InMage adds new features to disaster recovery software

InMage adds new features to disaster recovery software

Disaster recovery software vendor InMage is adding new features to its DR-Scout product suite

InMage Systems is adding business event-based recovery and automated information tiering features to its DR-Scout suite of disaster recovery (DR) software, according to an executive of the company.

Next month, InMage will also be announcing tie-ups with two large storage equipment manufacturers that will be bundling its software with their products, said Kumar Malavalli, chief executive officer and cofounder of InMage.

With the business event-based recovery feature, users will be able to bookmark a predefined business event, according to Malavalli, also a cofounder of Brocade Communications Systems Inc, a storage infrastructure company in San Jose, California. In the event of a disaster, instead of the user moving arbitrarily to a point of time for recovery, the system will automatically start the recovery from the selected business event, he added. The feature will start shipping in DR-Scout in the first quarter next year.

By the end of next year, InMage will also introduce an information-tiering feature to its product that will use a policy engine to enable data to be automatically moved from primary to secondary or tertiary storage, depending on the priority, importance, and age of the data, Malavalli said. This feature will enable users to save on storage costs by allocating only critical data to more expensive and sophisticated storage, he added. By the end of next year, the product will also have an archiving feature.

DR-Scout is targeted at the mid-tier market consisting of companies with revenues between US$20 million and $300 million, according to Malavalli. The average price of a DR-Scout installation that protects about five servers with about 10 terabytes of storage attached is $50,000, he said.

The mid-tier market requires not only low-cost software, but also software for which the deployment and management is highly automated, because typically these users don't have a fully fledged IS department, Malavalli said.

InMage, of Santa Clara, California, has recently introduced continuous data protection (CDP) features to its software. The current procedure of taking snapshots of the data at various times still leaves the user's data vulnerable in between snapshots, according to Malavalli. With the CDP feature, after the first copy of the data is taken, changes to the data are backed up continuously locally, and the user can rewind to any point in time, he said.

"Based on the customer feedback we are getting, we think that customers will want to do the CDP locally, and also provide the DR based on remote replication and restoration," Malavalli added.

InMage uses a hybrid model for DR whereby thin software agents reside on the servers, while the rest of the software is on a separate appliance.

"The agents ensure consistency across servers, which is required to do CDP and business event based recovery," Malavalli said.

The storage equipment manufacturer deals will help InMage increase its sales volumes. The company currently has only 13 customers in the U.S., a year after it started shipping the first version of the product, Malavalli said. The company's strategy is to have a target of 60 percent of its sales through equipment manufacturers, with the balance coming from its own sales. InMage plans to close its second round of funding of US$8 million by next month. The funds raised will be used to strengthen the company's engineering capabilities and sales force. "We are very weak on the sales front at this point," Malavalli said.

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