LiveVault to Back Up NAS, SANs

The Marlboro, Mass. company will announce back-up capability for NAS and servers in SANs.

Outsourcing is a subset of the storage market that never succeeded, but at LiveVault Corp., the sub-subset of data backup for mid-market customers is expanding, not contracting.

Until now, LiveVault only backed up users individual servers, as co-branded services through Compaq Computer Corp. and Iron Mountain Inc., but tomorrow the Marlboro, Mass. company will announce back-up capability for network-attached storage (NAS) and servers in storage-area networks (SAN), President and CEO Bob Cramer and CTO Chris Midgley said.

"We protect things mostly at the file-system level. Our agents sit on the servers that are the SANs backend," Cramer said. "Its been out there in tests for about three months."

The actual name of the new services will be decided by Houstons Compaq and by Boston-based Iron Mountain individually, as will the pricing, but average prices will be about $40-$60 per gigabyte, per month, Cramer said. Virus monitoring may come in the future, Midgley added.

Cramer and Midgley admit that not many mid-market users have a SAN yet, but lower-end NAS technology built using Microsoft Corp.s Server Appliance Kit 2.0 and sold by vendors like Dell Computer Corp., IBM and MTI Technologies Inc. has been successful in the marketplace, they note. LiveVault might also makes versions of the service compatible for other NAS platforms, like Quantum Corp.s Linux design and higher-end systems from Network Appliance Inc., they said.

Mike Percopo, director of customer support and information systems at iMetrikus Inc., has used LiveVaults current backup service, via Iron Mountain, for about a year. IMetrikus connects patients, doctors and health care providers over the Web, and runs about 25 gigabytes of Compaq servers with LiveVault. Theyll be using NAS later this year, and so far "were very impressed" with the plans, Percopo said, in Carlsbad, Calif.

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