1-Net offers non-stop online backup service

Company teams up with Switzerland-based data hosting center to provide round-the-clock online data backup service in Asia.

SINGAPORE--1-Net, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the country's incumbent broadcaster MediaCorp, last week unveiled a new online data backup service that lets its users archive data through the Internet, round-the-clock.

Dubbed SwissVault, the online backup service is available to users in the Asia-Pacific region 24 hours and 7 days a week. Based on a 448-bit encryption and hosted in Switzerland, the service is provided through a partnership with Swiss company SIAG (Secure Infostore AG) which owns Swiss Fort Knox--a network of three data storage centers, two of which are located under the Swiss alps.

To archive data using SwissVault, users upload the files from their desktop to be stored in SwissVault's centralized data backup system--the SwissVault StorageCenter--through the Internet. According to 1-Net, data is highly compressed and encrypted before it is sent online to the StorageCenter.

The StorageCenter is located at the Swiss Fort Knox in Switzerland, and comprises of hardware, software and fail-safe disk systems, 1-Net said, in a statement.

According to the Singapore-based company, after the SwissVault backup application has been initialized, "a patented binary-patching technology" takes over and sends only the data bytes that have been modified since the previous transmission.

In addition, a file-based restore function is available via the Internet to users on a 24-hour basis in the event of an emergency, said 1-Net.

In a statement released last week, SwissVault COO Flo Schweri said "electronic information is the heart of every modern organization", and any severe loss of data represents "an existential threat".

Data backup services such as SwissVault, are "a life insurance for every commercial activity", Schweri said. "From a legal perspective, an overseas backup copy will soon belong to the fundamentals of most international policies," he said.

Immediately available in the market, SwissVault is targeted at a broad range of users including individuals and large enterprises, and can be purchased in four configurations:

  • SwissVault Solo, for individuals;
  • SwissVault Combo, for small-office environment that requires an economical solution;
  • SwissVault Eco, for small and midsize companies that store data on a central server, and which do not require open-file and database backup; and
  • SwissVault Pro, for medium to large companies with more complex or mobile IT installations.

Those interested can register for a free 30-day trial version of the SwissVault Solo at SwissVault's Web site.

On-demand storage in Asia
According to Timothy Wong, market analyst forAsia-Pacific services research at IDC, online backup services are not new in Singapore and have been in the market for more than five years.

Online backup services were not pervasive due to bandwidth limitations in the past, Wong explained, but this is no longer the case with the growth in bandwidth capacities over the last couple of years.

However, he noted, the adoption of such services currently available in the market has been relatively slow primarily due to concerns over security and sensitivity of having their data stored at a third-party site that operates under shared storage resources.

Wong said: "Organizations are more comfortable with dedicated resources but that comes with a higher price tag, which result in a gap that providers are [now] trying to narrow."

"[The adoption of online storage services] will still continue to be slow this year. Nothing revolutionary has happened in this space to set a new wave," he said. "However, [these] services may ride on the increased adoption of business continuity and disaster recovery measures that will be a hot trend this year."

He added that this new service is likely to take off in the region "with the appropriate security measures to assure that the data will be kept away from malicious activities in storage, as well as during transportation".

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