Symantec is launching a data backup product that the company claims avoids risks associated with tape backup systems.

The NetBackup PureDisk Remote Office Edition 6.0, is aimed at enterprise-level customers, particularly those in remote offices, said Wim De Wispelaere, senior product manager. PureDisk is derived from Symantec's acquisition of DataCenter Technologies in April 2005.

Symantec estimates that 35 percent of corporations' data is located in remote offices, and the volume of data is growing at a rate of 50 percent annually, De Wispelaere said.

PureDisk is administered through a web interface that allows for different rules to be set for different users, De Wispelaere said.

Typically, a non-IT person is responsible for maintaining backup tapes at organisations. "There's a lot of room for human error," De Wispelaere said.

Recent high-profile cases have highlighted problems with the theft or loss of the tapes, which must be periodically transferred to a data warehouse, he said.

Symantec's software transfers data encoded with 256-bit encryption over the Internet to disk storage at another locale. The software also has replication features to send backed-up data to another central data center for consolidation, De Wispelaere said.

PureDisk uses a technology Symantec calls "global single-instancing storage," which identifies multiple copies of the same data. That data will not be backed up again, saving bandwidth and taking up less storage capacity, De Wispelaere said. The technology can detect modifications to a file on the segment level so only the unique changes will be transmitted.

Pricing is based on the volume of backed-up data, which is compressed by PureDisk. A 1 T-byte license is £14,113 (US$24,548).