Storactive this week unveiled a beta version of LiveServ, a storage management application that compresses and backs up mission-critical data on a continual basis for SMB clients, thereby shrinking or eliminating backup windows.
Ray Morgan, product manager for LiveServ, said the application allows replication of data on a continual basis at the system level, including boot information; the file level; and the application-specific level, which offers specific capabilities for such applications as Microsoft Exchange.
LiveServ replicates changes to data in real-time to remote sites in ensure protected data is always current and can be recovered to the point of the system failure, said Morgan. It supports versioning, under which any previous version of a file can be recovered, if needed, he said.
One server with LiveServ installed can be used to back up data from up to six servers to remote disk arrays. Those remote disk arrays can then be backed up to tape as needed, Morgan said.
Storactive is targeting businesses with between 20 and 100 servers running NT 4.0 and higher operating systems and which are approaching the limits of their storage capacity, Morgan said. Other target SMB clients include those with a backup window that interferes with normal business operations or who are worried about unplanned downtime or availability, he said.
Eryck Bredy, president of Bredy Network Management, a Woburn, Mass.-based solution provider who has been trying a beta version of LiveServ, said the software has the potential to become a "killer app."
LiveServ allows solution providers to plug servers into a network to get real-time backup, eliminating the need for a backup window, Bredy said. "And for disaster recovery, you always have the latest copy of data ready," he said.
Bredy said the application is suitable for both SMB and enterprise customers. For SMB customers, LiveServ is an easy to install backup application and basic form of disaster recovery. For the enterprise, it is suitable for real-time backups of mission-critical data generated by applications like Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.
"Having the ability to restore the 10:00 version of an Exchange file instead of last night's version is very important," he said.
LiveServ is expected to be available early next year, Morgan said. Morgan said the company hopes at least one-third of sales go through the channel, with one-third through OEMs and the remainder direct.
Morgan also admitted that Storactive is also a possible acquisition target, especially for either existing software vendors, which can use LiveServ to complement their own products, or hardware vendors looking to build a backup appliance.
Bredy said he would not be surprised to see Storactive acquired. "A bigger company like Computer Associates or Veritas which don't have the real-time functionality may look at it and see it as a threat," he said.