BackupAssist adds cloud recovery option with new BackupAssist ER solution

BackupAssist anticipates that most of their SMB customers will continue to recover on-prem, but the cloud recovery option is designed to offer additional protection, at a price far less than DRaaS solutions.

Australian-headquartered BackupAssist, which makes Windows-based automated server backup and recovery software for SMBs, is announcing the General Availability of BackupAssist ER. The disk to disk to cloud backup offering is the company’s first that allows recovery in the cloud. Its purpose is to give a cloud recovery option, to be competitive with DRaaS [Disaster Recovery-as-a Service] offerings for that capacity, while still costing much less.

In business since 2001, BackupAssist has always focused on smaller businesses, although they have acquired some larger logos as well, and now sell into 165 countries.

“Our market is really focused on organizations of 500 people or less, with our core being under 150 people,” said Linus Chang, BackupAssist’s Founder and CEO. “While they have an increasing number of more upper end logos like Siemens, GE and American Airlines, their typical customers tend to be schools, non-profits and local organizations like dental practices and other small businesses.

Backup customers are increasingly stressed with the growth of more sophisticated attacks, and which, in the case of ransomware, focus on disabling the backup data.

Linus Chang, BackupAssist’s Founder and CEO

“The challenge of SMBs in this environment is how to protect yourself with a limited budget, in an asymmetric situation where small business budgets have to protected against the resources of state sponsored hacking,” Chang said. “COVID makes this situation worse by making many traditional backup processes unworkable. Many have relied on someone being at the office to swap hard disks. Customers need full unattended resilience. But our customers also want a solution that’s affordable. Cost is critical. They need automatic offsite backup. Most of their recoveries are still local, so we need to make those fast, but we also now give the option to recover in the cloud.”

Chang said that while legacy backup is inexpensive, it’s fairly slow and its technology has not changed for years. DRaaS has key advantages over it – but at the cost of a much higher price.

“DRaaS is appliance based, provides a fast recovery, and lets you recover locally in cloud – but it’s a HUGE jump in price,” Chang said. “Only about 10% of our client base can afford DRaaS. There is also concern about vendor lock-in We want to bring the gap between these two islands, and this is  what BackupAssist ER attempts to do. It is not trying to be the best solution on the market, but to be the best fit for many customers. We want to deliver what matters to SMBs at a cost point that’s friendly to them.”

The premise behind BackupAssist ER is to add a cloud recovery capability while still being significantly less expensive than competitive solutions.

“The number one request we couldn’t satisfy before was an automated recovery capability into the cloud, and that’s why we researched and developed this,” Chang said. “It’s low cost without sacrificing quality. Most of our market doesn’t need super High Availability or other expensive capabilities. They want local recovery that is near instant that satisfies their RTO. They want the capability of recovering from the cloud for extra protection, but time to recover from cloud is not a critical factor. So the cloud recovery time is longer, taking hours, as opposed to being near-instant. This lets us optimize for cost. We are 75% cheaper than DRaaS while still offering similar outcomes.”

Chang said the slower cloud recovery isn’t a liability in this market.

“Customers who want fast cloud recovery will pay for a higher class of service,” he said. “It’s very much a ‘horses for courses’ situation. For those customers, there are real time replication offerings out there that may be better suited to their needs.”

BackupAssist provides three disaster recovery methods: virtual machine (VM) Instant Boot, Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) and Download Cloud Backup to Anywhere.

“Most recoveries will be on prem, but it’s nice to have this last option as a fallback,” Chang said.  It also includes three data recovery methods: granular files – to any point in time, granular exchange – to any point in time, and granular applications – to any point in time.

“Backup Assist ER shows that they are thinking differently,” said Stuart Bryan,  President of Norwich CT-based Backup Assist partner I-M Technology. “Most people in the backup world are ‘me too.’ They are looking to innovate in line with their mission, while staying true to affordability and security,  and I appreciate that.

I-M Technology has been selling Backup Assist since 2011, first coming across them when finding them on the server of a new customer, and adding them to more accounts because they liked their simplicity. They sell multiple backup solutions to meet specific client needs, and position Backup Assist where High Availability isn’t an issue.

“We have offered cloud backup as a standard part of our services since 2008, but before to have Backup Assist in the cloud, you had to do data centre replication or Rync,” Bryan said. That was okay, but this makes it much easier to shore up in the cloud for Backup Assist clients who want greater redundancy. We can now push it into the cloud so a customer isn’t just tied to local storage. I’m looking it having some strong archival arguments, as well as for clients with lower RTO demands.”

Pricing is $USD 399 annually per physical machine, $199 USD annually per virtual guest machine, and $699 per virtual host machine. There are also discounts for multi-year subscriptions and for purchasing for five or more machines.