i365 Launches New EVault Backup Appliance, Cloud Storage Service
October 20, 2009 Alex Woodie
i365 last week introduced a pair of new storage solutions that work with System i and other platforms. The new EVault Plug-n-Protect backup appliance is a scaled down version of an existing EVault device that’s designed for small and mid size businesses, while the new EVault Offsite Replication Service allows customers to implement a hybrid cloud storage that utilizes i365’s data centers, and can even be used as a warm site for disaster recovery.
i365 is no stranger to the System i storage arena. The company, which was previously known as EVault and is a subsidiary of storage giant Seagate Technology, was one of the first companies to develop a native i OS storage agent that could be used to move System i backups over the wire to off-site facilities. The company has also been active in the OEM space, and has ties with several storage services companies active in the System i space, including Concentric, SafeData, SunGard, and Vault400.
Now the Santa Clara, California, company is ramping up efforts to push its storage technologies directly to customers. Last week the vendor attended the Storage Expo UK conference in London, where it unveiled a scaled down version of its Plug-n-Protect appliance, which was originally introduced in May with a starting capacity of 6 TB.
The folks at i365 and Seagate must have realized that many small businesses don’t need 6 TB of usable capacity. So they developed a slightly smaller version of the Plug-n-Protect appliance that starts at 3 TB, which is what they launched last week.
The new EVault Plug-n-Protect Small Business appliance features four 1 TB SATA drives manufactured (of course) by Seagate, configured for RAID 5, and paired with dual quad-core processors running a Windows Server OS. Atop this hardware, i365 installs the complete suite of EVault software, including the EVault Director, EVault Central Control, and EVault System Restore. Customers also get one EVault Plug-In and five EVault Agents (including the EVault Agent they need for IBM i) as part of their licenses.
In addition to the System i agent, i365 offers agents and plug-ins for a variety of platforms and applications, including Windows, NetWare, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, VMWare, Oracle‘s database, and Microsoft‘s SharePoint, Exchange, SQL Server, and Cluster Services.
On November 1, i365 will officially launch its new cloud service, called EVault Offsite Replication Service, which the company unveiled two weeks ago.
Offsite Replication will allow customers to save their backups on i365 servers installed in the company’s network of Tier III and IV SAS 70 Type II certified data centers. Customers can either manage the “cloud” backups themselves using the Evault software, or pay i365 to manage their backups for them.
Whether customers choose to manage their new i365 cloud themselves or pay i365 to do it for them, Offsite Replication uses several techniques to minimize the storage footprint. This includes using delta processing and compression at the point of backup, and de-duplication once the data resides with i365. End-to-end encryption is also available.
The new cloud service takes advantage of the same collection of agents and plug-ins that i365 sells with its new appliances, its bundled software suites, and its various managed services offerings. This allows IT organizations to centralize their backup and recovery processes on a single platform, according to Terry Cunningham, senior vice president and general manager of i365.
“We believe mid-sized businesses want the simplicity and efficiency of working within one integrated solution, and EVault gives them the ability to extend their data protection into the cloud using the same software they already know and trust,” Cunningham says, “while giving them the flexibility to custom-create the backup and recovery system best for them, whether it be on-premise, off-premise, or a combination of the two.”
i365 sees Offsite Replication as a good complement to other services it offers, namely EVault Remote Disaster Recovery. This solution expands customers’ access to i365 hardware, giving them the right to run their applications on virtual servers hosted and managed by i365. In the event of a disaster, i365 employees will work with customers to get their applications back up and running on i365’s hardware.
With the new appliance and cloud storage solution, i365 is showing that it’s no longer content to be a behind-the-scenes player in the OEM market, and wants to be a front-line partner for the spectrum of its customers’ backup and DR needs. Considering the company’s commitment to the System i platform, that is good news for readers of this newsletter.