Growing Azure demand prompts new Acronis solutions, quest for more cloud resellers

Data protection vendor Acronis announces a Backup Cloud Extension for Azure, as well as the future availability of a Backup Cloud Extension for Microsoft Azure Stack – which will be available when Microsoft releases Azure Stack.


John Zanni, CMO and SVP, Channel and Cloud Strategy at Acronis

TORONTO – At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here, data protection vendor Acronis announced that because of growing demand for Microsoft Azure, they are introducing Acronis Backup Cloud Extension for Microsoft Azure, and will have a similar solution for Azure Stack once Azure Stack becomes available. They also indicated that this increased cloud demand has led them to sign up a large number of Microsoft cloud resellers – with plans to triple that number in the next six months.

“We are seeing demand for Azure which is why we implemented this,” said John Zanni, CMO and SVP, Channel and Cloud Strategy at Acronis. “Adoption takes a little longer with infrastructure services. It’s a combination of hearing that there is a need and getting ahead of the market in meeting it that has led to this. We think that, especially with Azure Stack, this will be significant because companies will be able to have their own private cloud without data sovereignty issues.”

The new Acronis Backup Cloud Extension for Azure lets Microsoft Cloud Service Providers [CSPs] sell a unique hybrid cloud backup service for Azure, the Azure Stack, and Office 365.

“The Acronis Backup Cloud Extension for Azure lets a CSP using Azure easily add Acronis Backup as part of that service,” Zanni said. “They now have a way to manage that backup as a unified experience within the Azure panel, so that they can store backup locally in Azure, or a private cloud, or migrate it elsewhere.

“Our new integrations with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Stack make this extremely fast – a matter of minutes – for Microsoft CSPs to sell and provision Acronis Backup to Microsoft end users with more flexible storage options than any other vendor,” Zanni added.

“We’ve been in the business of protecting data running on a Microsoft infrastructure for a very long time,” Zanni continued. “We added support for Azure several months ago. In addition, to the extension of Azure itself, we run on the technical preview of Azure stack, which is not yet in production. Our goal there is to be ready the same day that Microsoft is, so we can protect private clouds as well.”

There is a further component to the announcement.

“We now have the ability to protect and backup Office 365 email, which is now integrated as part of the Acronis Backup Cloud Service,” Zanni said. “We’ve seen a lot of demand for partners to provide this capability because they want to extend beyond basic backup services. They want to do things like protect against ransomware and corrupt files. We will have a copy locally for the partner to do what they need to do.”

Acronis also made two distribution-related announcements at WPC. They announced an extension of their relationship with distributor AVANT to distribute Acronis Backup Cloud to protect Office 365 data through the AVANT channel. This builds on an existing relationship through which AVANT distributes Acronis Disaster Recovery Service.

Ingram Micro is also carrying Acronis Backup Cloud on its Marketplace, and is running a new promotion with Acronis, who became an Ingram Micro Preferred Partner in the U.S. last November. The promotion will give 1 GB of backup for Office 365 for no charge to the partner.

Acronis also indicated that is in the middle of a major channel expansion.

“Almost two years ago, we decided to use the service provider channel to sell backup services,” Zanni said. “We have recruited a majority of the large Microsoft cloud resellers. Over 500 cloud resellers have been signed up, and we will increase that to 1500 by the end of the calendar year.

Acronis is at WPC this week at Booth 1123.