UCG Partners with MaxAva, Expands DR and HA Capabilities
March 23, 2009 Dan Burger
United Computer Group (UCG), a provider of online backup services, is one of the proponents of managed services for the Power Systems i platform. It has been making progress with a backup and recovery service called VAULT400 since UCG introduced it to the AS/400 market in September 2006. Now it’s moved into the high availability arena by partnering with Maximum Availability to offer real-time replication of data–what is called “hot backup” in the lingo–for companies that require short recovery times.
The addition of Maximum Availability’s *noMAX will provide UCG with a managed solution option for organizations that have a recovery time objective (RTO) of one hour or less. UCG’s VAULT400 tiered recovery service formerly provided one-hour, 12-hour, or 24-hour RTOs. In all cases, the data is replicated to highly secured and managed data centers. Not only does UCG provide a safe repository for customers’ data, in many cases it helps eliminate their reliance on tape.
The minimizing of both planned and unplanned downtime is a growing concern in i shops that are being squeezed by 24-hour-a-day uptime requirements and tape backup policies at odds with data availability demands and regulatory compliance.
Jim Kandrac, president of UCG, says the selection of *noMAX was made after a comprehensive evaluation process from a range of high availability and disaster recovery solutions. “Being a single source for a wide range of remote data storage and disaster recovery solutions means that customers can leverage our knowledge and ultimately obtain a solution that best suits their requirements. With solutions that cover a broad spectrum, we are unbiased and can do what’s best for our clients,” Kandrac says.
The customer bases for UCG and Maximum Availability primarily consist of small-to-mid-sized organizations that run smaller i boxes. Officials at both companies believe that SMB companies are ready to offload some of their IT burdens and trade hardware and software purchases and licensing agreements for monthly service contracts. UCG has found this to be true in its existing customer base and Maximum Availability recently pushed into the SMB space with subscription-based pricing on its high availability software.
UCG operates data centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia, and they provide the hot backup sites for its managed DR and HA services. For the past 23 years, the company has been an IBM reseller for all of its servers excepting mainframes. It also has a partnership agreement with VAI that allows the ERP software maker to resell UCG services to the VAI installed base.
Back in February, we previewed the tiered DR and managed services strategy that UCG was putting together and which the partnership with Maximum Availability is but a part of.