Zetta Bringing New Channel Initiative For Continuous Data Protection

The Seattle-based developer of continuous data protection software, which backs up every change to data as soon as the change is made in order to allow recovery of a file or a file system at any point in time, on Monday plans to introduce its IR2, or Instant Recovery Reseller, channel program, said James Ornest, vice president of sales.

Zetta only sells through solution providers, and is looking to recruit a limited number of new partners, said Ornest.

A number of vendors, mainly small firms and startups, are focusing on continuous data protection. Some larger vendors have also made recent moves in this space, including Network Appliance, which earlier this month acquired Alacritus. Microsoft's new Data Protection Manager software, also introduced this month, offers near-continuous data protection, which means that it backs up data changes on a timed basis rather than any time a change to the data is detected.

Zettas' software is specifically aimed at the backing up and instant recovery of Exchange Server and SQL Server file servers, Ornest said. The software can recover such data within seconds, giving system administrators a quick jump on bringing the servers and the operating system back on-line as soon as possible, he said.

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The software comes in three flavors, including a small business version priced starting at $5,000, a midsize business version starting at $12,000, and an enterprise version starting at $18,000 for the central site and $9,000 for backup sites.

"Our prices are less then 10 percent of our competitors'," Ornest said. "We are using a low-price strategy to expand our market."

Ornest said the software offers a couple of unique features, such as the ability to produce an unlimited number of data snapshots, and the ability to both read and write to snapshots.

It also incorporates what he called "thin provisioning," whereby a logical volume of data can be set up larger than the actual amount of physical capacity allocated to the volume. As the capacity of that logical volume grows, additional capacity can be installed or allocated without affecting operation, letting customers add capacity later as prices fall, he said.

The new program includes reseller margins of 30 percent on software and maintenance sales, with solution providers making additional margins on installation, implementation, consulting, and training services, said Ornest

The company is also offering a deal registration program to protect deals brought in by specific solution providers.

There are also web-based tools for solution providers, including sales and configuration tools, white papers, and so on, he said.

The company is also offering partners assigned account managers, he said.