Melbourne-based open-source specialist Cybersource has developed a new disk-to-disk backup product that sits in between tape solutions, which either do not have enough capacity or cost too much to manage.
The company has launched a network backup device called Datasafe, a self-contained server appliance aimed at small and medium businesses. And like many solutions based on open-source software, its best attribute is its price.
Cybersource CEO Con Zymaris said his business discovered the need for such an appliance while attempting to solve its own storage problems. Using DAT tape solutions that cost upwards of $3,500, the company continued to hit capacity problems. The next step up, as far as Zymaris could see, was to invest between $7,500 and possibly double that figure in a DLT tape solution. He feels that such an investment is one that most small and medium businesses would find prohibitive.
The Datasafe product is essentially a rack-mountable server appliance, loaded with version capture and synchronisation software developed by the open-source community. This software, running on a Linux operating system, is optimised to work with an application server and a Web interface developed by Cybersource.
The appliance backs up file servers by taking an original data snap-shot, and then automatically keeps track of any incremental changes users make to those files on a daily basis. Users can restore lost and damaged files or retrieve older versions of files by connecting to the appliance via their Web browser.
The company is pitching the solution at organisations without a backup system in place, that have outgrown low-end tape solutions, or that have branch offices and want to centralise their backup needs.
Cybersource is also using the technology to offer clients a managed backup service. The appliance has been built so that users can opt for which files are of mission-critical importance, so they can be backed up and sent offsite to a third-party service provider. Thus Cybersource is keen to hear from resellers, integrators and other service providers that wish to offer clients such a service.
The rack-mounted appliance comes with 80GB, 160GB or 480GB of online archive storage space. Zymaris estimates that a small business with 25-30 staff generating 30 to 40GB of data would find the 80GB appliance meets their needs for upwards of 12 months. At under $3,000, he claims that no other product in the market is able to perform at such a price.
The appliance comes with a return-to-base warranty for hardware, and Cybersource plans to fix any software problems remotely via a VPN connection. The product operates with most standard network protocols and client OSes.
Zymaris said that despite being based on Linux and open-source applications, it will still be easy to use by non-technical people. "Our expertise is making open-source software meet real business needs."