NovaStor Unveils Small-Business Backup App

The Simi Valley, Calif.-based company plans to ship version 5.1 of its NovaNet-WEB online backup software, aimed at protecting the data of small businesses with five to 100 users, by the end of this month, said NovaStor CEO Peter Means.

"Micro businesses have the same backup needs as the big guys but can't afford to pay what the big guys pay," Means said. "It's for customers who don't have existing software. We're not going to replace Veritas."

The new version offers increased backup-and-recovery performance over earlier versions and adds virtual tape environments complete with virtual tape rotations to its disk-to-disk backup capabilities, said NovaStor CTO Chris Harvey.

The application includes firewall support, backup scheduling, interactive backup modes, customizable backup sets, file selections and filters.

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It can also be run as a service for service providers looking to offer on-line backup and restore capabilities to small businesses, said James Schaffer, CEO of Global Data Vault, a Durango, Colo.-based provider of such services.

Global Data Vault has installed storage hardware in a number of co-location facilities that specialize in managed environments, making it one of the few surviving storage service providers, Schaffer said.

The company targets true small businesses, those firms with maybe three to 15 people that do not have their own IT department, he said.

NovaStor is a well-run company that focuses on software only, Schaffer said. "I don't think they made any unwise forays into providing service," he said. "They have outstanding technology. They've seen the future of small and midsize business and invested in R&D here"

The company has gone to great lengths to involve the channel in feature tests, bug tests, and so on for the SMB space, Schaffer said. "Many features like automated scheduling are great, but this is not a technologically-oriented space," he said. "It can be a difficult balancing act between functions and the needs of SMBs. NovaStor has been doing a great job of working with channel partners on that."

The main new feature of NovaNet-WEB for Global Data Vault is the ability to conveniently restore data through a browser interface instead of only through the application, Schaffer said.

"If I'm a traveling sales rep and forgot my laptop for a presentation, I can use a browser to download backed-up files to a CD for use in another computer," he said. "For disaster recovery, someone can load the operating system and basic functions like Internet Explorer to a new machine and have access to the data."

That browser-based capability is still in beta testing, but Global Data Vault has already taken it live to customers, Schaffer said.

NovaNet-WEB is available in five-, 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-user packages priced from $550 to $8,716.