ExaGrid adds cloud option for disaster recovery

By partnering with ATScloud, the company can now let customers replicate their backups online

A backup-hardware maker is now embracing the cloud as part of its offering for disaster recovery.

Users of ExaGrid backup appliances can now choose ATScloud's Disaster Recovery service for a remote copy of their backed-up data instead of maintaining a separate ExaGrid device or a tape system. In case their primary backup appliance fails or can't be reached in a disaster, those customers will be able to get their data back from ATScloud over the Internet or in a shipped appliance.

ExaGrid will keep selling boxes, but it plans to introduce several cloud-based offerings this year. The service from ATScloud, which will be sold alongside backup appliances through ExaGrid's resellers, offers a disaster recovery option with no capital expense, the company said. Customers will buy storage capacity from ATScloud on an as-needed basis and pay per gigabyte. This method should be about half as expensive as a dedicated ExaGrid appliance at a collocation site, said Marc Crespi, ExaGrid's vice president of product management. The actual prices will be set by the channel partners.

The idea is that an enterprise would install ExaGrid gear on its own premises for primary backup but would turn to ATScloud's infrastructure for the extra copy needed in case the original data and primary backup weren't available, Crespi said.

Data is a more critical resource than ever in running a business, so most enterprises try to maintain up-to-date remote backups to get them up and running again after a local disaster. ATScloud's service stores its customers' data in two data centers, one in Dallas and one in Las Vegas. In case of a catastrophe, customers typically will use the Internet to recover the small amount of data they need to get up and running again (a few terabytes at most), then have the rest loaded onto an ExaGrid appliance and shipped to them in a few days, said Alex Shapira, executive vice president of operations at ATScloud.

ATScloud pitches its service as scalable and efficient, because enterprises can add and remove data without having to own an appliance or commit to a certain amount of hosted storage, Shapira said.

"People can really consume what they want and are not limited by the physical size of a box," Shapira said. There is no limit to how much total capacity they can consume on ATScloud, he said. What can't be delivered instantly online will be shipped later.

The ATScloud offering will be available initially only in the U.S., with a worldwide offering coming later, Crespi said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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