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SunGard Exec Ponders Revivio

SunGard Securities executive discusses why he's interested in storage products from a startup company.

Revivio Inc. is a storage startup that wants to take on established vendors such as EMC, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. It promises a simpler approach to business continuity through the use of storage appliances. The usual approach to business continuity and disaster recovery requires keeping up-to-date copies of data, or mirrored data, in remote sites, which can cost millions of dollars. Revivio's approach has attracted some interest, but it won't be shipping the product until August. Doug MacFadden, senior VP of strategic development at SunGard Securities Processing, an IT-service firm for the financial-services industry, recently told senior editor Martin J. Garvey why he's interested in a product that doesn't yet exist.

InformationWeek: How regularly do you consider startups? Why?

MacFadden: I don't eliminate them from my list. It's where a lot of innovative ideas come from. We push the envelope, and traditional approaches don't always meet our needs.

InformationWeek: How did you find out about Revivio?

MacFadden: We found out from someone I knew in the industry. It was word of mouth in the financial-services industry.

InformationWeek: What state is SunGard's own business-continuity process in?

MacFadden: We've got a mature business-continuity environment. It's very gross, duplicating a lot of storage across multiple places, and we threw money at the problem with mirrored sites. Our main sites are in Waltham, Mass., and Hopkins, Minn. We're talking tens of millions of dollars.

InformationWeek: What do you hope to get out of Revivio's appliances?

MacFadden: At a minimum, it decreases our risk from data corruption. It should be a much more precise tool than what we've had before. In addition, it should help us decrease costs in the long term between the two data centers, in communications and storage.

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