Consonus Offers Online Backups for IBM i Data
September 21, 2010 Alex Woodie
Organizations looking for an online backup provider for their IBM i data can add another provider to their list: Consonus Technologies. The Cary, North Carolina, company, which provides application and data center hosting service, recently started to offer online backup services for IBM i with its Remote Backup Services (RBS) offering.
Demand for online backup solutions is growing as organizations seek cheaper and more reliable forms of disaster recovery (DR) solutions than tape-based backups alone can offer. An ABI Research forecast says the online backup business will grow at nearly 30 percent per year through 2015, when it will be a $372 million business (according to the Online Backup Knowledge Base).
The advantages of online backup are clear to businesses: By sending backups over the network to a central vault, customers can ensure their data is protected from a local site disaster, without incurring the costs of transporting the tape themselves, or hiring a vendor like Iron Mountain to drive the tape for them. And in many cases, recovery from an online vault is easier and more reliable than recovering from tapes, which are prone to stretching and other media problems.
There is a wide spectrum of online backup vendors who support consumer-oriented platforms like Windows and Mac OS/X. Mozy and Carbonite have developed huge businesses offering online protection for the consumer and home-and-small business markets.
For business platforms like Unix, Linux, and IBM i, the list of vendors offering online backup technology and solutions is a little more exclusive. In the case of IBM i, many online backup vendors have adopted the agent-based backup technology first developed by Evault, which now goes by the name i365, and which is a subsidiary of disk drive giant Seagate . Vault400 is one established online backup vendor that has licensed the i365 vaulting technology to drive its data vaulting business.
Consonus Technologies uses the Asigra technology in its RBS solution to remotely back up data from a host of platforms, including IBM i, Windows Linux, Unix, Mac OS/X, and Netware. With RBS, Consonus offers data compression and de-duplication, as well as encryption. The company claims that Asigra is the only online backup technology vendor to have its solution FIPS 140-2 certified.
Consonus supports i5/OS V5R4 and IBM i 6.1 with its RBS service, which is hosted in the company’s SAS70 Type II data center. Customers who have made the move to IBM i 7.1 will need to inquire about support for the new OS, or look elsewhere. The company does not yet have any IBM i reference accounts but is close to closing several deals, a company spokesperson said.
In addition to backups, Consonus has the data center space to serve as a co-location facility for IBM Power Systems and System i servers. Housing a backup IBM i server in the same location as a customer’s data provides excellent synergies, notes a company spokesperson.
Pricing for Consonus RBS is based on how much data the customer has backed up. Pricing starts at $2.50 per gigabyte per month, and goes down to about $1 per GB per month for larger data volumes. For more information on Consonus Technologies, see its website at www.consonus.com.