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Unitrends launches DR service with PHD Virtual technology

Unitrends combines its on-premises backup and off-site replication with DR testing acquired from PHD Virtual for disaster recovery as a service.

Unitrends, which has been expanding its data protection portfolio through acquisitions, will go live with a new disaster recovery service next month, combining its physical and virtual backup technology with DR testing it gained when it bought PHD Virtual in 2013.

Unitrends' new hybrid Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) builds on the vendor's No Limits Cloud service that continuously replicates locally backed up data into the cloud. The data is backed up on-site on Unitrends' integrated backup appliances.

DRaaS includes No Limits Cloud, on-premises appliances ranging from 1 TB to 97 TB or a virtual appliance, the Unitrends' ReliableDR DR testing software, installation and cloud seeding services, and next-day shipment of hardware in case of failure. It also includes what Unitrends calls "white glove" service -- personal support help for quickly spinning up infrastructure for business continuity.

"We call it 'white glove' service because when a customer calls, we don't leave it up to them and tell them, 'Here's a portal. We hope it works,'" said Subo Guha, Unitrends VP of product management.

PHD Virtual gained ReliableDR when it acquired Virtual Sharp in April 2013, nine months before Unitrends picked up virtual backup specialist PHD Virtual. At the time, Unitrends' CEO Mike Coney said Unitrends would use PHD's cloud technology to launch DRaaS.

DRaaS customers will buy a monthly or annual subscription based on capacity, starting at 32 cents per gigabyte.

Customers can trade up for a larger appliance at any time. "We want customers to focus on what they need to protect, not what device they need," Guha said.

Instant recovery is provided by Unitrends Bridge, which is available on Unitrends physical and virtual appliances, and enables protected Windows systems to be transformed into virtual machines. It lets customers create a standby virtual machine that can reside on the same physical appliance or another VMware host. The standby is updated by each subsequent backup. The standby server can become an active server at any time.

Unitrends also bought Australian stealth startup Yuruware last month, giving it technology to move data into public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) in future releases.

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