Unitrends enhances data recovery

By Ann Silverthorn

—This week, Unitrends introduced its Rapid Recovery System, which will be included in the company's Data Protection Unit (DPU) and Data Protection Vault (DPV) appliances in Q1 2006. Targeted at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Rapid Recovery System includes such features as Continuous System Protection and data encryption.

Continuous System Protection allows three levels of recovery—of the operating system, the application, and the data itself. It can perform a bare-metal restore, and it supports 23 different operating systems.

Unitrends' Rapid Recovery is not continuous data protection (CDP), since it is based on snapshot technology rather than continuous capture. Rapid Recovery can take snapshots at intervals as frequent as every 10 seconds, but for SMBs every 10 to 15 minutes is reasonable and more cost-effective, according to Unitrends' CEO, Sterling Wharton.

"Most of our customers have from 50 to 1,500 employees and need to recover from file or server failures," says Wharton. "They find that two-thirds of their failures are caused by human error. The rest are caused by viruses, software problems, or hard-disk failure."

David Hill, principal of consulting firm Mesabi Group, applauds Unitrends' solution because of its comprehensive recovery capabilities. "Most companies perform standard backups every night," he says. "They store incremental changes, but they don't touch the applications or operating systems. So if there's a failure the operating system and applications have to be re-installed before the data can be restored. Unitrends has bundled everything that's needed to get back up and running."

The DPU appliance protects systems on-site, and users can ship the data off-site to DPV appliances for recovery should the main site fail. The $5,000 price tag includes an appliance and the ability to recover 200GB of data in 30 minutes.

SMBs' choices for data protection have expanded over the past six months. Also targeted at SMBs is Lasso Logic's appliance-based data-protection product. Recently acquired by SonicWall, Lasso Logic offers an appliance, which features CDP for a variety of applications and databases, priced at about $1,500.

Several software-based data-protection options exist for SMBs as well. Microsoft's Data Protection Manager, which works only with Windows, sells for just under $1,000. IBM offers CDP for Files for about the same price. Dell recently announced that it would bundle Symantec's Backup Exec 10d CDP software with Dell servers and storage products for $699. And TimeSpring offers CDP for Windows for $1,295.

For more information on data-protection solutions for SMBs, consult the following articles:

Lasso CDP targets SMBs

Microsoft enters D2D backup market

IBM offers file-based CDP

Dell bundles Symantec's CDP software

This article was originally published on December 21, 2005