FarStone Introduces Low-Cost Backup Software for SMBs

For a mere $90, DriveClone allows a user to make a complete snapshot copy of a hard drive and take a troubled computer back to the state it was in before the problem occurred.

Data recovery provider FarStone Technology has launched an inexpensive new suite of applications designed for small and midsize businesses that tend to have problems losing data stored on their computers.

FarStones bread-and-butter product, RestoreIT, takes a troubled computer back to the state it was in before the problem occurred, so that users can pick up where they left off. Now FarStone has unveiled a new edition of DriveClone for small businesses.

DriveClone includes the original RestoreIT recovery software, plus it enables a user to make a complete snapshot copy of a hard drive. The suite includes versions for workstations, servers and networks, and a new solution for system builders.

The software can perform complete and incremental backups from within Windows without the need to reboot the system, a spokesperson said. It also allows users to take incremental snapshots at the sector level of the hard drive, either at startup or at user-defined intervals.

With the DriveClone suite, FarStone addresses what it perceives as the two top concerns of SMBs in disaster recovery: complete data protection and minimal recovery time, the spokesperson said.

"FarStone seems interesting. They are trying to move up to the SME space, where they will be competing with Veritas and Acronis," Henry Baltazar, storage analyst with The 451 Group, told eWEEK.

"FarStone needs to establish a reseller channel to go beyond the consumer backup market into the SME space. On the plus side, the vendor has been successful in attracting OEM partners for its consumer-level software. They are clearly playing catch up in the SME space, but the product lacks key features such as VSS [Volume Shadow Copy Service] support for taking live backups of Windows applications," Baltazar said.

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DriveClone 3 Pros snapshots are stored in a secure area and are easily accessed when a system problem occurs, enabling the user to immediately roll the system back to a point in time where it was working properly. This is good for mobile workers who are in the field or any user who may not have access to technical resources or support staff, the spokesperson said.

"FarStone offers a well-designed product that should find favor among SMBs for its very granular recovery," David Hill, principal of the Mesabi Group, told eWEEK. "Although it is not true continuous data protection [since it uses snapshots], DriveClone enables users to recover data to any key point in time—and that should be good enough."

"For the last four years, one of our key focus areas has been developing relationships with OEMs and noted technology players," said Tom Fedro, executive vice president for FarStone, in Irvine, Calif. "Today we see an opportunity to help small and medium businesses: With ease of use and affordability in mind, we have taken our proven core technology and rolled it into this new suite for SMBs."

DriveClone 3 and DriveClone 3 Pro will be available in early April and are priced under $90. DriveClone 3 Server edition will also be available in April and is priced under $200. DriveClone 3 Network edition will be released in June and pricing is to be determined. DriveClone System Recovery is currently available to system builders and integrators.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...