Web Hosting Interview - R1Soft May 2008

May 2008
Web Hosting Interview - R1Soft May 2008

David Wartell, V P - R1Soft Division at BBS Technologies, Inc.

There are only a few occasions where you can guarantee to see a grown man cry. His daughter's wedding? His son's graduation? Possibly - but give me a man with server problems and I will give you tears and a time when people in the office reflect on just how useful handgun controls really are. Recognizing their potential to benefit the average Joe's wellbeing - and perhaps positively impact crime statistics - many web hosts are now offering backup services and looking to R1Soft to offer their customers the protection they genuinely need. We talk to David Wartell, V P - R1Soft Division at BBS Technologies, Inc. We ask David what lack of effective backup can actually mean and what R1Soft does to ensure it never happens.

  • HOSTSEARCH: Mr. Wartell - thanks for meeting us today. Hope we haven't disrupted your schedule too much. Let's kick off by you telling us about BBS Technologies and what they do.
    DAVID WARTELL: BBS Technologies is a leading provider of systems management products that help companies better manage the performance, availability and security of their computing infrastructure. Recently named to the top 50 in the Deloitte Fast 500 list of the fastest growing technology companies in the US
  • HOSTSEARCH: And of course BBS Technologies bought the all important R1Soft late last year. R1Soft seems to be in the news a lot, but for those of our visitors who haven't come across it, tell us a little about R1Soft and what it does.
    DAVID WARTELL: R1Soft offers the only Continuous Data Protection solution for Linux Server backups. R1Soft is a solution that enables disk-based data protection, Linux disaster recovery, and Bare-Metal Restore for servers running Linux and Windows systems. The software is the first high performance backup and restore product for MySQL and the only software to offer True Granular Restore™ for MySQL. Recently R1Soft has broken new ground in server recovery with version 2.0 of its LiveBoot product, which makes it possible to conduct a bare-metal restore of a Windows machine using a Linux Live CD.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Aside from having great products, how have you managed to get R1Soft so far in such a short period of time?
    DAVID WARTELL: Client driven product development, Strong client relationships, client referrals and strategic marketing on top of that and you have what R1Soft today. Not to mention the various speaking sessions and tradeshows that we have been a part of.
  • HOSTSEARCH: R1Soft has been called a near-continuous data protection solution - how near? If I have a server failure and R1Soft has been adopted, what exactly can I retrieve and how current is it?
    DAVID WARTELL: Our solutions provide the means to give you unlimited consistent point-in-time recovery points that will allow you to bring your servers right back to their original state in the event of a disaster. Our technology consists of two main components the CDP Server (recovery point repository) and the CDP Agent (resides on your server) that is continually tracking the changes as they happen and then makes it possible to create a recovery point that will be sent over to your CDP Server depending on the settings in the configurable scheduler & rotation policy interface provided with our solutions. The technology makes recovery points as often as every 5 mins. possible even on heavily loaded servers.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Your website suggests R1Soft offers "Bare-Metal Restore for servers and workstations running Linux and Windows systems". Never really understood that term - what does it mean?
    DAVID WARTELL: Bare-Metal Restore in the hosting market was not a frequent term is what we have learned traditionally hosting providers were used to loosing their servers then having their DC restore the server to it's original state to the time when it was first purchased WITHOUT their data, then server admins would go through the painstaking process of restoring all their files from their last backup which at times would be the last week or nightly if they were lucky or if they even had backups!

    Until now, R1Soft provides the means to bring a server right back to its original state from the various recovery points that have been setup all with a handful of clicks from one of our various restore methods. Along with our CDP for MySQL giving hosting providers the means to perform a True Granular Restore all the way down to the table level will give you the complete disaster recovery solution hosting providers need to focus on the operations of their hosting business.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Just how important is it to have the level of backup R1Soft offers? What can lack of effective back up mean?
    DAVID WARTELL: The question lies in the clients data, how important is the data that your clients have entrusted with you? How effective is your current backup plan or your disaster recovery plan? Would you be able to provide your client the ability to access/restore their own files in the event of an accidental file deletion? Restore an entire server with hundreds of clients on it as quickly and as efficiently as possible? Can your server handle backups as often as every 5 mins. without it being a noticeable process on the resources? If you're a hosting provider your client's data residing on your servers is what is generating your revenue, why not protect it as often as possible?
  • HOSTSEARCH: You launched your Hosting Partner Program (R1HPP) earlier this year, just on the heels of sponsorship of WebhostingDay 2008 and the launch of a Channel Partner Program. How important have these initiatives been for your company?
    DAVID WARTELL: Highly effective and our Hosting Partner Program has been highly adapted in our ever increasing client base. Providing our partners the means and tools on how they can ultimately not only pay for the solution also turn an additional revenue stream is key and something we have set forth as the main goal in the R1Soft HPP. With our cooperative marketing efforts with our clients not only will we help expose our clients in turn they will be able to have a much stronger retention rate with their existing client base as well. It makes perfect sense for us to form these partnerships with our client base that have entrusted us and we have already formed the basis of the partner relationship during their setup and product launch.
  • HOSTSEARCH: So, how far can this technology go?
    DAVID WARTELL: We have made the impossible, possible and we are always looking for ways to innovate the solutions that we provide, take for example our CDP for MySQL something that sparked from conversations with our clients in our forums all it took was for someone to say "it would be great if ...." And others to agree and there you have it we now have the only product of its kind which has had tremendous success in the hosting market place.
  • HOSTSEARCH: And what are your longer term goals as far as this technology is concerned. I could see it slipping into the cloud quite nicely - is that a route you are considering, or is the software/server model pretty well embedded?
    DAVID WARTELL: We are always looking into ways to expand the solutions that we offer without going into to many details our partnerships are always forming on many fronts primarily client based and right behind that comes the integrations solutions vendor partnerships as well. Right now our primary focus is on the server protection however as previously mentioned our clients will strongly determine the direction of our product development roadmap.
  • HOSTSEARCH: Without giving the game away too much, do you have any new products or initiatives in the pipeline?
    DAVID WARTELL: One recent announcement we have made in our Live Boot 2.0 which makes it possible to conduct a bare-metal restore of a Windows machine using a Linux Live CD something unheard of in the hosting industry or in any vertical market for that aspect. This will come as a relief to much pain endured by Windows server admins everywhere.

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