Iron Mountain adds Canadian data centre

A backup and recovery firm is opening another Canadian data centre that will allow enterprise customers to use it as a third-party facility for managing their compliance and privacy needs.

Iron Mountain will launch today its Connected Backup for PC for corporate clients and LiveVault server backup for SMBs and remote offices. The data centre will be located in Toronto and joins more than 19 other facilities the Boston-based firm operates in Canada.

Connected Backup for PC and LiveVault operate on an automated basis and are designed to ensure companies don’t lose data due to natural disasters or theft. Iron Mountain has traditionally focused on the physical storage and protection of various media but is moving much more into a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The SaaS product lines are offered in the U.S. through Southborough, Mass.-based Iron Mountain Digital.

Customers will be able to use the Connected for PC and LiveVault software as a regular site licence but could also choose to have Iron Mountain run it on an outsourced basis through the new Toronto data centre, said David Kubick, the firm’s vice-president of global channels and alliances. These services can be set up to have daily backups or on a per-gigabyte model, so pricing can vary, he said.

“With some customers, for internal governance reasons, they’ll want it on their own raised floor,” he said. “But there are others who are comfortable – if not adopting it, (they are) at least considering this option.”

Outsourcing backup and recovery means IT departments may not have to make the same kind of investments in people, technologies and training to manage that function, Kubick added. “What we’re describing is a value proposition that takes that off your balance sheet as a customer.”

IDC Canada recently published a report that suggested Canadians are under-investing in business continuity technology, including that which handles backup and recovery. Analyst David Senf said 55 per cent of those IDC surveyed said they have experienced a business disruption, for example, but not one that caused a significant business loss. As a result, perhaps, they haven’t got a reasonable plan to prevent future disasters.

“There’s a disconnect between their understanding and knowing they need to put solutions in place for business continuity and actually going ahead and doing something about it,” Senf said.

Pierre Matteau, a senior vice-president with Iron Mountain who manages the Canadian region, said the outsourced backup and recovery services aren’t intended to displace its existing business. “It’s much more of a compliance opportunity for large organizations and if there’s any anecdotal evidence to support that, look at adherence to corporate policies,” he said. “How many users, when encouraged to back up, actually do perform that task?”

Senf, however, said storage and systems failure tends to trump other drivers for backup and recovery software. “(Compliance) is not a driver for business continuity in Canada, for the most part,” he said. “Maybe in very large organizations that are impacted by the SEC and those firms that are increasingly responsible for Canadian legislation like (Bill) 198. We just don’t have the ambulance chasers here in Canada.”

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