As technologies like virtualization and cloud computing penetrate more deeply into the enterprise, many businesses are having to rethink their backup and disaster recovery strategies.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based InMage is among the firms looking to displace traditional data protection approaches, offering a unified, scalable solution that pairs with heterogeneous networking environments and supports a patchwork of storage and server implementations.
"As storage networking became a major force in the industry, we realized that conventional data protection approaches would not meet evolving requirements and sought to create a solution to this problem," InMage co-founder and CTO Rajeev Atluri said of the company's founding in 2002.
InMage is a channel-oriented company that maintains a distribution network of OEM, VAR and systems integrator partners.
The firm's core product offerings include the Scout software solution that can protect data Windows, Linux and Unix servers connected to DAS, NAS or SAN storage. Additionally, InMage touts its vContinuum product as a unified backup and disaster recovery solution for VMware virtual machine environments, featuring block-level asynchronous replication with minimal impact on production machines.
"We transform the ways companies protect and recover two of their major assets -- business data and applications," Atluri said. "The current enterprise environment requires these assets to be continuously accessible and recoverable after simple downtime events or natural disasters."
For managed service providers, InMage offers a cloud-based recovery platform dubbed ScoutCloud, a multi-tenant portal that promises scalability and cost savings in a model the company describes as recovery-as-a-service.
InMage's unified approach pairs core recovery technologies, such as continuous data protection, asynchronous replication and application failover with a disk-based recovery platform and a scalable architecture intended to minimize server overhead. InMage also includes WAN optimization technology, boasting that its disaster recovery solution can recover data over long distances within minutes.
InMage's products can be tailored to offer support for a wide array of enterprise platforms, including Windows, Linux, Oracle RAC, Solaris and XenServer. The company's channel partners often integrate InMage's technology into solutions geared for specific verticals, such as health care, education, finance or government.
Among businesses of all sizes, Atluri sees what he described as "the continuing march of virtualization," a movement that has seen InMage's channel partners integrate the company's backup and recovery technology directly into servers bound for virtualized environments.
"Our partners are embedding virtualization directly onto servers, and integrating availability and data protection right into the servers, providing a fully integrated experience to the SMB customers," Atluri said.
InMage maintains a two-tier program for its channel partners. Gold-level members can sign on as resellers, receiving access to guaranteed discounts on InMage technology. At the enhanced platinum-level, resellers that meet enhanced training requirements are expected to showcase InMage technology as a centerpiece of their product portfolio. Platinum members must also meet stated revenue goals and provide technical support for InMage, receiving in exchange the highest discount rates and support and collaboration on marketing and lead-generation initiatives.
"The main challenge is to gain access to qualified customer prospects," Atluri said. "From there, it's not a significant hurdle to win over new clients based on existing client success and testimonials."
In that spirit, InMage is looking ahead to a significant expansion of its channel presence in 2012, hinting at plans to step up its effort to recruit new VARs interested in reaching the unified backup and recovery segment.
By offering its recovery solution as a service, InMage aims to skirt the conventional challenge of IT budgeting and buying cycles, focusing instead on an OpEx model that reduces the overhead costs in-house solutions often entail.
Most recently, the firm unveiled vContinuum 3.0, the latest iteration of its backup and replication technology geared for the VMware ESX/vSphere environments. With the new version, InMage is offering a tighter integration with VMware vCenter to speed recovery times, provide for simpler management and improve security.
Included in the release is an intelligent, file-system-aware feature that creates an initial copy of data by targeting only the portions of a virtual machine disk that are in use, an innovation InMage boasts can result in as much as an 80 percent speed improvement in initial backup and replication over a WAN.
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here