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New DR SaaS startup buddies up with Data Domain, offers SLA

A new private-cloud SaaS player launched this week, with plans to combine VMware and Data Domain products into an off-site disaster recovery service with a money-back recovery time service level guarantee.

Simply Continuous, based in San Francisco, is offering two services: Data Recovery Vault and AppAlive. Both involve the use of Data Domain’s DD series appliances at the customer site, which replicate to Data Domain appliances at the Simply Continuous data center. AppAlive adds bare-metal restore of servers from virtual hot standbys stored by Simply Continuous, which can also perform the conversion of physical servers to virtual ones using VMware’s vConverter tool.

Founder and CEO Tom Frangione said Simply Continuous will charge for capacity according to actual physical data stored, rather than by ‘virtual’ data – so if a user’s 20 TB are compressed to 1 TB by Data Domain’s dedupe algorithm, Simply Continous will charge the user for 1 TB.

Both services also come with a recovery time service-level agreement (SLA), based on the type and amount of data stored. The SLAs first guarantee that data will be recoverable on demand, and then set a maximum recovery window for data. According to a copy of the SLA provided to Storage Soup, the consequences for Simply Continuous are as follows:

  • If Data Recovery Vault is not available at our expected 99.9% rate in any calendar month, we will give [the customer] a credit toward the next month’s service.
  • If that happens three times in any 12 month period, [the customer] can terminate the contract.
  • If [the customer] cannot recover data in the agreed upon time frame, we’ll give [the customer] 3 months service credit toward future services

Customers can also monitor their own storage capacity at Simply Continous with tools the service provider makes available through its web portal, including SNMP trap reports and a help-ticketing system. The company is targeting users with between 1 and 100 TB of data. Pricing depends on capacity. Frangione said the company, which received $10 million in a recent series A funding round, has signed up about 20 customers since last November.

The launch of this company comes after some discussion this spring about the use of service providers for the backup and offsite DR storage of business data, after a well-publicized lawsuit between backup service provider Carbonite and its former storage provider. Enterprise Strategy Group founder Steve Duplessie urged enterprise users to seek out service provider offerings that included service-level agreements. Backup SaaS provider SpiderOak said SLAs will be soon be available, though both SpiderOak reps and Carbonite CEO David Friend have pointed out that offering SLAs, especially SLAs that include geographic redundancy, raises the cost of the service for customers. Either way, both say SLAs, when and if they are added, will not be added to public-cloud consumer-oriented services, but to separate business or enterprise offerings.

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