25 year old “start-up” Arcserve launches UDP appliance

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Arcserve has announced its UDP 7000 series appliances aimed at small and medium businesses (SMB), launching into its biggest market, the US, last week with a roll-out to other regions to follow.

The newly independent company, spun off from CA in August last year, is running very fast to build new opportunities for its highly-rated Unified Data Protection (UDP) software, also first released in August (with a features update in November).

UDP is designed as a “one-stop shop” to backup all physical and virtual environments – combining agentless backup, virtualisation, extensive recovery options, replication including WAN optimisation and multiple off-site options, high availability, remote virtual standby, encryption and global de-duplication at source – all managed from a single console.

The appliance hosts UDP on Intel hardware (from MBX). Phil Maynard, Arcserve’s VP of Technical Sales Worldwide, told me that the Appliance would need electrical approvals in each country so it was easier to release in the US while addressing this in other countries.

In the background, there is much work on rounding out UDP. In the latest release is a new “virtual appliance” option and an install wizard to assist deployment by non-dedicated IT staff, but there are limited cloud and capacity management options so far. Included in this year’s roadmap are: multi-tenanted console, UDP graphical dashboard, expanded cloud gateway and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions, more granular recovery and instant VM and bare metal recovery, plus more graphical reporting.

Now privately held (by Marlin Equity Partners), Arcserve has 43,000 active customers and around 8,300 partners across 45 countries; so this is not your typical small start-up. However, it needs to move fast to build trust within this huge user base alongside getting some new wins.

Indeed, although Arcserve UDP is new, Arcserve products have existed for 25 years (once from Cheyenne then CA). So Maynard agreed with me that many people may have a (wrong) perception that its software was rather “long in the tooth” carrying “old technology”; this added to CA showing that the Arcserve product set was not strategic to its own future plans.

However, he was quick to point out that the company could now focus on its flagship UDP application, and, for example, producing an appliance would not even have been possible had it remained under CA control. The perception, and overall lack of awareness, means that the company will be working hard this year to raise its profile and become a major independent player. This release should also be seen against that backdrop.

To this end, it has created a new Worldwide HQ at Eden Prairie Minnesota, a new (still nascent) website, and deployed new applications and recruited staff for its back-office functions previously run by CA (HR, finance and legal). It is in the middle of establishing global operations, offering CA staff who transfer an equivalent employment package. Maynard told me that it had worked out at about 75% of staff transferring in each country up to now. Meanwhile, its data protection product portfolio will keep growing.

Most importantly, to protect its long-term revenue stream it must maintain strong relations with its existing user base, migrating as many as possible to UDP. If it executes this well, it could soon establish itself as a leading producer of data protection applications worldwide.

Arcserve UDP Appliance models are: 7100 (protected source data capacity up to 8TB, 2x3TB SATA disks (RAID1)), 7200 and 7200V (up to 17TB, 4x2TB SATA (RAID 5)), 7300 and 7300V (up to 26TB, 4x3TB SATA (RAID 5)). On the 7200V and 7300V the backup space available is reduced by the size of the virtual standby VMs (up to three). All carry SSD RAM for de-duplication hash tables (120GB except 7300/v 240GB). All are 1U high (19″ rackmount rails provided).