Data storage vendor NetApp and e-mail management appliance maker Azaleos announced April 12 that they have united to provide a new enterprise-class messaging hardware/software package for SMBs that use Microsoft Exchange servers.

Azaleos’ OneServer2 appliance and OneStop managed services basically separate the flow of e-mail from the storage apparatus and act like a traffic cop in smoothing out the ebb and flow of an enterprise’s deluge of digital mail. They also bring proactive monitoring, patch management, system fixes and reporting to the table for users who want to “set and forget” their Exchange environments, an Azaleos spokesperson said.

NetApp’s StoreVault S500 and data protection software is built into the OneServer infrastructure, allowing the Exchange environment to be backed up, replicated and restored with little or no downtime, a spokesperson for San Jose, Calif.-based NetApp said.

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The Azaleos OneServer combined with the StoreVault S500 is designed to simplify storage system protection, data backup and recovery, and capacity provisioning, so that an enterprise doesn’t have to assign a highly trained IT storage staff member to run it.

NetApp’s StoreVault S500 software allows storage to be added or allocated on the fly without disruption to operations.

“Microsoft Exchange is essential to [many] businesses of all sizes,” said Azaleos CEO Phil Van Etten in Redmond, Wash. “SMB IT managers face the same pressures as data center operators when solving application availability issues, including relentless capacity growth, server uptime, disaster recovery and compliance regulations. An Azaleos OneServer combined with a StoreVault meets the needs of smaller firms.”

SMB IT generalists are continually seeking to improve the quality and reliability of their e-mail messaging environments but most don’t have the resources to make Microsoft Exchange a core competency. In fact, most SMBs are looking for ways to improve the management and maintenance of Exchange, the spokesperson said.

“I think the deal is great for both companies, for Microsoft and for the market at large,” Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research in Black Diamond, Wash., told eWEEK.

“The Azaleos offering is a very nice hybrid of the outsourced management model and the on-premises server model. The addition of the NetApp storage capabilities rounds out the Azaleos offering very nicely by offering a flexible, high-performance storage option.

“There’s really not much in the market that competes directly with Azaleos,” Osterman said. “The other options usually are on-premises hardware/software that is managed with in-house personnel, or completely hosted options. The Azaleos offering fits in-between and helps to overcome objections to data stores being managed off-site by a third party.”

Pricing and Availability

Azaleos OneServer, including the StoreVault S500 and OneStop services, is available immediately from Azaleos VARs. Pricing is available directly from Azaleos VARs.

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