Zmanda adds cloud disaster recovery to Zmanda Cloud Backup

Zmanda introduced version 3.0 of its Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB) service for SMBs, including a cloud DR solution, support for Exchange 2010 and recovery databases, customized bandwidth throttling, lower prices, and an Amazon S3 Singapore data center option.

Zmanda Inc. this week released the third generation of its Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB), adding cloud disaster recovery, support for Microsoft Server 2010 and bandwidth throttling to the online data backup service for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Zmanda Cloud Backup 3 also adds support for Amazon S3 data centers in Singapore, and Zmanda dropped pricing for the service that protects servers and desktops. ZCB is based on Zmanda's open-source backup software.

SMBs can now use ZCB 3 to run production servers with cloud-based online backup data for disaster recovery in case the primary data location becomes inaccessible. "You can back up to the cloud, and in a pinch recover in the cloud itself," Zmanda CEO Chander Kant said. "So you can fire a virtual machine in the cloud and move your workload to the cloud while you are fixing your primary data center."

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said enabling access to cloud disaster recovery services broadens Zmanda's appeal to SMBs. "By offering both compute and storage in the cloud, a small company can set up standby systems that can take over in the event of an interruption at the primary site," Whitehouse said.

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Zmanda Cloud Backup 3 also adds Exchange Server 2010 support and the use of Exchange recovery databases (RDBs). Kant said end users can recover an Exchange database to a recovery database while the production database continues to run. Administrators can pick and chose individual messages or mailboxes from the recovery database to move to the production database.

ZCB 3 also lets customers set the amount of bandwidth used during backups and restores. The throttling works per backup set, so some data sets can take priority over others.

Amazon S3 Singapore option for Asian customers

Zmanda now supports S3 data centers in Asia, North America and Europe. Kant said the Singapore option helps Asian companies required to keep online backup data stored in Asia, as well as those who want to keep the data local for performance reasons. "The system administrator or an IT manager can decide which of the three continents they want to back up their data to," Kant said. "They can use do a combination of data centers."

If an organization changes a backup target to a different data center, the change will occur automatically with the next backup set. Data migrations between data centers will require some scripting, which the customer can do or Zmanda will do for a fee.

Whitehouse agreed the addition of a Singapore data center will give some of Zmanda's customers more options. "An Asian local data center enables Pan-Asia customers, and prospects more peace of mind regarding data privacy" because of U.S. Patriot Act restrictions, she said.

Zmanda also cuts monthly pricing

Kant said Zmanda lowered its storage and bandwidth prices as much as 33% in some instances. Its monthly pricing is now $.15 per gigabyte to store and transfer data on the cloud plus $.15 per gigabyte of bandwidth used, and $4.95 per account to protect an unlimited number of Windows desktops and servers. Zmanda's competitors include Symantec Corp.'s Protection Network (SPN) hosted solutions and EMC Corp.'s MozyPro online data backup service.

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