Axcient x360Sync Thin Client for Windows offers storage, security benefits to MSP clients

Axcient’s new sync thin client stores data in the cloud, and mirrors it back to local devices, in what the company believes will soon be the default choice for most customers.

Axcient, which makes business availability software for MSPs, has released their new x360Sync Thin Client for Windows. Compared to the past thick clients that have been in use, the thin client stores files in the cloud, and mirrors the data to local devices. This allows end users to work with devices with limited storage capacity, and also provides some additional security benefits.

X360 Sync was formerly the Anchor solution, before the Axcient solutions were consolidated and rebranded on the new converged X360 platform in 2019.

“We think of x360Sync as a simpler version of OneDrive or Dropbox,” said Ben Nowacky, SVP of Product at Axcient. “It’s easier for MSPs to manage and administer. In addition, OneDrive is not secure encrypted, so if you are required to be HIPAA compliant or something like that, OneDrive is not a sanctioned tool.”

360Sync does three things: file sync and share; file server enablement so partners moving from an on-prem file server to the cloud can use it to enable cloud emigration processes; and file and folder level backup, although the latter function should now be archaic, but isn’t, quite.

“Before Direct-to-Cloud there was a need for file and folder level backup, without a full-fledged imaging solution,” Nowacky said. “It is now redundant but some people still use it for that, because they don’t want a full image-based backup.”

Nowacky indicated that x360Sync Thin Client for Windows will have two main use cases for Axcient MSPs.

“MSPs supporting smaller businesses may not have laptops with huge amounts of storage on them,” he said. “Smaller companies deploying lower cost devices to remote workforces for Work From Anywhere don’t want to have expensive laptops with 500 GB of storage The thin client is great for those with large file share but not a lot of local storage, or a lot of people working and a lot of change happening. The thin client just streams the data as you use it, and allows all that cloud storage to be mirrored locally. Since the data is not on the devices, this also means the data can’t be encrypted or stolen. Ransomware often exfiltrates data. However, if you are ransomwared on an endpoint where the data is not on the device, they can’t exfiltrate the data.”

Ultimately, Axcient thinks most MSPs will prefer the thin client approach.

“Thin client is an iterative approach to the way we look at all our products, based on the way we can best support how our customers do business,” he said. “We give the solution and they deploy it in the way that makes the most sense for them. Thin client is more appropriate in most use cases. There are exceptions. Thick client would work better where internet connect is slow, for example.”

Nowacky expects a surge towards the thin client as the default to happen after the next quarter, when some capabilities that are still in the thick client, but not yet in the thin, will be brought into the thin client.

“File Server Enablement and Folder Level Backup are the two features still to be added in the next couple of months,” he noted.

Expect Axcient x360Sync Thin Client for Mac relatively soon as well.

“The Mac version is in development,” Nowacky said. “It will roll out in the near future as well. It’s all about supporting users and access to their files anywhere.”