Remote Possibilities: New Overland APP Tackles Centralized Backups

The San Diego-based company is the latest storage vendor to look at ways to centrally manage data backups from multiple remote offices while keeping the backups available at the local site. Applications such as Veritas Software's Replication Exec, EMC's Replication Manager and Legato NetWorker offer similar capabilities. However, Overland's Multi-SitePAC offers the advantage of being closely tied to its REO appliances, said Dave Holloway, executive vice president of West Coast Technology, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Overland solution provider. "This is nice because it's integrated by the company that also does the hardware. There's no pointing fingers," he said.

When a customer backs up data at a remote office using its existing data backup software, one copy of the data set is made using a virtual tape format and stored on a local REO appliance, while a second copy is backed up to a larger REO or other storage array in the corporate data center, said Michael Kerman, Overland's chief strategy officer.

"With Multi-SitePAC at the remote site, it's completely transparent," he said. "There's no need to change any software or scripts. Just back up to the REO. There's no need for new training. We are just making the process better."

West Coast Technology's Holloway said the new software will help push hundreds of customers still backing up to tape at local sites to switch to disk-based backups. "Customers say, 'Oh my God, I can get rid of 30 tape drives, kill the management issues, and no longer need a secretary to flip the tapes, something she probably did only half the time anyway," he said. Multi-SitePAC is expected to be available this month. Pricing starts at $1,396 per REO.

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