iDrive Starts Desktop-Cloud Backup Device-as-a-Service

iDrive Vault is designed to back up not only PCs but entire servers and databases, which many other similar devices cannot do, the company said.

iDrive has always had a solid cloud storage business, judging by its 3 million customers, but now its products are literally going solid.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based cloud-storage software provider on July 14 came out with its first desktop storage device, iDrive Vault, which holds 4TB of content in the device itself and comes with another 4TB of backup cloud storage.

But users don't have to buy the device and maintain it. This is another example of the relatively new device-as-a-service trend, similar to using a printer or PC as a service, as HP Inc. is now providing.

Users basically lease the storage device, the total 8TB of storage (on land and in the cloud) and all the services that come with it for a yearly fee. The customer then can allow as many employees as it wants to use the service.

There is another motivating factor: CEO Raghu Kulkani told eWEEK that as an introduction to the company, iDrive will charge $500 for the first year of service, with the price going to $1,000 per year thereafter.

iDrive Vault will compete for market share with other storage appliance-makers as WD, Toshiba, Seagate (and its higher-end partner, La Cie), Buffalo and others.

iDrive Vault is an automated hybrid backup device. When a file is stored in it, the file also can be duplicated to the iDrive Cloud for protection. Once in the cloud, the file is again duplicated by iDrive itself, so chances of content ever being lost are very slim. This makes the iDrive Vault an option for SMBs to consider for a disaster-recovery plan.

Seagate came out three years ago with a 4TB, toaster-sized desktop storage device, and others have followed, but they don't have the same range of automated hybrid-cloud options as iDrive.

"I don't think anybody else is as competitive or comes close to this kind of pricing," Kulkani told eWEEK. "We also offer a 30-day, full money-back guarantee."

The iDrive Vault backs up not only PCs but entire servers and databases, which many other similar devices cannot do.

Key features include the following:

--Hybrid Backup Solution: Protects data locally using the Vault appliance; users choose which data to be backed up to the cloud for recovery in case of a disaster.

--Real-time Backup: Once an initial backup to the Vault appliance has been completed, it continues to recognize when files have been modified and backs those files up in real time.

--Server Backup: Perform backups of running databases and servers, including Microsoft SQL and Exchange servers.

--Time Machine Backup: Users can back up all their data to the iDrive Vault appliance using Time Machine, which backs up the entire drive, including system files, applications, music, photos, movies and documents.

--Snapshot: The historical view of backed-up data on the Vault appliance helps restore any older file or folder, helping users recover from crypto-like viruses. Users can roll back to any previous snapshots of files or folders to a specific date.

--User Management: Using iDrive Vault Central, a Web-based console for the Vault appliance, users can perform operations, such as configuring the appliance, using the iDrive plug-in for cloud backups, creating users for local backup and handling snapshots.

--Security: Data transferred from the appliance to the iDrive cloud is protected with 256-bit AES encryption with an optional private key known only to the user.

"Other hybrid backup solutions can be costly, we made sure to include industry leading features like local snapshots, time machine backup and a centralized management console into a powerful package that beats more expensive solutions in the marketplace," Kulkarni said.

Founded in 1995, iDrive is a privately held company specializing in cloud storage, online backup, file sharing, remote access, compliance and related technologies. Core services include iDrive, RemotePC and EVS for developers.

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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...