Verizon's Remote Backup and Restore product line, which had previously been available only for enterprise servers, will now be offered for individual computers within the enterprise. These managed services essentially take what the company calls regular "snapshots" of all data on servers and PCs and then send the data over the Internet to a nearby Verizon datacenter. The data is then stored on Verizon's system for a certain period and can be accessed by enterprise users who have lost their data. Customers uncomfortable with sending data over the Web can have it encrypted, Verizon adds.
The company says the primary advantage of these services is that they let enterprise users back up all the data on their machines without taking up burdensome amounts of space on their own IT networks. And under the new version of the service for PCs, Verizon can program specific policies to backup different types of data for different types of computers. So for example, company CEOs could get all data on their machines backed up while other employees could only get data backed up that is essential to doing their jobs. In this way, Verizon isn't wasting datacenter space on backing up employees' music and video files.
Additionally, Verizon also uses a technology known as "de-deuplication" in order to sift through the data and make sure that it doesn't copy any data that it has been already stored in its datacenter. Verizon says eliminating redundant data has the added benefit of reducing bandwidth requirements for companies sending their data over the Verizon datacenters every day.
Chris Alvord, the CEO of business continuity software vendor COOP Systems, says his company has used the Remote Backup and Restore service for company servers for the past few years and has found it to be a real time saver.
"We'd much rather spend our time on more complicated tasks in our business such as dependency graph mapping instead of figuring out how we have to adjust our hardware infrastructure for backup," he says. "It would take a lot of time, effort, and money and we don't want to do that."
Verizon's backup services for PCs will become available this week in the United States and Europe. The company says the services will be available to enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year.