Seagate's newly-formed i365 subsidiary has announced that its online backup and recovery software, is now being offered in Europe either as a SaaS product, or a managed service.

Offering software as a SaaS solution or managed service has been an evident trend of late in the security industry, but storage as a service is still relatively rare in Europe according to analyst house IDC.

"The European Storage-as-a-Service market is still in its infancy and is rather fragmented with small local SaaS offerings," said Carla Arend, program manager, European storage software and services research at IDC. "There is no clear leader for the market yet, and it is wide open for a targeted company like i365 to capture early adopter customers.

Arend feels that i365 is investing in the market at the right time.

Essentially, EVault SaaS and EVault Managed Service offers organisations automated online backup recovery services, protecting both servers, and laptops and desktops. In order to improve performance efficiencies, only new and updated data at the block level is compressed, encrypted, and transmitted offsite to one of i365's European datacentres, where further de-duplication takes pace.

Of course, customers are given full access to their data via a web interface, so they can manage and restore their data in the advent of data loss. The company says that other features of the SaaS offering include "the flexible packaging and pricing, easy deployment and management, broad platform support, and multiple options for data recovery." 24x7 phone support is also available and the solution comes in English, French, German and Spanish.

i365 also said it was extending its top tier, SAS 70 Type II, and ISO 9001:2000 certified data protection infrastructure with datacentres across Europe, notably in the UK and Luxembourg. Germany is to follow at the end of the year, with other countries added next year.

i365 did not respond to Techworld at the same of writing.

Seagate acquired the backup and recovery assets of EVault, after announcing in December 2006 that it was buying the company. EVault provided online network backup, recovery and data protection products, and specialised in on-site and in-lab data recovery for corrupted or inaccessible storage devices.

Since the acquisition Seagate has shifted EVault's focus from the small to medium sized business sector to include enterprise-sized organisations.

i365 meanwhile is a newly formed Seagate entity, intended to house EVault, as well as MetaLINCS, and the Seagate Recovery Services companies. These companies had previously been operating as a division of Seagate under the name Seagate Services.

i365 says it was aggressively ramping up its European sales and customer support organisations and partner network to support both the SaaS and software products for data protection.

The EVault SaaS and Managed Service is available now in Europe, with no details yet on pricing.