WD's Bill Evans: SMBs Need a Clearer Road Map for BDR

Business Speak

WD today launched the fourth generation of WD Arkeia network backup appliances, delivering an all-in-one BDR solution for SMBs.

The new line up

consists of four rack-mount appliance models with larger internal disk capacities, faster processors, increased memory, and integrated solid state drives (SSDs) to shorten backup time and accelerate data recovery. The bundled WD Arkeia v10.1 software delivers new support for "seed and feed" technology to support hybrid cloud backups. This allows companies to move backups offsite via network replication rather than shipment of tapes.

The WD Arkeia backup appliances are manufactured with features and functions that are typical for an enterprise level end user. WD, however, has designed its Arkeia line with the SMB in mind. The new appliances extend the upper range of WD Arkeia appliances, all while complementing the company’s available lower-range appliances.

WD Arkeia R120s and R220s, both with optional LTO4 tape drives, integrate dual-core Atom and quad-core Xeon processors, respectively. Existing appliances deliver disk capacities from 2 TB to 12 TB and will also bundle WD Arkeia v10.1.

Prior to the announcement going live this morning, we had the opportunity to speak with Bill Evans, GM of WD’s SMB Business Unit. Evans told SMB Nation that one of the reasons why the Arkeia line was developed was because of the constant need for data, and WD’s desire to support that. “With the Arkeia line we are delivering a product with enterprise-level features at SMB prices,” Evans said. “SMBs typically have a smaller budget than larger enterprises and don’t usually have an on-site technical staff or the same capabilities that a large, Fortune 100 company would have.”

Evans says he also feels that the SMB market needs more options and a clearer road map when it comes to the network backup appliance market. “The SMB market has been underserved, and it is highly fragmented in this area, and has not had the focus of a major storage player,” he said. “At WD, we are seeking to help by providing storage products to SMBs that are priced aggressively, are easy to use, fast and affordable.”

The new fourth-generation appliances offer:

· Increased Backup and Recovery Speed: New features include integrated LTO5 tape drives, processor upgrades to a maximum of 2 hex-core Intel Xeon, integrated SSDs on select models, and memory up to 96 GB to allow for increased data backup and recovery speeds of both files and disk images. WD Arkeia's patented Progressive Deduplication technology accelerates backups by compressing data at source computers before transfer over local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs).

· Higher Storage Capacity: Storage capacity doubles from the third generation, with raw capacity now ranging up to 48 TB, configured in RAID-6.

· Improved Ease-of-Use: Version 10.1 of WD Arkeia software, delivered with the new generation, includes an on-boarding wizard to streamline the appliance setup process.

· Storage Reliability: All new WD Arkeia appliances feature WD enterprise-class WD RE™ hard drives for maximum data integrity.

· Simplified Tape-free, Offsite Storage: Version 10.1 of WD Arkeia software extends support for hybrid cloud backup capabilities to the full line of WD Arkeia appliances. "Seed and feed" capabilities allow administrators to supplement network replication of backup sets offsite by using USB-connected hard drives to transfer initial and large backup sets and also to size WAN bandwidth for the replication of nightly incremental backups.

WD Arkeia models RA4300, RA4300T, RA5300, RA6300 – will be available in July 2013 through select DMRs and WD-authorized VARs in the US, Canada, and Europe. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, including hardware and software, begins at $9,990 USD.