Starting with the notion that a company's data is its most valuable asset, backup and disaster recovery systems take on a mission-critical importance. But too often those technologies are of a burdensome, labor-intensive complexity to install and maintain.
STORServer thinks it has a better way.
STORServer's appliance is designed to integrate backup, archive and disaster recovery into a single, bundled solution that is custom built for the environment where it will be deployed.
"The STORServer appliance approach to backup solutions addresses two glaring enterprise data protection problems: retention policy and restore difficulties in complex enterprise-wide environments, and the need to automate and simplify backup, archive and disaster recovery management and operations," said John Pearring, manager of sales for STORServer.
Colorado Springs, Colo.-based STORServer says in its mission statement that its central goal is to "help our customers simplify backup of their data in an environment of ever-increasing complexity." But by offering a bundled package that includes many items on a company's storage agenda, such as deduplication, replication, and virtual backups, it also touts cost savings.
"Individual product pitches ... whittle away a client's budget and attention as customers struggle to attack their complex data protection problems an issue at a time, rather than with a total, comprehensive solution," Pearring said. The STORserver offering places backup, archiving and disaster recovery within a unified console that provides for automated management, monitoring, reporting and analysis.
The firm caters to the mid-market, aiming to deliver enterprise-class solutions that IT administrators can manage in just minutes a day. Each appliance is built to the specifications of the environment in which it will operate, with an initial setup that can be accomplished in one to three days, on average, according to the company.
STORServer also offers a robust support service. Once the appliance has been created, the company dispatches a consultant to handle the installation and train the IT staff on its usage. Then, with the optional Platinum support, STORServer makes available backup experts who can run the backup and check remotely on features such as the archives and the disaster recovery plan, as well as conduct monitoring.
STORServer began with a team coalescing around the mission of building a data-protection appliance to integrate with IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Today, the company is billing the software GUI that controls the TSM appliance as the STORServer Console, replacing the longstanding STORServer Manager. The product automates many TSM tasks, including the creation of disaster recovery media and data migration.
Other entries in STORServer's product portfolio include the Archive Backup Client for OpenVMS systems, which provides for the incorporation of OpenVMS servers in an IBM TSM backup solution. STORServer also offers a data protection solution for Oracle and Oracle Rdb databases and a backup and recovery agent for Microsoft's SharePoint.
More recently, in January, STORServer rolled out its Virtual Machine Backup software, which offers a GUI to handle backups of VMware virtual environments, making use of VMware's vStorage APIs.
And virtualization, as STORServer sees it, is a game changer, leading the company in the direction of a software-only backup appliance.
"Following on the heels of server virtualization, storage appears poised to become fully transparent for customers," Pearring said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for completing our STORServer mission to totally automate data protection, since the bulk of policy and operation speed bumps in an IT shop point to storage difficulties -- data movement and changing technologies."
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here