@Backup changes name, expands focus

By Zachary Shess

Last month, Web-based backup storage provider @Backup changed its name to SkyDesk, reflecting the company's plan to broaden its product and market scopes. As its first order of business, SkyDesk introduced virtual storage services tailored toward workgroups and departments.

As @Backup, the company mostly partnered with PC manufacturers who provided bundled, virtual backup repositories. As SkyDesk, the company retains that business and prepares to enter a market of more than 10 million small to medium-size businesses, not counting laptop users at Fortune 1000 corporations. Two new backup services, @Backup Workgroup Edition and SkyFiler, specifically target that segment.

SkyDesk's @Backup Workgroup Edition provides data protection and file access over the Web.
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Through a Web console, @Backup Workgroup Edition offers workgroup-level data protection and file access, and helps network administrators manage backups for fleets of laptops. The console determines when laptops are operational, and when commanded, transparently backs up data over the Internet, even while users are working. If the laptop is turned off, the backup process is paused, and resumes upon restart. "We work in a fractured, start-and-stop environment with our laptops. This capability gives considerable control back to network administrators, without being invasive to users," says Jim Till, SkyDesk's vice president of marketing.

SkyFiler, which is also expected to ship next month, enables workgroups and departments to share documents stored on the Web. Designed for use with any browser, SkyFiler includes version control and document access features that give users access to the most recently updated version of documents.

To accommodate future growth, SkyDesk built a two-petabyte data center in San Diego, consisting mostly of EMC Symmetrix RAID arrays with ADIC and IBM Magstar tape libraries. Pricing for @Backup Workgroup Edition and SkyFiler had not been determined at press time.

This article was originally published on April 01, 2000