The new cloud-only solution is targeted at customers who don’t want the expense or trouble or deploying a physical or virtual device locally, and is expected to significantly increase the number of Axcient’s MSP partners.
Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service provider Axcient, which to date has offered dual protection through a local appliance, either physical or virtual, and a cloud backup, is now announcing a Direct to Cloud offering. It dispenses with the local appliance and offers a purely cloud solution.
“We have partnerships with a lot of MSPs, and they told us MSPs faced some obstacles in deploying our appliances, and just wanted to have the single backup option,” said Daniel Kuperman, Axcient’s director of product marketing. “The appliances created a cost objection for smaller customers, who were content with the single backup. There is also a large remote office and branch office market where the companies did not want to put an appliance in, especially if they were not virtualized in that branch so the virtual appliance wasn’t an option.”
The logical solution was an applianceless one. It does however bring Axcient into direct competition with a lower cost competitor which had a limited overlap with their previous customer base – companies like Mozy and Carbonite which started out offering consumer backup and recovery, and expanded from there into the SMB space, particularly the small business market.
“In positioning Direct to Cloud against this competition, we are emphasizing a couple of things, Kuperman said. “This is not a consumer product, and we are not focused on consumers or sole proprietors. This is a business solution, aiming at the businesses who are not happy with a consumer level of protection, who understand the importance of business contunity. It IS a little more expensive than these consumer-grade solutions. But it’s not an apples to apples comparison. You can do things like virtualize or failover your laptop if it is lost or stolen, so you can work until your new laptop arrives.”
Unlike backup products that only copy files to cloud storage, Axcient Direct to Cloud lets customers take full system snapshots and store them in the cloud. With this product, Axcient’s cloud capacity has also been expanded to cover laptops and desktops as well as servers. If the primary system is unavailable, customers can instantly launch a virtual replica in the Axcient Business Recovery Cloud through either a LAN or a Wi-Fi connection to enable seamless business continuity, until images can be migrated to new hardware or a virtual environment.
Kuperman noted that while a pure cloud-only solution creates data sovereignty concerns for some customers, Axcient has a data centre in Canada, so this won’t be an issue for Axcient’s Canadian customers and partners.
While Direct to Cloud will open up more of the true small business market to Axcient’s channel partners, Kuperman said the real pot of gold here is with the branch office and remote office market.
“We think there is a big market in branch offices and remote offices of companies who do over 50 million in business, who will have more than one office,” he said. “We won’t be aiming at their core data centre, but their remote offices, and many of our partners are looking into expanding to serve that market.”
Kuperman indicated that while they already have a large base of MSP partners, they expect it to expand considerably with the new offering.
“We have around 1500 MSP partners now, of which about half are extremely active,” he said. “They range from small local ones to huge ones with petabytes of data. We have active plans of expanding the MSP base with Direct to Cloud. Many MSPs weren’t ready to engage with us, but with Direct to Cloud we will re-engage and with them and expect to significantly expand the partner base.”