Breece Hill Brings Disk-To-Disk-To-Tape Backup To Small Businesses

The Louisville, Colo.-based storage vendor also is introducing its first opportunity-registration program.

The iStoRA with Integrity is a 4U-high array with eight 250-Gbyte hard drives for a raw capacity of 2 Tbytes, along with an LTO-3 tape drive with room for up to 10 tape cartridges. It connects to a LAN via a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The product comes in two versions: with embedded iStoRA software for normal data backups, or with archiving software from Walnut Creek, Calif.-based XenData for archiving and compliance in verticals such as health care and broadcasting. The iStoRA with Integrity is scheduled to ship late this month for a list price starting at $18,000, which includes unlimited Windows and Linux client licenses.

Breece Hill developed the iStoRA with Integrity appliance in response to small businesses' growing need to protect their data, said Bob Schaefer, vice president and COO of the company. "VARs are telling us that small and midsize businesses are seeing the same data growth as enterprises," Schaefer said. "A lot of vendors are pushing disk-to-disk backup appliances. But tape is still an important part of the solution, part of the challenges facing small businesses today."

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The industry has mulled disk-to-disk backups for several years, but the market only started taking off early last year, said Mark Tuggle, vice president of sales at USI, a Chicago-based storage solution provider. For the past six months or so, USI has been adding disk-based backup capabilities to its traditional backup solutions, including tape drives and Veritas software for small-business clients.

"IStoRA takes a lot of the integration complexity out of the equation," Tuggle said.

Even though the appliance is a great turnkey product for small businesses, it's not necessarily an easy sell, Tuggle added. "Customers are looking at these solutions. But from when we start planning the solution until it's implemented, it's about six months," he said.

Except for a small OEM business, Breece Hill sells its products exclusively through solution providers. To expand its channel business, the company this month is rolling out its first opportunity program for solution providers, said Camberly Bates, vice president of marketing.

Once a solution provider registers a deal and Breece Hill accepts it, the vendor will offer the partner an extra discount of about 15 percent for a period of up to 90 days, which also can be extended, she said.