Unitrends Expands Data Protection Products, Channel Program


Unitrends Software, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is looking to expand its reach into the data protection market through an expanded channel partner program.

Founded about 15 years ago by medical doctor Steve Schwartz, Unitrends specializes in the same form of backup and recovery that Veritas Software inherited when it acquired The Kernel Group last January. Veritas called its product Bare Metal Restore. Unitrends calls its product Bare Metal Plus.

Both enable IT managers to drastically cut down the length of time it takes to restore a server system, along with its operating system and data recovery, to a fraction the time it normally takes.

Greg Poole, Unitrends' senior vice president of sales and business development, said the major difference between Veritas' product and Unitrends' is an open architecture allowing IT managers to use any backup product that they want. Bare Metal Plus supports 20 operating systems on the client side and nine on the host side.

The privately held company, which has less than 50 employees, distributes its products through 250 resellers and OEM partners worldwide. Unitrends last month announced plans to expand its channel network by about 35 percent over the next several months in an attempt to strengthen its reach in the small to medium size market.

In addition, the company also announced it was integrating its BareMetal Plus software into an entry-level appliance, which stores up to 180 gigabytes, and an enterprise-level appliance that stores up to two terabytes of data onto disk. The idea behind integrating Bare Metal Plus into hardware is for customers who want to use disk as an archiving tool rather than tape, says Steve Schwartz, CEO for Unitrends. Disk is considered a more faster recovery alternative to tape.

The DPU Crash Recovery Appliance is a 1U, rack-mounted network-attached product, while the DPU Total Data Protection Appliance is a desktop cube for crash recovery of servers and clients used in small to midsize businesses. Schwartz said the typical recovery time that most administrators face when a server crashes can be anywhere from four to eight hours and even up to three or four days. That is because the operating system has to be reloaded and settings and device drivers must be rebooted even before the data recovery can begin.

Bare metal technology automates the process of reloading the operating system and settings prior to beginning data restoration.

"The whole thing is done in an hour," said Schwartz. "That is because we do it all in one phase."