Seagate, Microsoft launch disk-to-disk to cloud service

i365's cloud storage service can be bought as a disaster recovery add-on

Seagate's subsidiary i365 and Microsoft have partnered to offer an appliance and cloud-based storage service for Windows environments that allows users to backup locally and replicate data offsite.

Seagate is offering its EVault backup software tightly integrated with Windows Storage Server running on Microsoft's Data Protection Manager 2010 (EDPM), a 2U (3.5-inch high) appliance. The EDPM backs data up from application servers and then can replicate that data to disk arrays, tape libraries and i365's cloud-based storage repositories.

Any data being replicated to i365's cloud is de-duplicated first, in order to maximize WAN bandwidth, according to Terry Cunningham, general manager of i365.

The EDPM appliance will be available in June and can be ordered today through i365 and Microsoft channel partners.

Cunningham said the new nearline storage device/cloud storage service combination is aimed at small to mid-size organizations. He said a growing number of companies are adopting Microsoft's Data Protection Manager as a nearline device for Windows backup and recovery. But many of those same firms also choose operating systems and applications other than Windows -- and they want a way to extend Microsoft's DPM to protect data from both Windows and non-Windows environments.

"That's where this combined solution is a killer application for the midmarket," Cunningham said. "The customer is Microsoft-centric, but they also have other things -- Linux, Unix OSes, Oracle databases, Novell's NetWare or iSeries boxes from IBM."

I365's new EDPM offering is heavily integrated with Microsoft products for ease of use, but can be configured to backup Oracle or SQL Server as easily as it can Exchange and SharePoint. It can also backup Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.

"It's got a centralized dashboard," Cunningham said. "That's the real secret sauce. From an administrator's standpoint, you can go to one dashboard and see all of the products."

The EDPM offering works by creating an initial full backup to the EDPM appliance. Agents on application servers then perform incremental backups to the appliance at regular intervals. Users can then purchase a service from i365 or Microsoft that allows them to replicate backup data over the WAN to i365's cloud storage service.

The EDPM appliance comes in 2TB, 6TB and 10TB configurations with RAID 5 resilliance and a 24/7 service maintenance contract.

An entry-level configuration of the EDPM without the cloud storage service by i365 costs $9,995. The 6TB and 10TB configurations sell for about $20,000 and $30,000, respectively.

The cloud storage replication services is an optional contract paid for on a monthly, per-gigabyte basis, Cunningham said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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