BakBone Adds Replication to Portfolio with Constant Data

The software company pursues a competitive data protection strategy by acquiring a CDP vendor to augment its traditional backup offerings.

In a maneuver designed to move BakBone Software Inc. one step closer to its recently announced Integrated Data Protection strategy, the San Diego, Calif., company has acquired data replication vendor Constant Data Inc. of Hopkins, Minn.

The acquisition gives BakBone a much-needed entree into the data replication arena with Constant Datas Constant Replicator, which BakBone plans to rename NetVault: Replicator and relaunch by the end of the year.

Constant Replicator offers real-time heterogeneous data protection for mission-critical file data over IP networks and supports Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX and Mac OS X.

In a large part, the acquisition of Constant Data is intended to further BakBones stated mission of developing what it calls its IDP (Integrated Data Protection) strategy.

This is a three-pronged strategy that combines backup and recovery with data replication and ultimately delivers a management console that allows IT administrators to control and manage these and other data protection technologies from a central point.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about the continous data protection trend.

"We took a hard look at our customer pain points. Today, there is a serious lack of integration, connectivity and communication between point products within a data protection environment. You may have a backup product from a vendor and a different product from the same vendor, but they arent integrated," said Bharat Kumar, BakBones vice president of worldwide marketing.

"Our goal is to integrate our products now instead of after the fact, like some of the other vendors are doing."

By acquiring a data replication technology, BakBone is making itself a more serious competitor to its major competitors, that is, vendors that already have both data backup and replication technologies, such as EMC Corp., Symantec Corp. and Computer Associates International Inc., said Dave Russell, research director for storage software at Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn.

"This puts BakBone on a more even playing field, and may even put them slightly ahead. Symantec, for example, has something it calls Replication Exec, which is a similar type of product to what Constant Data offers, but Constant Datas is broader in its support, particularly in Linux," Russell said. "And if they can get into the archiving and CDP end of things as well, it makes them a lot more formidable than the one-trick pony that NetVault made them before."

And by adding replication to its product line, BakBone is following what Gartner sees as a trend: the convergence of data replication with traditional backup.

"Its consistent with what were seeing across the market," Russell said. "I think well see more vendors either doing something along these lines organically or going outside their companies to make a move."

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead an eWEEK Labs review here of Backup Exec 10d, a continuous data protection offering from Symantec.

BakBone seems to be on a roll, and Russell said he wouldnt be surprised if the company has further acquisitions in the works.

"They are interested in making moves in the e-mail archiving and file archiving space, which will really round out the amount of data they can protect," he said. "For a company that has had a financial uncertainty cloud hanging over it for too long, this is good news."

For BakBone, the next step is a new reporting and monitoring tool that will initially report on the NetVault Backup product but will be expanded to provide similar services for NetVault: Replicator. Called NetVault Report Manager, this product, expected to be announced next Monday, will provide the centralized reporting engine, another piece of the companys IDP strategy, Kumar said.

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