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Neverfail offers BlackBerry backup

Company is providing so-called resilency for RIM in an attempt to win business from smaller companies.

So-called resilient computing has long been the preserve of large companies that purchase high-end, fault-tolerant computing products.

But it is becoming increasingly accessible to companies on a more modest budget, according to the Neverfail Group, which sells systems designed to help computer networks operate during disasters.

Based in Texas, privately held Neverfail has spent several years trying to persuade companies to consider the issues around resilient or fault-tolerant computing. After catering to the Windows Server market, the company thinks the next step is protection for handhelds, including Research In Motion's BlackBerry wireless e-mail device.

"BlackBerrys are used by so many senior executives now. Many IT managers know that the BlackBerry is supposed to be a low priority. But if it fails, then that's what they'll get a call from the CEO about," Neil Robinson, Neverfail's chief executive, said in an interview with ZDNet UK this week.

Neverfail bases its resiliency service on the premise that all that is required for resilient computing is a duplicate server for each individual server, and the free passage of information between the two. If one is lost, then it's simple to recover all the data from the other.

The problem with this approach is that ensuring data is maintained across two servers in such a way to make it instantly available in the event of a problem is expensive and generally requires specialized software and hardware. Neverfail, though, argues that this isn't the case with its product.

Neverfail has been successful enough over the last three years to progressively grow and now to pick up awards for the technology, including two from this year's Microsoft TechEd conference, held earlier in June.

The average price is $7,300 per year for a three-year contract with full support.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.