IBM to sell data backup for homes, small firms

Move allows Big Blue to tap new distribution channel, via agreement with Digital River's online marketplace.

IBM plans to announce Friday that it is offering its Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files to home users and to small and medium-size businesses.

Big Blue plans to reach this market via a new online distribution agreement with Digital River, which will sell the software through its oneNetwork marketplace. Digital River's online marketplace includes major retailers such as Circuit City, CompUSA, OfficeMax and Staples.

IBM, which also plans to offer its continuous data protection product through its Web site, will sell the software for $35 per laptop or desktop.

The Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is designed to save users' information continuously in real time rather than in periodic snapshots.

Once the information is saved, an encrypted copy is sent to a remote location, such as a USB drive.

"Data loss threats caused by viruses and outages aren't just a big-business concern," Hershel Harris, IBM Tivoli storage and security vice president of development, said in a statement.

Last year, IBM introduced the data protection product for corporate users.

"By offering IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files through mainstream online retail sites in Digital River's oneNetwork, consumers and small business users have access to an enterprise-class data recovery solution," said Don Peterson, senior vice president of global client development for Digital River.

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