IBM Rolls Out Data Protection for Small Businesses

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Three months after it acquired continuous data protection (CDP) startup FilesX, IBM has rebranded the solution as IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) FastBack.

CDP, also known as continuous backup, has been growing in importance as a way for companies to better ensure that files are safeguarded. The process automates file backups each time a change is made, enabling offices to not only restore lost files, but also to reconstruct files as they appeared at any point in the past.

Such offerings tend to be lower-cost data protection solutions aimed at small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and remote locations, which typically lack dedicated IT staff.

“There is more data being distributed, and companies want consistent data protection strategies,” said John Connor, product manager for TSM FastBack.

Big Blue said the ease of managing FastBack’s disk-based, block-level storage approach makes it suitable for small and remote offices that have little tech support.

“This eliminates issues with backup windows and provides near-instant recovery,” Connor said.

FastBack also represents a second try on the technology, said Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

IBM initially had attempted to tweak its TSM top-end product to create a data protection tool tailored for small to mid-sized firms, called TSM Express. But it wasn’t a perfect approach, Whitehouse said.

“They scaled down the comprehensive offering, but the TSM Express really didn’t meet the need as it was still hefty to manage,” she said. Instead, the new FastBack offering “is the next generation of that approach.”

Still, for Big Blue, being able to swiftly integrate the product and assimilate it into its sales channel shows its proficiency at technology mergers, Whitehouse said.

“They have the formula for taking in technology they acquire and getting it rolled out in an impressive time frame,” she said.

The new offering serves to build on IBM’s storage flagship, the venerable Tivoli Storage Manager. IBM also said the new FastBack offering, which has been melded into TSM, complements its CDP software for laptops and desktops, IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files.

Along with FastBack, IBM also introduced FastBack for Microsoft Exchange and FastBack for Bare Machine Recovery, designed for system and server migrations. Together, the bundled components are sold as TSM FastBack Center.

While the suite is currently offered only for Windows platform, IBM has plans to develop additional versions, the company said.

IBM TSM FastBack products will be available Aug. 15.

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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