CATEGORY: Storage

REVIEWER:Arash Noorai, president of ePhone Inc.

BACKGROUND: ePhone Inc. is a leading provider of preferred customer contact solutions for e-commerce. The company adds voice capability to e-business Web sites, including an IP telephony application that enables e-commerce customers to talk directly to sales representatives via their computer at a fraction of the cost of traditional toll-free services.

PLATFORMS: e-Phone uses NetVault software with Sony AIT tape drives to back up all company operations, including the billing system, across a wide range of platforms including Sun Solaris, Oracle, Windows NT, Red Hat Linux and Microsoft Exchange Server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: e- Phone's billing system tracks customer usage on a minute-by-minute basis, with the data used to create monthly invoices. ePhone needed to secure this critical billing data on a daily basis, realizing that the loss of even a single day's data would cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. ePhone chose BakBone Software's NetVault software to handle the backup and protection of this data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: BakBone's NetVault provided ePhone with a robust backup solution set. NetVault's modular architecture enables ePhone to meet today's backup capabilities and provides the scalability to anticipate its needs for the future, even if those needs change sharply. NetVault does this through its focus on ease of use throughout the entire process from installation and operation to scalability and support.

STRENGTHS: NetVault is centralized enterprise storage management software, featuring the ability to easily manage the most intensive backup, restore and archiving functions across a wide range of computer platforms. NetVault's scalable, advanced modular architecture operates across distributed heterogeneous client/server and multi-user environments and is specifically designed for the next generation of network storage applications, such as storage area networks (SANs). NetVault's DirecSAN delivers on the promise of the SAN, removing the backup server from the backup data path, maximizing performance, enabling clients to perform robust operations and lowering the total cost of operation. It accomplishes this through its unequaled ability to transfer data over a SAN, directly from a client to a tape device located on the SAN. The data completely bypasses the backup server, allowing it to avoid processing CPU cycles by moving the data across its own bus.

WEAKNESSES: The storage management challenges faced by ePhone are shared by all companies regardless of size ­ how to deploy a solution that allows them to simply and effectively manage and protect their current storage assets, yet has enough flexibility to easily handle anticipated future growth.

SELECTION CRITERIA: ePhone needed an easy-to-use, easy-to- install backup solution that could handle a wide range of platforms. The company required a centralized, full-featured product and the ability to scale up as its storage needs expanded. Technical support was also critical.

DELIVERABLES: NetVault addressed the needs of ePhone with a scalable, highly reliable and full-featured product with superior technical support.

VENDOR SUPPORT: BakBone's support staff has been there every single time we have had a question, and they have bent over backward to help integrate the software into our production environments. They have been wonderful. With all software installations problems may occur, but ePhone was impressed by BakBone's customer support.

DOCUMENTATION: The company supplies users' manuals and a technical support number in case of problems or questions.

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