UltraBac, Lockstep Unveil New Backup Software

Software targets mid-size companies and enterprise workgroups.

UltraBac Software and Lockstep Systems Inc. each released new backup software this week for mid-size companies and enterprise workgroups.

UltraBac 7.0.3 is more secure, faster, and easier to configure than prior versions, said Paul Bunn, CTO of UltraBac, a Bellevue, Wash., division of BEI Corp.

"At the core of every agent, is the ability to not only compress but also encrypt the data," he said. UltraBac uses Blowfish, a security algorithm written by Cupertino, Calif.-based cryptologist and Counterpane Internet Security Inc. founder Bruce Schneier. That lets UltraBac run on Windows NT4 servers, which the Windows Crypto API doesnt do, Bunn said.

The version is faster than 7.0.2 because it compresses data before its sent across the network, Bunn added. Blowfish helps with that too, because unlike other security protocols, it doesnt add extra header data. "If you put 20 bytes through, you get 20 bytes out," he explained.

A new remote installation program helps with multiple server locations, Bunn said. In a 7.1 release this spring, UltraBac will add support for Windows Server 2003s new snapshot feature, Volume Shadow Copy Service. Version 7.1 will also support a 32-bit option for restoring files directly from snapshot images, he said.

Steven Miller, IS administrator for the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority, and Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, in Charlottesville, Va., runs UltraBac 7.0.2 and plans to upgrade this month. "When I came here they had [Veritas Software Corp.s] Backup Exec, and nothing was reliable. It was driving me nuts. I got tired of trying to fix it," he said. With UltraBac, "It took me 10 minutes to write up a set of instructions that a secretary could follow," he said.

Also, UltraBac was much less expensive than Backup Exec, and other state agencies followed suit and switched, he added. In the future, "a Web interface would be nice," he said.

Meanwhile, Lockstep on Feb. 5 will launch Backup for Workgroups 1.0, said company president Karl Forster, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The product evolved from Locksteps better-known WebAgain software, which recovers Web sites after theyve been hacked, he said.

"Were primarily oriented for desktops today," Forster said. "Then, Exchange Servers in the future, and then well probably branch out across platforms," he said. The software is for departments of less than 200 users, and at that scale costs about $600, he said.