Toronto’s Storage Guardian’s new data centre protects data, business operations

Toronto solution provider Storage Guardian has opened a new data centre, which also contains space and facilities to provide temporary office space to customers whose offices are closed by a disaster.

Storage Guardian

Part of the facilities for hosting employees whose physical offices are also affected by a disaster, in Storage Guardian’s new data centre

Toronto solution provider Storage Guardian, an Asigra channel partner which has been in business since 1999, and which has acquired a worldwide channel of 1700 MSP partners, has launched a new data centre. It also contains space for hosting employees of customers whose offices are closed down by a disaster.

“We had data centre facilities in a couple of locations before,” said Omry Farajun, President of Storage Guardian. “We just hit a critical mass in terms of hosting our tier two centres and being able to host employees.”

The facility, which began a soft launch in January, has 5000 square feet, with room to support between 300 and 400 people, tables and chairs, and a warehouse, in case of events ranging from a power outage to the next SARS outbreak

“You can have employees working there off the VMs you have done, and a warehouse, which can roll out specialized equipment,” Farujan said.

Storage Guardian also recently introduced a disaster-recovery-as-a-service offering and the new facility is in part a response to this.

“This is definitely related to the establishment of that practice, but there is a broader need for a secondary location a business can go to if there were to be a business interruption,” said David Minns, Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions Specialist at Data Guardian. “The service goes beyond just providing the data redundancy, to providing the facility to enable a business to continue to run. If they need 50 laptops for 50 employees, we will provide that, as well as a configuration service.”

Minns said that while this type of facility is not rare, getting customers to consider that there is a need for a service like this can be a challenge.

“Few companies consider planning for business interruptions,” he said. “They need to think about where people will congregate when there is a disaster. Just sending people home to work for the short term won’t work because most applications won’t work outside the facility. Companies are limited here by the applications and their ability to work outside the firewall.”

Minns said this kind of disaster recovery offering is part of the strategy that traditional backup and recovery providers like themselves need to get into, as backup prices decline.

“You need to be able to sell the premium features and functionality, and the ancillary services like this,” he said. “That’s how companies like us are going to make money going forward.”

Farujan started the business back in 1999, when the same service now called cloud was called offsite backup or online backup. Their focus has always been on selling through other resellers.

“We are the enabler with our data centres and software for a reseller or MSP to be able to distribute our storage capacity and data centres out to their clients at a competitive price point, and now we have disaster recovery as well,” Minns said.

Storage Guardian was able to build a large channel in part because of the happy coincidence that they were founded around the same time as Google.

“Omry really took advantage of Google to build the business,” Minns said. “The terms Storage and Guardian were common in search items dealing with backup, and we appeared on top of searches from MSPs all over who were looking for a company like us. Google really helped us starting out.”

Of course keeping those customers required something beyond that, Minns said.

“In the end, it’s all about trust.”