Backup and recovery services are in many ways a form of insurance for businesses, and Asigra has introduced a new optional pricing model that borrows heavily from the insurance industry.
Toronto-based Asigra Inc.’s new Recovery License Model replaces the standard price per GB backed up model with a combination price that includes a very low cost for the capacity backed up, and a sliding scale for the amount of data that’s actually restored. And as is the case in auto or other forms of insurance, those who incur the greatest costs (those who restore the most), pay the most.
Under the new pricing scheme, rather than paying a flat 66 cents per GB backed up per month, customers have the option of paying 16 cents per month per GB backed up, combined with a rate of between 16 cents per month and 50 cents per month depending on how much of their data they have to restore.
Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra, described the model as a way out of the “race to the bottom” pricing-driven backup model that Asigra feels will become unsustainable as backup volumes continue to rise.
“Recovery is built into the current model, so everybody’s paying for 100 percent recovery, but nobody ever recovers 100 percent of their data,” Farajun said. “We’re decoupling the cost of the backup with the cost of recovery. It makes cloud backup sustainable in the long run, even as data continues to grow.”
The recovery rate is capped at 20 percent, and the company throws out each customer’s largest recovery incident, meaning that customers won’t be automatically moved to the top cost bracket if there’s a very large one-time recovery need.
Every customer starts out at the top rate (67 cents per GB combined), but then is moved based on usage at the six-month point of their first year, and then finally, their usage at the one-year point becomes their rate for the second year. That way, solution providers have a year to iron out the kinks in their customer’s technology and minimize the amount of recovery required.
“It’s unique, it’s a door-opener, and it allows partners to provide a lot more value-add to their customers,” Farajun said. “It encourages partners to do a better diagnosis and not just leave inefficiencies in their customers’ environments.”
It’s also a model that “keeps them in the game for years to come,” as reductions in backup costs are dependent on the reduction of recovery, rather than requiring either the solution provider or the backup provider to reduce costs based on market pressures as the volume of data backed up grows.
Value Add Through Recovery Tracking
The licensing model depends on a new piece of software included in the latest version of Asigra’s backup software, Asigra Recovery Tracker. ART tracks how much data is recovered, and provides that information to both channel partners and customers, giving solution providers a chance to identify and eliminate weak points in a company’s infrastructure. Based on the information provided, a solution provider may be able to identify troublesome hardware or software that is leading to more-frequent data recoveries, and help customers drive down their overall cost.
“This is the first time the backup industry is showing this information to the customers, for the same reason that the cable company doesn’t tell you on your bill how much TV you’re buying that you’re not watching every month,” Farajun said. “We’re allowing them to draw a straight line from efficiency to cost savings.”
The model also allows for data recovery drills, with recovery for scheduled drills at a rate of seven cents per GB.
The new pricing model is an option to the current flat 66 cents per GB Capacity Licensing Model the company offers, and Farajun said the company has no intentions to make the older model go away, as there may be instances where it’s beneficial for customers with very high recovery needs.