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In the age of virtualization and the cloud, the way IT organizations think about backup and archiving is changing dramatically. Instead of backing up entire systems once a week, IT organizations are finding it more practical to replicate data across a WAN to a site that allows them to recover an instance of a live application in a matter of minutes.

As solution providers in the channel discover this capability, many of them have launched managed services that leverage replication and virtualization technologies to redefine backup and archiving.

To help solution providers better manage those services,—a provider of a software as a service (SaaS) application that leverages replication to automate the disaster recovery process—unveiled a console designed to make it easier for managed service providers to manage backup and archiving across multiple customers. In addition, is making available an array of marketing and lead-generation services to help MSPs drum up additional business.

Built around a multi-tenant architecture that runs in the cloud, the Zetta DataProtect service allows MSPs to centrally manage a backup and archiving process that doesn’t require them to install any virtual or physical appliance at the customer site.

Instead, makes use of Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) technology that is an extension of HTTP to replicate data between customers’ applications and data centers managed by According to Gary Sevounts, vice president of marketing, the company has optimized the performance of WebDAV to make sure that backup and archiving is efficient, while providing modules for managing the various components that make up a data recovery solution.

“All the WAN optimization technology required is built into the service,” Sevounts said.

With the advent of cloud computing services, the entire disaster recovery process is being re-engineered. In the future, there will be much less reliance on backup, in favor of continuous archiving of data via replication across a WAN that makes all the data recoverable in a matter of minutes—rather than taking days to accomplish that same task using conventional backup and recovery applications.

From a solution provider perspective, that creates an opportunity to disrupt one of the most poorly managed processes in all of IT by using a service that is not only more efficient, but actually leads to better outcomes for the customer.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.