Whether it’s a hard drive crash or a hurricane, small and mid-sized businesses that aren’t prepared for disasters could be headed for one. There’s been no shortage of vendors trying to get that message across to SMBs. The latest is Verio, an Englewood, Colo.-based hosting provider.
In a move to help small businesses manage off-premise backups, Verio today announced availability of its Remote Backup managed storage service for SMBs. For $100 per month, the service allows businesses to back up five machines, which can any combination of servers, PCs or notebook PCs.
The service is aimed at businesses that either have no IT people or a single IT person who is stretched too thin, said Chris Davis, senior product manager at Verio. In companies with no dedicated technical staff, “backups often falls to the office manager or operations manager.”
Setting up the backup service involves installing a thin client, or applet, which becomes part of your system tray, Davis said. “You tell it what directories you want to back up. This lets the tech staff essentially wash their hands of it,” he said. The service then automatically creates a daily backup of those directories and stores it in a Verio Premier Data Center, which offers 24/7 technical support and “everything you’d expect from data center at a major hosting provider.”
Businesses can monitor recent backup activity through the same thin client application they used to setup the backup parameters. “They can see the last 10 attempted backups. It’s a portal-based product. You use the same portal to restore data as you do to monitor the service,” Davis said.
Davis also pointed out that because the service is disk-based not tape-based, “we can monitor the directory hierarchy.” Restoring data, he said, involves just opening the files on the remote server and saving them to the local hard drive.
Many businesses, especially smaller ones, tend to confuse data replication with data backup. “Backup is not the same as adding an inexpensive hard drive. Some companies replicate, but they don’t back up. It’s just as easy for that second hard drive to get fried,” Davis said. Or, he said, the approach is to burn CDs and store them on the shelf. “Our SLA guarantees a backup everyday.”
Verio offers two four-hour windows to make the backups: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
The $100 per month fee provides a business with 10 GB of storage, which, Davis said, may not sound like much. However, he added, Verio uses what’s known as “commonality factoring” to identify only the data that has changed. “Only a small amount of data changes from day to day — about 1 percent. If you have 200 GBs of data that’s about 200 MBs.” Verio also offers additional services that allow a business to scale to multiple terabytes of storage.
“We’re going after the data small businesses have on premises,” Davis said. That data could reside in a database or on a file server or Exchange server, he added. Davis also said that the mix of different machines is an important factor for SMBS. “Maybe they wouldn’t spend $100 a month on just PCs or laptop PCs, or just servers, but if you offer both ….”
Verio Remote Backup supports various versions of Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux, IBM AIX, and Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX.
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