A Growing Trend In Security: Disk-Based Backup Restorations
Vincent A. Randazzese
Idealstor not only has a channel-friendly program, but its turnkey backup-and-restore offering, Idealstor 4 Bay, provides partners with a complete backup system that addresses all of these needs.
As the trend for disk-based data protection rapidly becomes the norm, Idealstor eschews the ubiquitous tape media for faster, inexpensive IDE drives. Critics say tape is slow, limited, unreliable and high maintenance, prompting some solution providers to recommend disk-based backup. Also, with restoration becoming more crucial because of compliance and audit issues, the ability to access data efficiently is a necessity rather than a luxury.
The Idealstor's technology does not present itself like a virtual tape library; rather it resembles a disk array. Tape backup software such as IBM Tivoli or Legato will not integrate with the appliance. However, Idealstor appliances are 100 percent compatible with most other major backup software, including Veritas' BackupExec, CA's BrightStor and ARCserve, and BakBone.
Tim Neary, president of Strategic Storage Solutions, a storage solution provider based in Plano, Texas, is very familiar with disk-based backup.
The company has more than 50 customers with a variety of configurations, ranging from a single-bay unit running Backup Exec to multiple four- and eight-bay units running Bakbone, and has not experienced any compatibility or logistical issues. That highlights the easy integration of the Idealstor appliance: It allows companies to use their existing backup software. The installation was simple. For example, during the installation process, taking the unit of the box was the most taxing task engineers had to endure since it weighs about 50 pounds.
Test Center engineers installed the drives through the front of the unit, which also features a power button, a CD-R drive and two USB ports. The unit offers two additional USB ports, a VGA port, two NICs, and PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors in the rear of the unit. The Idealstor 4 Bay comes with a lock and key for each individual drive as well as for the front face plate for double protection. The administrator setting up the box can connect directly to it or put it out on the network somewhere. As far as network setup, CRN Test Center engineers selected the unit to receive an IP address automatically from the DHCP server.
Upon reboot, the drives were formatted using computer management as well as Idealstor's GUI. From here, the administrator has to decide which backup utility is going to be used. CRN engineers used the recently released Ibac 3.0, the company's own proprietary software.
Data encryption is a new feature of the Ibac 3.0 software. Ibac does not require any agents to be installed on the remote servers, and unlike other backup software (where multiple agents are required to back up an entire system, such as SQL), the Ibac software only requires the optional Open Volume Snapshot license to back up both databases and open files.
The Idealstor 4 Bay with 2 Tbytes of native capacity costs $11,995, and Ibac 3.0 is an additional $1,795 for a five-server version, $2,400 for a 10-server version.
The company offers a Server Aliasing Module (SAM) for $595 per server and can failover any Windows server to the Idealstor. SAM is used in addition to the Idealstor Backup Appliance and Ibac Data Protection Software.
Idealstor is a channel-focused company offering a two-tier program. The VAR Standard program includes a reseller agreement and sales and technical training for 25 percent of the VAR's sales and technical staff. The partner must display the Idealstor logo and product information on its Web site and must commit to semi-annual strategic planning sessions.
VAR Select partners must meet the requirements of the VAR Standard program, but must train 50 percent of its staff on products. Also, VAR Select partners are required to purchase an NFR demo unit to be used in-house or for demonstration purposes.
VAR Select partners get access to Idealstor's lead-generation program, the opportunity to participate with Idealstor at trade shows and Idealstor's Minimum Advertised Price Program (MAPP) rebate program. The MAPP program is designed to protect the integrity of MSRP and helps to protect VAR margins.
Partners will garner an additional 2 percent in the form of a semi-annual rebate check if the reseller adheres to Idealstor's suggested advertised pricing.
Margins range from 10 percent to 25 percent and ample tech support is offered to all levels of partners.