NZ firm signs net backup deal with QuickBooks

A Nelson company is integrating its internet backup service into the products of software developers.

A Nelson company is integrating its internet backup service into the products of software developers.

B&R Holdings has been running the Data Sanctuary online backup service for nine months and claims 300 users including individuals, businesses, ISPs, PC resellers and software developers. Now it’s incorporating the Data Sanctuary client software into software products such as accounting packages.

B&R Holdings director Matthew Brown, a former ISP systems administrator, says so far 14 companies have integrated Data Sanctuary into their software, including US accounting specialist Intuit’s Australasian versions of QuickBooks.

Users not using the CDs of various software products can download the free client software from www.backupserver.co.nz. Once installed, a wizard walks the user through the process of configuring an automatic backup to B&R Holdings’ data warehouse in Nelson. Depending on how much data a user has, the initial upload can take up to 12 hours overnight using a 56kbit/s modem, Brown says.

The service uses a 448-bit Blowfish encryption key for security and FastBIT incremental change backup technology, which reduces repeat file backup sizes, keeping bandwidth requirements low. A total of 2–3GB of data would be compressed to 1.5GB at a cost of around $200. The user then pays around $35 per month ex GST for 100MB of compressed storage. Nightly backups take a few minutes.

B&R Holdings persuaded the US developers of FastBIT to modify the software, which only supported DSL and frame relay, to include dial-up connections. The FastBIT process involves the comparison of two different versions of the same file and extraction of the difference between the files. When the differences are extracted from the two files they are saved into a new file and compressed into what is known as a patch. The patch file is often 85% to 99% smaller than the original file.

Brown says 90% of the data backed up is made up of Word and Excel documents and email, though about 30 companies have backed up entire databases. If a user loses data they can go back to the last 30 versions of a document. “A lot of people never actually use the facility. Only about 10% have ever gone looking for data.”

Auckland-based iBACKUP also offers backup over the internet and Wellington-based CityLink offers backup to Wellington central city users over its switched ethernet network called PublicLAN.

Brown says B&R Holdings is hoping to sign integration deals with accounting software developers in Australia, the UK and US.

B&R Holdings, which has four staff and was formed in 1999, also does wireless networking and telehousing.

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