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IDrive unveils low-cost archival data product Nearline

With its Nearline for data archiving, backup vendor IDrive touts a cost of 1 cent per gigabyte of storage per month, no data retrieval fee and quick access.

Backup vendor IDrive Inc. has hopped aboard the Nearline, with its new product geared for large amounts of archival data.

IDrive Nearline, launched this month, is a cloud backup service aimed primarily at small and medium-sized businesses, but it can meet the archival data needs of enterprises, said Raghu Kulkarni, CEO of IDrive.

"Right now, there is really no limit," Kulkarni said.

The vendor, based in Calabasas, Calif., provides a backup client and performs the seeding. To get customers started, IDrive offers a free express upload service, shipping them a storage drive for their data. Customers then mail it back to IDrive to upload at the data center. All data backed up to IDrive Nearline is protected with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption.

Customers have instant access to their archival data -- it's never in cold storage.

The IDrive Express service ranges from 1 to more than 100 TB, based on enterprise needs.

Kulkarni said he sees video as a strong use case for the IDrive archive product. Because of its low cost, Nearline could be a strong archival data repository for video security footage, he added.

Customers have instant access to their archival data -- it's never in cold storage.

"Video data tends to be very large, and if you're a business who needs to back up and archive those videos, it can take hours [or] days to back up over an Internet connection," Kulkarni said. "So, with Nearline, we can send a business an Express drive, then they can ship the drive right back to us at no cost, and those video files will be up in our cloud in no time."

Storage through Nearline costs 1 cent per gigabyte, per month. The company charges no fee for data retrieval, while comparatively, Google Cloud Storage Nearline charges 1 cent per gigabyte for the service.

The data can be accessed in less than one second, according to IDrive. Google Nearline claims a data retrieval time of less than three seconds, while Amazon Glacier retrieval jobs typically take three to five hours.

Customers like the express upload, encryption and free access, Kulkarni said.

IDrive backup in total has 3 million customers and backs up 60 PB of data.

John Wohlforth, IT director at Sunset Automotive Group in Florida, said his company is using IDrive backup for all of its file servers' data -- about 5 TB worth. He said his company doesn't need the Nearline archival data product, but IDrive's technology keeps his data safe.

Wohlforth said he likes the simplicity of setting the product up and knowing that each night the servers have been backed up. Email notifications let the company know the details of each server and what was backed up each day.

"This is one of the best decisions we made, to go with this company for backup and peace of mind," Wohlforth said in an email, "knowing that it is working even when you're not there."

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