ROBObak Brings Offsite Storage-As-A-Service To SMBs


Robo DRS LLC, which uses the ROBObak name to refer to itself as well as its software, this week unveiled ROBObak Standard Edition, a software application which includes most of the enterprise features of its enterprise edition but at a much lower entry price, said Ron Roberts, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based vendor.

ROBObak Standard Edition is an agent-less data protection software that allows data to be backed up locally and over the Internet, and includes such capabilities as data deduplication, data compression, and encryption, and can backup Exchange Server and SQL Server data while the databases are running, Roberts said.

The new version of the software is available for sale starting at $1,000, and includes a license to protect up to 100 Gbytes of compressed, deduped data, Roberts said. A license for 1 Tbyte of data is priced at $10,000. The company's enterprise edition starts at $25,000.

The low entry price makes the software suitable for small and midsize businesses that typically have one to four locations and limited IT resources, Roberts said.

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"The customer buys the software and runs it on a standard Microsoft-based server to back up and protect their data," he said. "And they can protect and move their data offsite."

For solution providers, the big opportunity, in addition to selling the software, comes from providing offsite storage to customers, Roberts said.

"The offsite site can be wherever the customer wants," he said. "We don't offer hosting. We're a software manufacturer. Some customers will use a third-party hosting site, some will use their own branch offices. Customers can also keep a local copy of the data for fast restores."

ROBObak only sells its software through indirect sales channels, Roberts said. Next week, the company plans to offer a similar software specifically for managed service providers which includes technology to handle functions such as billing. "It will let smaller service providers get into the business," he said.

The new version of the ROBObak software is just what small and midsize businesses need, said Tony Merendino, president of ServIT, a Kennesaw, Ga.-based solution provider that gets 95 percent of its revenue from such customers.

ServIT is relatively new to managed services, having built its first data center last August and its second a couple months ago, Merendino said. The solution provider currently sells ROBObak software, and plans to offer it as a service, he said.

Merendino said his customers, who are looking for ways to improve their data center efficiencies to save power and be more socially responsible, are interested in either purchasing the software or acquiring offsite data protection as a service.

"Many of them don't want to take on more new technology, and are looking at this as a service," he said. "But the smaller companies don't want to be tied to a technology via a subscription, and so they prefer to buy everything."