US storage firm targets the UK

Avamar has starting offering UK companies its pricey but innovative disc alternative to tape back-up

American hard-drive back-up storage specialist Avamar Technologies has begun selling its products in Europe, and has also launched a new version of its back-up and recovery solution, Axion 3.5.

Axion is one of the newer generation of hard-drive back-up systems that offer the speed and reliability of hard drives with a cost more in line with traditional tape systems. The latest version offers a range of new features including centralised management, expanded client support, internationalisation and new file system support that enables searchable backup as well as interoperability with tape archive products.

Axion v3.5 moves and stores data on a scalable, high-availability server. It is capable of maintaining very large, multiyear archives, which can be recovered on demand and works with a wide variety of mid-range to high-end systems, including mainframes.

It can be used for backup and recovery, business continuity and disaster recovery, data security and encryption, remote office data protection and legal discovery and support for regulatory compliance, according to a statement from Avamar.

Rivals in this area include Data Domain and Diligent Technologies, which both claim they too can dramatically cut the amount of storage capacity a customer needs, while speeding up access time.

Axion 3.5 runs on a range of hardware, and can backup data from applications running on Windows, Linux, Oracle or DB2. It is one of a number of software-based storage systems that intelligently sorts data as it is stored and uses the latest data reduction techniques to reduce the amount of data by as much as 20 to 1.

But this doesn't come cheap. Avamar charges by the amount of data being backed up – around $25,000 (£14,000) per terabyte.

The total cost of storing data is rising all the time, and some companies are prepared to stomach hefty price tags on storage systems that they believe can save them money by simplifying the process and help them maintain compliance with increasing government legislation. Avamar partners with IBM (on the xSeries), HP and Oracle, among others.

Founded in 1999 the company is growing quickly. By its own figures it is growing at around 100 percent per quarter and now has over 300 installations, mainly in the US, but including some in the UK.