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CA To Offer Cloud Backup Via Windows Azure

CA Technologies on Tuesday said it will offer its popular ARCserve backup and recovery solution as a service using Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform.

The move makes CA the latest traditional backup and recovery software company to launch its Software as a Service (SaaS). Just last week, CA's key rival in the backup and recovery field, Symantec, said it will offer a version of its popular Backup Exec as a cloud-based offering. The new Symantec service, called Backup, will allow customers to stream their backups to Symantec datacenters.

CA's ARCserve will be available as a subscription service using Azure as the cloud platform and storage repository. It is the first time CA has offered ARCserve on a subscription basis. Azure will be the exclusive cloud platform for ARCserve's SaaS solution, though CA is developing other non-SaaS technologies that will work with other cloud providers.

"We think that their SLAs, their security, everything about the Azure service really services our market well, so we're excited to partner with those guys," said Steve Fairbanks, CA's VP of product management for data management. "What's unique here is you're getting the combined local backup capabilities and the cloud storage capabilities all sold as a convenient service."

CA last year released the latest version of its ARCserve software, called ARCserve D2D, which the company says allows backup and bare metal restores from physical and virtual servers. It lets customers take a complete snapshot of a server or desktop and store a copy of that locally, enabling faster recovery time objectives, according to Fairbanks.

Customers will "have all of those very fast recovery capabilities locally and then we give them the ability to specify the critical files that they would like to store in the Azure cloud for a complete disaster scenario," he said. "Heaven forbid if they were to lose their entire site."

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said the CA offering will appeal to shops that want to back up data both locally and offsite. "The ARCserve-Azure solution can be a hybrid approach where there is data stored locally (at the client's site) to facilitate day-to-day operational recoveries and data stored in the cloud for longer-term retention and, in some cases, the doomsday copy should the client's primary location or data copies not be available for recovery," Whitehouse said in an e-mail.

The service will use secure socket layer (SSL) connections and employ 256-bit AES encryption for security.

CA has not disclosed pricing but ARCserve subscriptions will include fees for using Azure. Setting up an ARCserve account will automatically establish an Azure subscription. The service is expected to go into beta this summer and will be commercially available this fall.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on May 10, 2011


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