BakBone releases free edition of NetVault Backup for Red Hat users

BakBone Software turns to an open source strategy, tries to spark viral deployment of its NetVault Backup product by releasing a Free Use Edition for Enterprise Linux.

BakBone Software Inc. is attempting to spark viral deployment of its NetVault Backup product by releasing a Free Use Edition for Enterprise Linux. One instance of the Free Use Edition entitles the customer to two client servers and support for up to 500 GB of disk-based backup through BakBone's virtual tape library (VTL). Tape backup is not supported in this release.

"We're trying to follow the economics of open source," said David Schneider, vice president of BakBone's strategic partnership group. "We see it as being especially effective in emerging markets, such as China and India."

BakBone users who want more than 500 GB capacity have two choices. They can download another instance of the Free Use Edition for another client for 500 GB of additional space, or they can sign up for SMB or enterprise support subscriptions for even more backup capacity.

The SMB support subscription, like Red Hat's own support model for its operating system, entitles the user to 8/5 support; the Enterprise version, 24/7. Pricing runs $50 per year for an additional SMB client and $200 per year for 500 GB of VTL capacity under the SMB subscription. The product is being sold through Red Hat's Compatible Software Catalog and via download at BakBone's website. The Enterprise subscription license costs $600 per year.p> BakBone will compete in the open source backup market with Zmanda Inc. and other backup products such as EMC Corp.'s Mozy and ROBOdlc's ROBObak. One way that BakBone intends to differentiate itself is by offering customers the chance to upgrade to application-specific backup modules, according to Jeff Drescher, vice president of product management.

"The benefit to end users is that they can try out the full version of a backup tool for free," said analyst Eric Burgener, Taneja Group. "It's a smart marketing move. Users are more likely to deploy BakBone in large environments if they've grown into them."

One other industry watcher questioned part of Bakbone's strategy. "I'm not sure why they felt they needed to limit the VTL capacity to 500 GB," said W. Curtis Preston, vice president of data protection services, GlassHouse Technologies. "There aren't many data centers as small as that."

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