A Backup Offering That’s Good Enough for Cisco

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When Bill Yu, an engineer for Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) development and test lab in Boulder, Colo., was looking for a new a backup solution, he stumbled upon R1Soft at last year’s Red Hat Summit (NYSE: RHT) in Boston.

The lab had been using an Amanda server to do tapeless backups for four years, but ran into performance and scalability issues with the open source offering.

“When I heard the pitch about fast backups, it sounded like the solution for us,” said Yu, who also liked R1Soft’s “pretty intuitive” Web-based interface.

The Boulder lab is now using R1Soft to back up about 30 critical servers and archive about a third of those servers. Backups are run nightly for most servers, with a few doing hourly snapshots. The servers range from Web hosting, virtual servers, software development and testing to E-Cloud services.

Yu said the lab chose R1Soft in part because of its low cost, which he called a “killer deal” starting at $180 per server.

R1Soft’s backups “don’t put much of a load on the system and incrementals are even faster,” he said. For the sake of comparison, Yu installed open source BackupPC to see which was faster, and it took BackupPC three hours to back up what R1Soft did in 30 minutes. And Yu found the Web interface so easy to use that he has yet to read any documentation. Users can set up their own backups and do their own restores.

He also likes that R1Soft “works with most flavors of Linux and Windows. We have a lot of different operating systems here, so this is fairly important.”

Indeed, R1Soft supports Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows, Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and SQL, Red Hat, Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) SUSE, Mandriva Linux, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) XenServer and VMware (NYSE: VMW).

Yu said he’d like to see faster restores — which he blames in part on a 1 Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI connection — and he’d also like to see support for Gentoo Linux and XFS.

Testimonials like Yu’s could help boost the fortunes of R1Soft, which announced today that it is now selling directly to enterprises after offering continuous data protection (CDP) for more than 100,000 servers in the hosting market.

R1Soft founder David Wartell launched the company after noticing a lack of backup tools for hosting companies when he worked at EV1Servers/ThePlanet, which is now one of R1Soft’s biggest customers. Hosting company customers were requesting R1Soft for their own environments, which led to the company’s entry into the enterprise market.

Wartell said R1Soft is priced at one-half to one-third of the cost of competing offerings, which he said leads to “quicker sales” and greater use of the product once it gets in the door.

CommVault, Yosemite Make Headlines

In a busy week for data protection news, CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) and Yosemite are also making headlines.

CommVault unveiled Simpana 8, the latest version of its data protection and management software that boasts more than 9,000 customers. 18 months in development, the new release includes data de-duplicationfor both disk and tape, virtual server protection, faster recovery, new snapshot features, and an enhanced content classification engine to aid in e-discovery.

And Barracuda Networks has acquired Yosemite Technologies, a provider of data protection solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Barracuda offers e-mail and Web security appliances and also offers a backup service. Yosemite products will remain as standalone offerings and will also be integrated into the Barracuda Backup Service.

Paul Shread is managing editor of Enterprise Storage Forum

Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.
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