Asigra broadens converged data protection in Version 13

The long-time cloud backup solution’s new features include Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service enablement, open infrastructure support for FreeBSD on ZFS and CentOS, and integration with Linear Tape File System for archiving.

AsigraV13Screenshot 300Toronto-based cloud backup vendor Asigra has deepened its convergence capabilities with version 13 of its Cloud Backup Solution, integrating new disaster recovery, backup archiving and security options, and optimizing support for open infrastructure.

Asigra is not the first backup vendor to turn its long-time offering into a converged solution. But it is still early enough in the ranks of the convergence adopters that they believe it will be a critical differentiating factor for them.

“Version 13 is a major release for us, with a number of very significant new features,” said William Kulju, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Asigra. “I think we are still ahead of the curve. It’s clearly the direction the market is going in.”

Kulju said convergence is being driven by the increased complexity of the data protection environment.

“Having a lot of point solutions is expensive to manage,” he said. “We solve this complexity problem with a single solution, and let companies pick and choose the protection they want.”

Asigra previously offered its own disaster recovery capability, Asigra VDR (Virtual Disaster Recovery), which created a replica VM based on the backup.

“There was some latency, and partner clamour to do more forced our hand, so to help service providers provide a broader range of VM protection, we are introducing VMware vSphere replication,” Kulju said. “It is included at no additional charge.” He also indicated Hyper-V was on the road map for a future release.

Three disaster recovery options are now available for service providers from Asigra, each of which consume correspondingly more resources. Point-in-time backup protection with full VM or file level restore consumes the fewest resources, with Asigra VDR and the new VMware replication consuming more still, although the faster VMware replication may enable partners to charge more to their customers for a premium disaster recovery service.

“We are also adding integrated support for magnetic tape for tape backup for old data required to be kept,” Kulju said. Version 13 provides automated parking of old backup data to Linear Tape File System through the Asigra BLM Archiver.

“It provides a new lower cost option for archived data,” Kulju said. While tape is an old technology, it still provides up to an 84 per cent cost savings compared to disk-based storage over a ten year period.

Other new open source integrations provide ways for service providers to reduce infrastructure costs.

“We are adding open infrastructure support for FreeBSD UNIX on ZFS and CentOS Linux and are optimizing the product for them,” Kulju said. “We are also adding support for CentOS running on commodity hardware.”

Two significant Microsoft integrations took place as well. A new Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager integration makes mass deployment to Windows endpoints easier by letting administrators easily deploy and configure Asigra Cloud Backup client software across thousands of Windows mobile endpoints not connected to the LAN. Office 365 data backup and recovery protection, which was announced in December, is also part of this release.

Support has also been added for Docker’s lightweight, easy to deploy containers, to provide Asigra deployment and protection options for its many applications on the open source platform.

Geo-location and remote wipe have been added, so service providers can find lost or stolen mobile devices, with a Google Maps interface, and to delete backed-up data deemed at risk from any mobile device.

William Kulju asigra

William Kulju, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Asigra

“Only protected data is wiped, while non-protected is left alone.” Kulju said. “This is a great benefit to service providers, who no longer need a third party tool to do this, and who now have additional capabilities to offer customers.”

Full Chinese language support has also been added, to make it easier for Chinese admins to work in their own language.

“There is a huge opportunity for us in the Chinese marketplace, so this full localization was important for us,” Kulju said.

Finally, the Asigra Cloud Backup User GUI interface has been completely redesigned, in consultation with the Macadamian UX design team and the Asigra user community, to hide complexity and help administrators perform common tasks quicker and easier.

“It has a more modern look and feel, and gets tasks done with far fewer clicks,” Kulju said.

Asigra Cloud Backup v13 is available now.