Co-op central offers data storage

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Saturday, June 1, 2002

TULSA, Okla.-A UL-listed central station based here is taking off-site document storage into modern times with a new service, off-site data storage that its dealers can offer to their customers.

Monitoring America Alarm Co-op planned to have the off-site data storage offering online by June 1, and available to its base of nearly 100 dealers across the country, said Ron Wies, general manager of the company.

"Virtually no one backs up their computer, it's a cumbersome thing," Wies said. "Dealers will be able to offer offsite backup services to their customers via the Internet where their customers can back up their computers on our servers."

The central station, which is cooperatively owned, monitors about 15,000 accounts and has already seen interest for the new service through a poll of its dealers, Wies said. The company has purchased data backup/storage software designed by a company called BackupNet as well as two servers that are installed on site. The cost for the service to end-users or to the dealers hadn't been ironed out at press time.

Wies said data storage dovetails well into the central's current operations, because of the amount of data that is already processed through the center. Initially, the central's servers will be able to handle 640 gigabytes of information, but the capacity is easily expanded to several terabytes, he said.

The idea to offer data storage was brought to the central station's board of directors by a dealer who had backed up his computer for the first time through an online service two days before his house unexpectedly caught fire.

The company's central station received its UL listing last fall.