Data protection appliance vendor Trustyd has closed its doors and sent its intellectual property to one of its investors, the State of Ohio's Department of Development.
Trustyd, founded in 2012 to acquire and nurture another storage startup, 3X Systems, was unable to turn around its data protection business fast enough to survive, said Robert Gueth, president of the Dublin, Ohio-based company.
"3X Systems was struggling," Gueth said. "Trustyd thought there was an opportunity to acquire the assets, redevelop the company, grow its base of resellers, and turn it around. But it took too long."
Trusted was formed in 2012 with investment from the State of Ohio Department of Development and two other private investors in order to acquire 3X Systems, Gueth said.
With its acquisition of 3X Systems in June 2012, Trustyd received a series of remote backup appliances that help solution providers set up private cloud storage systems for SMB customers.
The appliances allowed Trustyd's channel partners to deliver on-premise and private cloud-based disaster recovery solutions to businesses that lack the resources to do it on their own. This included immediate, automatic backup of traveling laptops, as well as traditional on-premise servers, desktops, databases and applications.
It was a good product line, said Jim Whitecotton, project manager at HGO Technology, a Wheeling, W.Va.-based solution provider that partnered with 3X Systems and then Trustyd for nearly three years.
HGO had about 50 or 55 clients using the Trustyd technology, Whitecotton said.
"We would sell the appliance directly to our clients, or we had a few we kept in-house for use in selling chunks of backup space to multiple clients," he said. "It worked fairly well. Once installed, the appliances did a good job for us overall."
About one-third to one-half of HGO's Trustyd clients are small businesses that share space on the solution provider's appliances for their backup and recovery, Whitecotton said.
Starting in 2013, Trustyd seemed to be less responsive than in the past, Whitecotton said.
"But their shutting down completely blindsided us," he said. "It took us one-and-a-half weeks to contact anybody. We had two clients committed to buying two more appliances."
NEXT: The Trustyd Appliances Work For Now, But No More Support, Upgrades
The appliances clients have purchased still work fine, HGO's Whitecotton said. "One issue is that clients run out of capacity," he said. "They need a software key from Trustyd to unlock capacity, but now they can't get it. You would think they could at least provide the keys we need to unlock the extra space. The capacity is there, but it's not accessible without the keys."
Going forward, a big issue could come from a case where the database for the backups gets corrupted, Whitecotton said. "Unless we can find someone to repair it, customers could lose data," he said. "So we're looking for an alternative solution. We will do what we can to make sure clients don't get hurt."
Migrating data from the Trustyd appliances is not particularly easy, Whitecotton said. "The way their appliance is made, the data has to be restored to a server it thinks is the same server that originally created the data," he said.
Trustyd's Gueth acknowledged that customers will be disappointed by the closure of the company.
"Trustyd's operations have ceased," he said. "There are no more operations going on. It's a challenge for customers or resellers or IT consultants. They will have to deal with system support issues, and move to another supplier. How easy that is depends on circumstances. They can spin up a new server and back up the data. But certain policy implementations and backup capabilities are hard to replace."
The Trustyd appliances are self-contained appliances, and as long as there are no service issues with the appliances, getting data off the appliance is as easy as before, Gueth said. In the meantime, the appliances can continue to be used for backing up the data.
Going forward, Gueth said, there will be no more support or upgrades, and some patented features such as the Web service that allowed mobile PCs and the backup appliances to find each other wherever they are moved to will not be available.
For HGO, the closure of Trustyd means finding another way to help customers with their data protection requirements, Whitecotton said.
"We've been around for a while," he said. "We've never had something this extreme before. Some customers have been doing business with us for 25 years. They're not showing up at the door with torches and pitchforks yet. They're concerned. But they know we're going to find them the right solution."
PUBLISHED NOV. 11, 2013