IBM, which acquired Arsenal Digital Solutions' online data storage services in December 2007, is beginning to integrate the company's second-generation "cloud computing" technology into its own massive product portfolio.
In a pair of announcements April 28, IBM said it has expanded its Express Advantage Portfolio for midsize businesses to include a new set of information protection services, which represents IBM's first move into on-demand data protection, Information Protection Services executive Brian Reagan told eWEEK.
Cloud storage is a model of networked data storage in which data is stored on multiple virtual servers, generally hosted by third parties, rather than being hosted on dedicated servers.
The new IBM services are Remote Data Protection Express, a scaled-down version of IBM's premium enterprise data protection package, and E-Mail Management Express, a new online service based on Arsenal's product. Both services are available now, Reagan said.
"These are designed precisely for the midsize business that has perhaps two or three Windows servers and a smaller-footprint data center," Reagan said. "We'll be selling these through the channel only, and that's where the support will come from, also."
Storage and e-mail a la carte
Remote Data Protection Express is an automatic, high-security off-site data backup and recovery service for Windows servers and PCs, Reagan said. This turnkey service for distributed and remote environments includes all of the hardware, software, monitoring and management that midsize businesses need to implement an effective data protection strategy, he said. Pricing for RDPE will run in the $5 to $6 per gigabyte stored range, Reagan said.
E-Mail Management Express enables users to choose from a newly expanded portfolio including e-mail continuity and e-mail archiving, with features and options that can be combined to help support diverse e-mail management needs hosted by IBM, Reagan said.
The e-mail continuity service is designed to provide reliable access to e-mail messages and ensure uninterrupted access to e-mail tools and data, he said.
"Pricing is volume-based and can vary by business partner," Reagan told eWEEK. "We see street pricing in the range of 500 mailboxes for $1.80 [per] mailbox; 5,000 mailboxes [would cost] $1.30 [each]."
Arsenal Digital, which brought about 3,400 customers of its own to IBM through the merger, served mostly small and midsize businesses that wanted data protection and easy online access in response to increasing regulatory requirements and fast data growth. IBM had partnered with Arsenal for several years on specific orders.
Prior to its acquisition, Arsenal had become the decade-long partner of choice for 10 global service providers and had built an SAAS (software as a service) infrastructure with 60 data centers in 12 countries and on five continents, with an active data-protected footprint in 2006 that reached 24 petabytes and services that spanned from consumer to enterprise, the company said.