Overland Adds Multi-Site Backup Replication To Reo Disk Appliances

The new Multi-SitePAC software is a remote backup mirroring application, said Michael Kerman, chief strategy officer at the San Diego-based company. When a customer backs up data at a remote office using existing data backup software, one copy of the data set is made using a virtual tape format and is stored on a local Reo appliance and a second copy is backed up to a larger Reo or other storage array in the corporate data center, he said.

Traditionally, data resides at the headquarters and if there's a problem with the data at a remote office, it may be necessary to go to headquarters to get backup copies, Kerman said. However, with Multi-SitePAC, data backups are cached locally for fast recovery, he said.

"Therefore, for recovery, the customer not only has the actual data stored at a central site, [but also] he has it cached at the local site," Kerman said. "The corporate IT or storage manager needs assurance that he has control data from all sites for compliance reasons."

While there are other solutions for mirroring data locally and to a central location, they typically involve a separate server and the integration of hardware and software from multiple vendors, according to Kerman. "With Multi-SitePAC at the remote site, it's completely transparent," he said. "There's no need to change any software or scripts. Just backup to the Reo. There's no need for new training. We are just making the process better."

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For the channel, the Multi-SitePAC helps solution providers reduce the complexity of their customers' backup systems and allows them to add to the value of existing Reo appliances. "With the new software module, it gives resellers the ability to get back in the face of the customers and show them their continued value," Kerman said.

Solution provider West Coast Technology has already brought a beta version of Multi-SitePAC to a customer with 50 remote sites and is now bringing it to another customer with 90 remote sites, said Dave Holloway, executive vice president of the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Overland partner. "It's awesome software. Everyone has replication software, but this is nice because it's integrated by the company, which also does the hardware," he said. "There's no pointing of fingers."

Multi-SitePAC lets the data administrator at the main office push replication software to a remote site, dial in to do the management and handle the replicated data from multiple sites centrally, Holloway said.

Hundreds and thousands of customers rely on tape at their local sites and Multi-SitePAC will be an incentive to move many of them to low-cost hard-disk-based backup, Holloway added. "This helps create a new business for us," he said. "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."

Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Cleveland-based solution provider, said that if Multi-SitePAC offers the same ease of use as Overland's other software, the product will be a great value-add for customers. "If you look at their Web-based GUIs for their Reo libraries, they have always been easy to use," Knieriemen said. "So I'm optimistic about the new software."

Multi-SitePAC is slated to be available to the channel in mid-February. Pricing is set to start at $1,395 per array for the company's smallest Reo appliance, the Reo 1000, with pricing for the Reo 9000 starting at $2,595.