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By | Chris Mellor 25th June 2009 09:06

Renta-cloud storage service launches itself at UK SMBs

ThinkGrid offers hand

Can't afford to buy a car? Then hire one as needed. That's the ThinkGrid cloud storage pitch in a nutshell. It's offering it to small and medium businesses (SMBs) that can't afford their own disaster recovery storage.

The idea is to ship encrypted files over the network to ThinkGrid's MezeoCloud storage platform and use this secure vault for backup, disaster recovery and even collaboration, with ThinkGrid saying that cloud storage can be faster and more effective than sending big files as email attachments.

The service can either be purchased as a standalone solution accessible from almost any internet-connected device, including the iPhone and BlackBerry, or integrated with ThinkGrid’s full business IT on demand portfolio, which includes Hosted Desktop and Dynamic Server plans.

ThinkGrid's COO, David Pratt, uses a cash analogy to justify the idea: "Similar to the way we use banks for keeping our hard earned cash, it’s becoming just as important to safeguard highly valuable data by keeping it stored in a secure, reliable location.” It's a cliche but still valid for SMBs.

ThinkGrid is one of many companies offering to manage your IT mess for less. It's now adding cloud storage to its existing IT-on-demand offerings, with Pratt saying: "Businesses are free to focus on what they do best, confident in the knowledge that their IT is working in the background.”

The company is a British start-up, launched in 2008, and its infrastructure uses virtualised (VMware) and modular HP servers with EVA Fibre Channel and ISCSI storage and its own proprietary grid management technology. It partnered with Houston-based Mezeo in May.

The cloud storage features include hierarchical and tag-based file organisation with library file views, role-based permission management, and public URL links that can be used to share information on forums, blogs and websites. There is also a patented online recycle container for users who need to delete or restore files from the web. ®

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