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3/27/2012
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Zetta Launches SMB Cloud Storage Platform

DataProtect 3.0 handles data protection, archiving, and disaster recovery in small and midsized businesses.

Zetta launched an updated cloud storage platform Tuesday that connects small and midsized businesses' (SMBs') on-premises data with cloud-based storage for data protection, archiving, and disaster recovery.

Called DataProtect 3.0, the service uses two geographically dispersed SAS 70 Type II certified data centers for storing backed up data. A software agent called ZettaMirror is installed on the file server or laptop at the customer's location, which selects the data to synchronize to the cloud, sets retention policies and synchronization schedules, and transports the data contained in a local cache to the cloud in a compressed and encrypted format. After initially seeding the cloud with data, subsequent backups of data are incremental.

The company, which initially launched in 2009 with the Zetta Enterprise Storage Cloud, is now using the WebDAV protocol to connect users to their data in the cloud. The company formerly used the CIFS, NFS, FTP/SFTP, iSCSI, and WEBDAV protocols, as part of a cloud storage gateway installed at the customer's location, to shuttle data to the cloud. The company claims that NFS and CIFS file protocols are fine when you have a local drive or file server, but are inefficient for wide-area communications. WebDAV allows communications between customers' on-premises equipment and Zetta.net's cloud data centers to be done in a rapid, multi-threaded mode, which allows the full available customer bandwidth to be utilized, shrinking backup and recovery time at the protocol level.

[ Learn about another on-premises storage, cloud backup combo. See Quantum Launches Hybrid Data Protection. ]

Further, DataProtect supports the lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP), which allows the IT administrator to determine which files and directories users have access to. With access control determined, users can retrieve data locally from cached data or remotely from the Zetta.net cloud via a Web browser.

In the event of a disaster, IT can mount a Web drive for direct access to the Zetta cloud. With system state backup, Zetta can rebuild the entire server to dissimilar hardware by reloading the operating system and applying the system state and user data files from the Zetta replica.

Additional features of Zetta version 3.0 are support for Macintosh laptops and desktops, Microsoft SQL Server and Windows system state, as well as continuing support for Linux and Windows file servers, Microsoft Exchange, and VMware.

Zetta is funded by Sigma Partners, Accel, and Foundation Venture Capital Group for over $30 million. The company, with 43 employees, was founded in 2008 by veterans of Netscape, Symantec, HP, EqualLogic, RSA, and EMC.

DataProtect starts at $11,400 per year for 2 TB of storage.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

The pay-as-you go nature of the cloud makes ROI calcula¬tion seem easy. It’s not. Also in the new, all-digital Cloud Calculations InformationWeek supplement: Why infrastructure-as-a-service is a bad deal. (Free registration required.)

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