Azaleos adds e-mail backup option

E-mail management vendor Azaleos next week is set to introduce an e-mail back-up option for users of its OneServer appliance. The option, which combines OneServer appliances running Exchange with network storage devices from Network Appliance, gives users a hot backup to a disaster recovery site.

The platform uses iSCSI connections and storage virtualization technology. A Network Appliance NetApp FAS270 storage device on the corporate network captures snapshots of the Exchange mail stored on a OneServer appliance and synchronizes them with the disaster recovery site, which also is running OneServer and a FAS270.

The FAS270 includes 1TB of storage, although it can scale to 4TB. It also includes built-in RAID for protection against data loss and disk failure, hot spare disks for fast failure recovery, redundant power supplies and cooling fans, and battery-backed RAM for guaranteed writes.

OneServer is a dedicated appliance that provides an active, passive, fault-tolerant and clustered Exchange platform for corporate messaging. The appliance, which is built on HP or Dell hardware, runs Windows Server 2003; Exchange 2003; and security, mobility and compliance software from third-party vendors.

"If you are going to have Azaleos provide you with the OneServer appliance and let them manage it, backup is a very logical extension of that," says Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "Backup is absolutely a critical activity." Azaleos, which began shipping OneServer a year ago, is modifying its service-level contracts to change its guaranteed availability. It also is building its disaster recovery capabilities to mesh with the capabilities of Exchange 12, which is expected to ship at year-end.

OneServer, which focuses on fortifying the Exchange message store, is deployed within a corporation's network but is managed remotely by Azaleos.

User management tasks, such as password changes and message store limits, are handled by corporate administrators through a Web-based administrative console. OneServer includes Azaleos' OneStop Subscription Service, which does round-the-clock monitoring along with maintaining and managing the appliance, from hardware to patch management on Windows, Exchange and OneServer's third-party software.

Azaleos is using the platform to monitor and manage mirroring between the FAS270 storage devices as part of its new disaster recovery architecture. "What some disaster recovery services offer is access to your e-mail from a Web browser, but what we have is full-fidelity access via Outlook that includes e-mail, calendaring and contacts," says Keith McCall, CTO of Azaleos. "One of the benefits you have there is that you don't have to retrain your employees on how to access e-mail during a disaster."

Azaleos OneServer is priced at US$30,000 and supports as many as 2,500 users. Network Appliance's NetApps FAS270 is priced starting at US$15,000.

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