Startup backs up to disk

Storage startup Avamar Technologies Inc. is launching an appliance this week that it claims backs up network data more quickly and less expensively than tape.

The company is expected to unveil Tuesday the Axion appliance, which uses Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) drives to store data and a compaction technology dubbed “commonality factoring” to reduce the size of data being backed up to disk.

Avamar CEO Kevin Daly says commonality factoring lets Axion reduce the amount of data that has to be transferred into an archive. “It identifies data objects… that are common between files that don’t need to be copied and then saves only unique data to disk,” he says.

Analysts say Avamar is one of the first companies to look at the mechanics of backup and try to solve its problems. Traditional backup to tape takes time, they say, often requiring that operations stop until the backup is finished.

The Axion appliance attaches to a Gigabit Ethernet network.

Axion works with Windows, Solaris and Linux host computers and Oracle Corp. databases. It is available now, starting at US$175,000 for a hardware and software configuration that manages up to 125 Windows and Unix clients and protects up to 2 TB of storage.