Get Back On Your Feet With Fewer Hassles

Aug 25, 2002 (08:08 PM EDT)

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U niTrends Software Corp. wants to make backup and recovery easier for customers. The company's Data Protection Unit, unveiled last week, joins a suite of UniTrends software that already delivers cross-platform data protection.

The software includes BareMetal Plus, which backs up PCs and notebook computers connected to a network so data can be restored within 10 minutes of a crash. There are two versions of the Data Protection Unit. The Crash Recovery Appliance is a rack-mounted device that lets administrators restore data from crashed servers. The Total Protection Appliance desktop product lets administrators back up, restore, and recover servers and clients on the network.

The appliances run across Windows, NetWare, and multiple versions of Unix, and the software can be integrated with backup and recovery software suites from Computer Associates, Veritas Software, and others.

"Customers can take what's usually very complicated technology, plug the DPU into the network, and just walk away," says Mike Karp, an analyst at research firm Enterprise Management Associates. But even though UniTrends' new devices appear to be sufficient for crash recovery, they may not have sufficient features and functionality for daily backup, he says.

One early customer plans to purchase more devices to establish a business-continuity infrastructure among offices in California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Ottawa. Toshiba Machine Co. of America has a single Data Protection Unit moving data at 54 Gbytes an hour, says James Doyle, IT manager at the industrial machine manufacturer. The fastest tape library he could find moved about 37 Gbytes of data an hour, he says.

Toshiba, which used to back up data nightly, now takes snapshots of data throughout the day. "I see the potential to change the jobs of administrators responsible for backups," Doyle says. "The process takes less time and less of my life."

The appliances are priced at about $6,000 with the backup and recovery software installed. Hard drives can be added for pennies per megabyte.

--Martin J. Garvey (