Small Firm, Big Goal: Protect Remote Data

Robobak hopes to make a splash in the storage market by doing one thing and doing it well: protecting data in remote and branch offices (ROBOs, hence the name Robobak).

Rather than take on established data center names like Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) and EMC (NYSE: EMC), Robobak is content to toil on the edges of enterprises — for now.

Enterprise backup specialists like EMC and Symantec “don’t do remote office well,” claims Robobak CEO Ron Roberts. “We’re really good at this.”

That said, once the company gets into remote offices, users find that the company’s software can get the job done in the data center too. “We’ll get into the data center in our own good time,” Roberts said.

The company’s software uses commodity hardware and an agentless approach to securely back up and restore data concurrently from hundreds of sites around the globe across IP-WANs. It speeds up the process by de-duplicating data at the source and backing up only incremental changes.

“We’re masters of not backing up,” quips Roberts.

The company’s latest offering, Thin Backup Option for Exchange (TBO-E), uses Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) API to back up only changed blocks, reducing Exchange backup time by 90 percent or more and making more frequent backups possible, the company claims.

Taneja Group analyst Eric Burgener said the new offering “makes a product that is already well suited to ROBO environments even better in ways that are very meaningful for Exchange backup administrators. The TBO is well matched to deal with large Exchange data stores while minimizing the time and bandwidth required to consistently maintain a solid data protection regimen.”

R.J. Riemensnider, CTO at DataInsure, an Atlanta-based managed service provider and Robobak customer, said the new offering is “a vast advantage over anything that’s on the market today for both us and our customers. After testing Robobak’s TBO-E, we project that our costs to back up Exchange databases will drop significantly. We will also be able to cut the time we need to perform the backup and restore operations and automate the process.”

TBO-E will be included in the latest version of Robobak’s Data Protection Suite platform, which will be available in early 2009. Other changes include “instant backup” technology that discovers changes on the host or networked machine within seconds to speed up subsequent backups, and an “instant restore” feature, which adds a search engine index to locate specific files quickly.

This article was first published on Enterprise Storage Forum

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