Vembu launches backup through Amazon cloud

Vembu makes its software for backup service providers available as a "virtual appliance" that runs on Amazon clouds, saving MSPs from having to host their own.

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Vembu Technologies today launched its Amazon-backed backup service, Vembu StoreGrid Cloud AMI, which the India-based vendor will offer exclusively through managed service providers and VARs.

Vembu positions StoreGrid Cloud AMI as a virtual appliance that runs on Amazon EC2 and S3 clouds. MSPs can provide chunks of storage on their backup servers and offer that to customers. StoreGrid client software runs on the end users' desktops and servers, and backs up data to Amazon's cloud.

Vembu President Lakshmanan "Lux" Narayan says the service has been in beta testing for five months, and he expects it to be used mostly by MSPs that sell to SMBs.

Vembu has offered StoreGrid software to channel partners since 2004, but this is its first partnership with a cloud service. Narayan says most of Vembu's MSPs have been doing their own hosting for StoreGrid, but many more would be interested if they didn't have to host the service.

"Every day we have service providers telling us, 'Give us a total solution. I can't be bothered hosting a solution,' " Narayan said. "Having Amazon as a partner allows us to go to service providers and give them benefits of hosting without the headaches."

Narayan says Vembu is talking to Nirvanix, ParaScale and Caringo about similar partnerships, but those vendors only have storage clouds while Amazon also has a compute cloud.

"We position ourselves as a software solution that works with any cloud-based solution," he said. "The obvious granddaddy of that is Amazon."

Narayan says Vembu has more than 1,200 channel partners, of which about 750 are in the United States.

Subscription pricing for the service is $30 per year for desktop PCs, $60 per year for servers and another $30 per year for Microsoft Exchange/SQL Server and MySQL.

Martin Obermosser, research assistant at the Vienna University of Technology, says his 20-person department has been using StoreGrid for backups for about a year and a half. Obermosser says Vembu StoreGrid provides affordable disk-to-disk backup and doesn't require a full-time IT administrator to manage. He said his department uses StoreGrid for incremental daily backups and full backups on weekends.

"We just needed small, easy, basic function," Obermosser said. "The price is rather small."

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