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Nine Technology opens doors for cloud backup managed IT services

Nine Technology launched with a cloud backup and recovery managed IT services platform, which includes a RAIN architecture back end as well as global deduplication.

Nine Technology is getting into the crowded cloud backup service market with a platform for managed IT service providers that handles data deduplication and compression for PCs, and plans to expand to back up data on servers and eventually provide disaster recovery.

The startup this month launched its Powered by Nine One laptop and desktop backup service, and intends to add its Powered by Nine Pro server offering for businesses in May. Its executives say they are seeking managed IT services partners, but haven't announced any yet.

Nine Technology claims its client-side software performs data deduplication, compression and encryption. Powered by Nine's products also handle bare metal recovery, continuous data protection (CDP), Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) support and multi-port restore, and it lets uses set retention periods.

Nine's founders, CEO Tom Gelson and CTO Alexander Stoev, come from online backup and DR provider Vault USA, giving them experience as managed IT services providers. Stoev also spent 11 years with Asigra, which sells backup software to MSPs.

Stoev says Nine built its architecture from the ground up, using a redundant array of independent nodes (RAIN) architecture for the back-end hardware. The Nine Technology RAIN configuration includes commodity storage equipment, load balancers, and independent and fully active nodes.

"I was fascinated with the Google concept of building something with low-cost pieces of hardware and to distribute the load among lots of nodes, and that's how we came up with this grid-based RAIN architecture," Stoev said. "The difference between us and the rest of the [online backup] world is that we don't rely on expensive storage."

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse says Nine's architecture makes it easy for customers to scale.

"The benefit [of the RAIN architecture] is that you have really seamless scalability," Whitehouse said. "If you need more throughput, you add another node. If you need capacity, you add disk to the back end."

Whitehouse said it should also help Nine that its founders know how the managed IT services provider business works.

"The MSP market is large and growing," Whitehouse said. "I think [Nine Technology] has a unique perspective on delivering solutions to that audience because [its management team ] was with an MSP."

Nine Technology's suggested retail price for its One product is $5 per month per subscriber for unlimited cloud backup. When it launches its Pro product later this month, Nine Technology suggests pricing from $25 for 25 GB per month up to $100 for 250 GB plus another 50 cents per gigabyte over 250 GB.

Nine will compete with other vendors offering cloud backup and data protection platforms for MSPs such as Axcient Inc., StorageCraft and VaultLogix LLC.

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