StorageCraft targets low end of SMB with OneXafe Solo plug-and-play appliance

While the original OneXafe 4000 is a midmarket and small enterprise product, the Solo 300 is an entry level offering aimed at SMBs, and offering an MSP play.

Last fall, StorageCraft introduced the OneXafe platform, which incorporated technology acquired with Exablox the year before to provided a converged, clustered offering that targeted the midmarket. Today, they are announcing the OneXafe Solo 300, a scaled-down version of OneXafe that is aimed at the lower end of the SMB market. It also opens up OneXafe to the MSP market, where it has not played up to now. A third offering, available next year, will focus on larger SMBs and round out the family.

“This is aimed at the lower end of the SMB market, with customers as small as one or two servers, as well as the MSPs that serve this market,” said Shridar Subramanian, Vice President, Product Management and Marketing at StorageCraft.

OneXafe Solo 300 is an appliance which streams data directly to StorageCraft Cloud Services and provides both business continuity and disaster recovery protection. The simplicity is a key attraction for both the partner and the customer.

“MSP have to go and deploy at customer sites,” Subramanian said. “What we have done with this is create a simple to use and easy to manage plug-and-play offering. The MSP just plugs it into a server, points and clicks, and it will protect the customer. From a customer perspective, aside from being simple to manage, they now have the option to store data on our cloud, and avail of our one-click recovery, which provides both business continuity and DR together.”

Two elements of simplicity stand out with the OneXafe Solo compared to the OneXafe 4000 introduced last fall.

“The OneXafe 4000 is an appliance, and with its software, you do need to point it at existing storage, Subramanian indicated. “With this one, no additional storage is required. Secondly, we did not enable direct to cloud replication before. With this one, you can move directly to the cloud platform, replicating the data to the cloud. Right now, we are thinking of this capability as being unique to the Solo, but if we find a significant demand for this in the enterprise, we could enable it for that. Because the datasets there are huge, they typically want to keep a copy on premises. That’s not the case in the Solo’s market.”

The downside is that while unlike some competitor products, the Solo has no limit on the type of machines it support or the breadth of the data that it backs up, it is not a converged appliance.

“OneXafe is all about scale-out clustering,” Subramanian explained. “Solo, as the name implies, is a standalone device which cannot be clustered. As a result, it doesn’t have some of the capabilities of the clustered devices, which are not things that the SMB market wants.”

That could be an issue if StorageCraft partners sell the Solo into the enterprise ROBO market, where some customers may want the capabilities anyway, but the company presently sees this as basically an offering for smaller organizations.

“We see it as distinctly segmented, that Solo is for smaller SMBs and MSPs servicing them,” Subramanian said. “We are also looking at the ROBO situation where this could be applicable, but we are not focusing on this right now.”

While StorageCraft sees no overlap at all between the OneXafe Solo and the existing OneXafe 4000, that won’t be the case with their next OneXafe model, the OneXafe 3000, which the company is also-preannouncing, with availability set for early 2020.

“The OneXafe 3000 will be a smaller version of the 4000 which is also targeted at the SMB, but that product will overlap with the 4000 and some customers can choose what they want to deploy – multiple 3000s or a 4000,” Subramanian said.

“Business continuity is a big category, and we have with the Solo, the 4000, and ultimately the 3000 created a platform approach which spans the entire business continuity category for both customers and partner types,” said Jeannine Edwards, StorageCraft’s Senior Director of Channel Marketing. “They all will have a one-stop shop. We will be the first vendor to be able to do that with a single solution.”

Edwards said that the Solo and 3000 will provide a play for MSPs that wasn’t there with the 4000.

“The OneXafe 4000 was meant for project-centric partners,” she stated. “Solo allows a partner to implement the technology to smaller customers at an affordable price and still be able to make margin. MSP partners wouldn’t have sold OneXafe before.”

Edwards indicated that once the OneXafe 3000 comes out, it will be a stronger play with larger SMBs.

“The Solo is our entry point,” she said. “When the 3000 comes out, it will allow us to slip upstream a bit.”

OneXafe Solo is scheduled for availability this fall through major distribution partners. Subscription pricing is less than US$100 per month for each protected machine.