EDS introduces mobile data protection solution

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corp. announced the release of its Mobile Information Protection service on Tuesday, an offering that addresses a problem that isn’t always a priority for executives.

According to Tim Bowers, director of EDS Intelligent Storage Services, companies often don’t think about data protection and storage until its too late.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t necessarily get into trouble unless something happens,” Bowers said. “A disaster [or] some sort of regulation comes along and if you are not following the rules and regulations, you’re still not necessarily caught until something happens and it’s too late.”

The Mobile Information Protection service focuses on information distributed outside the data centre on desktops, laptops and PDAs, the company said.

Bowers said there are three pieces to EDS’s data protection service: a storage network that sits on the back-end, a PC that is hooked up to the network and a software component that sits on the end user’s desktop or laptop.

“The software that sits on the client’s desktop is what really talks to the server and the storage in the back-end,” Bowers said. “It is designed for backing up desktops and laptops, everything from My Documents, My Favourites, or whatever else…the entire PC.”

The Mobile Information Protection solution uses DataProtector software from rival company Connected Corp. to reduce the amount of storage capacity and bandwidth needed for back-up, the company said, adding that the reduced bandwidth is essential for mobile workers dependant on slower telephone lines for network connectivity.

Bowers said that although EDS and Connected are competing companies – Connected is also offering this service – they occupy different market spaces. Bowers said Connected is going after the smaller environments with its solutions whereas EDS is targeting the larger enterprise market.

“[Connected is] offering all of their back-ups over the Internet. We are offering that in phase two…today we are offering it via a service management centre, which is one of our large data centres which has a high level of redundancy and protection, or we’ll put it at the client’s location,” Bowers said.

He added that the service can be used to back-up a small piece of data, or the entire desktop. So far EDS is seeing a mix in what amount of data companies want protected. Bowers said he is surprised that many companies are only opting for partial or “blanket back-up” protection.

According to Adam Couture, a principal analyst with Gartner Inc., “the road to hell is paved with good back-up intentions.”

He added that most companies have some sort of policy in place for desktops and laptops, but because these solutions are bandwidth consuming, they become unattainable.

Bowers said phase two of the solution is scheduled for release late this year or the first part of next year. Additional information about the Mobile Information Protection service can be found on line at www.eds.com/storage.