Overland Storage has released a disaster recovery appliance aimed particularly at small and medium businesses.

The REO Business Continuity Appliance (BCA) combines data replication technology with failover functionality to offer protection of mission-critical applications.

Eric Kelly, CEO of Overland said that the new appliance was aimed at those companies who had "limited IT resources and wanted a simple way to manage their data."

One of the key elements of BCA was the ability to have a data recovery point based on event and on time, "that way," said Kelly, "companies don't have to have a back-up window". The appliance also goes further than data recovery added Kelly.

"It understands the profiles of a Microsoft Exchange server and that you have to put the profiles back as well as restoring the data."

Kelly said that a key feature of the new appliance was support for virtualisation. "The demand for virtualisation is going up 100 percent," he said, "so it was important that we offered support for it." The BCA supports VMware, Hyper-V and Citrix Xen Server.

Kelly said that the decision was taken to support a variety of virtualisation products rather than just VMware because of the potential. "Although VMware has 80 percent of the enterprise market, Microsoft will make a strong play in the SMB space - that's a market that Microsoft owns." However, he did say that Overland was working with VMware on a new product in the virtualised storage space to be due out within the next six months - although Kelly was not committing to an actual date.

He said that it was important that Overland offered an appliance for business continuity rather than offering a software product. "One of the early customers for the device had a software product from one of our competitors but realised that a software based disaster recovery running on server software wasn't necessarily the best idea."

One area where the BCA could come into its own was cloud computing said Kelly, "Cloud computing is going to be critical for every business," said Kelly. "BCA is a good platform for a cloud computing offering," he added.