Teneros Exchanges E-Mail Protection for Cash

Teneros has turned an easy-to-use Exchange protection appliance into a boatload of cash.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced today that it has closed on a $40 million funding round, bringing its total haul to date to $84.5 million. The round was led by late-stage technology investment firm Advanced Equities Inc. (AEI), with participation from Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Sevin Rosen Funds and STAR Ventures.

Teneros Application Continuity Appliances for Microsoft Exchange can protect up to 2,000 mailboxes and multiple terabytes of storage, with prices ranging from $7,000 to $27,000. The pre-packaged protection appliances for Exchange have helped the company “significantly” exceed a 50 percent growth rate since 2006 and stand out in a crowded market for Exchange data protection, according to founder and CEO Steve Lewis (see Exchange Vendors Proliferate).

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of StorageIO, said Teneros’ appliances are “effectively a standby Exchange server — one fails, the other takes over. For some customers, the simplified approach of a turnkey appliance that takes over as an Exchange standby node is appealing compared to other approaches where the data is replicated and protected elsewhere onto different storage and exchange systems.”

Or as Eric Burgener, senior analyst at The Taneja Group, put it: “Existing solutions for ensuring Microsoft Exchange uptime … involve the IT staff conducting a multi-vendor science project.”

Lewis started Teneros in 2003 after noticing as CEO of IT services company All Covered that many businesses were struggling to keep their e-mail systems up and running. Outages were causing ill will among customers and employees, resulting in missed sales and deadlines, while current solutions were too complex and expensive for companies with limited IT staffs and budgets. The company launched its first products in 2005.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said Teneros’ software performs an object-level replication of the Exchange database, making sure that corruptions are not replicated. It monitors the IP address of an Exchange server, and if something is amiss, Teneros can “hijack” the Exchange IP address and failover to the replica. A manual failback can be done once the issue is resolved. The solution can provide point-in-time restoration of data, reducing recovery time and effort.

“Drop the box into the environment and it provides real-time protection of Exchange,” said Whitehouse. “It’s less costly than a clustering solution and offers more reliability and integrity of replicated data versus a replication solution.”

One disadvantage is a one-to-one ratio for Teneros boxes and Exchange servers, said Whitehouse, so larger Exchange environments “would be overrun with appliances.” Also a problem for larger environments could be a requirement that the customer have an open port to allow a Teneros sys admin to fix Exchange server issues. “This will hold them up in larger environments due to the security risk,” Whitehouse said.

The appliances are remotely monitored, updated and maintained through a Teneros Network Operations Center, making for “hands-free” Exchange protection in case of power failures, network outages, server failures, data corruption or disasters.

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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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