Intel has hooked up with InMage Systems to offer server customers something they can't afford to operate without: business continuity and data protection. But does this play for the SMB market have legs?
Intel will embed InMage's recovery technologies into the Intel Server Continuity Suite. The suite lets IT admins manage server hardware, storage and backup from anywhere. InMage brings a patented data protection engine to the table, which will be integrated into Intel server boards and systems.
All this essentially means that the Intel Server Continuity Suite now comes equipped with features like predictive hardware failure, a proactive level of data protection. With the InMage integration, the suite also promises to backup data in real time and offer almost immediate recovery time and recovery point objectives while eliminating backup windows. Other key features include application-consistent recovery points and single screen storage management.
Simple to Use
"The solution cuts through potential complexity and is simple to use. Now this is often stated as necessary for SMBs, which do not have the specialized depth and breadth of IT resources available to them that larger organizations may have," said David Hill, principal analyst at the Mesabi Group. "Still, that is something that should also apply to larger organizations as well."
Although InMage does not have the name recognition of some other companies, Hill said it has long had a strong disk-based application and data protection strategy built on a concept called continuous data protection that is both simple and elegant, performing all that data deduplication promises and then some.
Of course, the current version of Intel SCS is designed specifically for local business continuity. Adding disaster recovery, such as protecting against local destruction of an IT facility or regional destruction, Hill said, is likely to be in the plans for a future release and should build upon the Intel/InMage collaboration
Is InMage the Right Partner?
Does this market have legs? Or, as Hill asks, how does a small market become big? "One answer is whenever the relatively small size of individual purchases is outweighed by a large number of transactions," Hill said. "Many, many small organizations buy servers one at a time and run them in a standalone mode."
Hill noted that these servers are really systems as direct-attached storage, or DAS, is typically bundled in as part of the package. But no matter how small a system might be, he continued, preventing the disruption of key organization processes is essential. Intel is now addressing this market need through its SCS, which integrates server management, RAID management, and data protection.
"To Intel, server management is literally built into their DNA, but they wisely reached out via collaboration to InMage for the software data protection skills," Hill said. "I say wisely, as I have followed InMage for a number of years, and I feel that the company has very strong software applications and data recovery capabilities. Overall, SMBs will be doing themselves a favor by evaluating the benefits of Intel SCS."