IBM today made available a package of data protection products aimed at providing small to medium-size businesses with affordable information protection tools. The package is backed by financing from IBM Global Financing, the company's lending and leasing business segment.
The IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution Express (CDPS) includes Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack Center software, a System x Express x3550 server featuring a quad-core Intel Xeon processor and a System Storage DS3200. Additionally, IBM said it will offer optional support services that provide planning, implementation, installation, configuration and basic skills instruction for IBM disk systems.
The company said the IBM CDPS Express helps provide continuous data protection and recovery management for Microsoft Windows operating system-supported data and applications, both in server rooms and in remote offices, from virtually any previous point in time, almost regardless of what occurred to cause the data loss. Applications and user data are quickly restored (IBM claims within minutes) following "just about" any data loss while data recovery is performed in the background.
Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group, an advanced IBM business partner, said more and more companies understand the downside of not having sufficient data protection. "Especially with many companies reducing staff, the ability to monitor and ensure critical customer information is backed up becomes a greater challenge," he said. "This offering from IBM provides that 'safety net' for midsized customers."
A second option, called the IBM ServicePac services for Remote Technical Support Services, provides "virtually unlimited" hardware and software phone support for System x servers, BladeCenter servers and storage devices. "This announcement reflects the focus IBM has on helping small and medium-sized businesses protect their information by leveraging industry-leading tools and methodologies, while still reducing operational costs and complexity," said IBM General Business' vice president of marketing, Surjit Chana.
The IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution Express package is now available at a promotional price through the end of November of $9,500, a $6,000 savings. The solution can also be financed over 36 months for $298 a month through IBM Global Financing for qualified midmarket customers.
"We're seeing a widening gap between the growing need for data availability and the ability to protect and recover that data using traditional methods," Chana said. "The first step in developing a cost-effective backup and recovery plan is understanding what data is most important, and where it resides."
One area demanding close scrutiny is remote and branch offices. At many companies, branch offices often store critical data about customers, suppliers and partners, Chana pointed out. A recent survey of midmarket companies found that 72 percent cite security as a critical IT solution priority, second only to information management. The survey, conducted earlier this month by Opinion Research for IBM General Business, also found the impact of the economy on IT budgets has caused 53 percent to actually increase or reprioritize their spending, with 37 percent reporting a decrease.