG president Jim Kandrac said, making no mention of the companies listed in the paragraph above. “We found that many firms were looking to get out of or cancel current agreements with other providers that simply weren’t cost effective. They had been paying a monthly ongoing fee to other providers and receiving virtually nothing in return. For the same amount or less, they could receive a valuable service and be protected with a quick ship program in case of disaster.”
It may not be completely fair to compare VAULT400 against Sungard or IBM BCRS when you consider those vendors must be prepared to ship an array of servers and other IT equipment–not to mention office space and other business essentials–to the largest companies around the globe at the drop of a hat (or an asteroid). But when you consider that VAULT400 is providing DR boxes at cost, within 48 hours, and is providing data vaulting in the meantime, it could make a lot of sense for smaller System i shops to consider VAULT400.
One such customer is Lorraine Home Fashions, a North Carolina manufacturer of drapes, shower curtains, and bedding products. The System i shop signed up as a VAULT400 customer, and found the Quick Ship program to be a bonus.
“We didn’t have a formal disaster recovery plan in place and the HA products available today are too expensive for a small to medium company such as ours,” says Dave Caudle, MIS manager at LHF. “The DR Quick Ship Program fits the bill very nicely, and we don’t pay for it unless we use it. At that point, insurance will pick up the cost and a system will be on the way to our Charlotte facility or UCG’s data center should we elect to have it shipped there.”
Subscriptions to VAULT400 start at $ 220 per month for 100 GB of raw data. Subscriptions for 1 TB starts at $1,500 per month. For more info, see www.vault400.com.