Merlin releases back-up tool for Linux

Back-up tools have become invaluable pieces of the network puzzle, and Burnaby B.C.-based Merlin Software Technologies is aiming to play a part with its recently released version of PerfectBACKUP+, a full-featured network back-up utility for Linux servers and workstations.

According to Robert Heller, Merlin’s President and CEO, PerfectBACKUP+ version 7 allows the user to automate the entire back-up process.

“We see back-up as a necessary part of the basic operating system,” Heller said. “Everybody needs back-up, it’s just that most people don’t do it until they’ve had a crash. What we’d like to do is make sure it’s there before that happens.”

Heller said PerfectBACKUP+ provides automated full system back-up and recovery, back-up packages and scheduling, data encryption and compression, enhanced recovery and a robotics module that supports a range of tape libraries.

“In terms of the end user benefit, it is performance speed,” Heller said. “You can allow and disallow users to make back-ups; you can add new devices. You don’t really have to know too much about it. It’s very friendly and easy to install.”

He said version 7 is not different in terms of performance speed, but added that the scheduler and file selection dialogue are much easier to use.

Heller said PerfectBACKUP+ was originally designed as a set of recovery tools for UNIX systems.

“The reason we focused on Linux was an issue of cost,” he said. “It has really long been our belief that the cost of applications for the UNIX market has been way out of line. The issue with Linux is that the total cost of ownership is much lower. The growth of Linux is huge.”

Dan McLean, research manager, network support and integration services for IDC Canada in Toronto, said that with back-up, the idea is to introduce a process that takes the actual performing of back-up out of the hands of people and to automate the process as much as possible.

“Back-up is kind of like security,” McLean said. “It is generally this really un-sexy thing. It’s the sort of thing that you really don’t recognize until something goes wrong.”

Heller said PerfectBACKUP+ is essentially suitable for anyone using the Linux platform, and he said it competes head-to-head with competitors on feature set and price.

However, McLean said price really is a minor issue when dealing with back-up.

“If this is a product that can automate the process and make it really easy, you would think that in environments where there is a high demand for back-up it would be an almost priceless thing to have.”

Merlin recently announced that it will be porting PerfectBACKUP+ to FreeBSD, RedHat Linux SPARC and Alpha, Solaris SPARC and Intel, and MAC OS/X.

PerfectBACKUP+ version 7 is available and is priced at $69 for the download version, and $89 for the retail package and manual.

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