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More laptop backup options

Berkeley Data Systems, an online remote backup service provider in American Fork, UT, launched MozyPro in December and says 2,500 customers have signed up for the service. Interestingly, many of these users are running the software on laptops.

MozyPro encrypts and backs up files remotely by copying the files that reside on a PC or server, including emails, onto its own servers for safekeeping. The service costs $3.95 per machine per month, plus $0.50 per gigabyte per month. In April, Berkeley signed a global contract with General Electric for online desktop and laptop backup, signaling the acceptance of these services among the Fortune 1000.

"Notebooks are the red-headed stepchild of the IT department," says Josh Coates, founder and CEO of Berkeley Data Systems. "This service brings them back into the family."

Coates says he's seeing large companies encrypt laptop data and then use a backup service for data recovery if the machine is lost. "You've got to encrypt the hard drive, but that locks you out of data recovery unless you do remote laptop backup," he says.

Berkeley isn't the only company with its eye on the laptop backup ball. In February, Yosemite Technologies acquired FileKeeper, which makes near-continuous data protection software for remote laptop backup. FileKeeper's software saves file-level changes and automatically backs them up to a central server, provided the user is plugged into the corporate network or VPN. If the mobile user doesn't log on, the changes are saved in cache until they do.

"We're seeing a lot of traction among accounting firms, with auditors collecting data from clients on notebooks," says Mitchell Cipriano, Yosemite's VP of marketing. He believes organizations are slowly realizing the implications of losing corporate data. "Compliance is forcing folks to look at laptop backup," says Cipriano.

Other vendors heading in this direction include Packeteer, which plans to include laptop backup combined with traffic acceleration in a Mobiliti release by the end of 2007. Peer Software, among the longest-running laptop backup products available, is undergoing a company revamp that will include support of mobile PDAs and other devices later this year.

--Jo Maitland


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