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Asigra launches 'hybrid' cloud backup for channel

Backup vendor Asigra re-brands its Televaulting software, emphasizing its ability to address private and public clouds in a hybrid model.

Asigra Inc. is upgrading and rebranding its backup software, with the new "hybrid cloud" name reflecting its capability to work with customers who want to manage backups themselves as well as those who outsource backups.

The Toronto-based vendor today launched its ninth-generation platform, called the Asigra Hybrid Cloud Backup and Recovery platform. That name replaces the Televaulting brand Asigra had used.

Asigra sells its backup software exclusively through service providers and resellers, and addresses private (in-house) and public (outsourced) cloud models.

"This is our coming-out party in front of end customers," Asigra Executive Vice President Eran Farajun said. "We're stepping out from behind the curtain, saying, 'Here we are; this is what we do. How do you want to buy it – as a cloud from a service provider or as a private cloud and run it yourself?'"

Asigra also made changes to the software in version 9. Hybrid Cloud Backup is FIPS 140 NIST-certified for encrypting and decrypting data, and adds a password rotation feature that automatically generates and changes passwords at random for specific user accounts. Other additions include a DR drill feature that lets organizations run automated validation restores, the ability to switch to a new storage system without shutting down the server where the backed-up data resides, and an enhanced file storage structure that groups together rarely accessed small files for faster backups.

Asigra's software consists of an agentless DS-Client on systems being protected and DS-System software that handles backup and restore for the DS-Clients. The DS-System typically resides in the data center or hosting facility.

Asigra isn't the only backup vendor to offer its product for private and public clouds. Most of the traditional backup vendors – Symantec, EMC, IBM, CA and CommVault – have increasingly targeted service providers and the cloud in recent years. The difference is that Asigra started with the managed service provider (MSP) model and moved in-house while the others went in the opposite direction.

"We've had our heads in the cloud for 23 years, but it wasn't called the cloud," Farajun said.

Farajun said that having both models lets organizations that start off with public clouds move the clouds in-house if they change their minds, or they can use private clouds for certain types of data and public clouds for others. Another option is to keep a local cached copy of the latest backup for quick recovery.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said the cloud model worked with Asigra's core customer base – SMBs and remote locations without on-site IT staff to manage backups. But larger organizations have traditionally handled their own backups.

"Asigra was finding people were uncomfortable having everything in the cloud," she said. "The popular approach is becoming 'Let me retain a little bit onsite but have the bulk of it offsite.' Then you have it in two places, and you have something nearline should you have a system failure. A lot of service providers will put all your data on a device and ship it to you if there's a failure, but there's a delay because you have to load up the device and ship it. Then it's at least 24 hours before you have access to your data."

Forrester Research's Stephanie Balaouras agrees that backup vendors will need to be flexible as customers weigh using the cloud.

"The cloud has stronger adoption among small businesses, less so with medium businesses and enterprises," she said. "With larger companies, it's targeted at PCs corporate-wide and remote offices. I believe it will be more of a two-stage scenario for larger companies – back up locally to disk, then vault to the cloud. With Asigra, you back up first to an appliance for local restore, then you vault to the cloud. Enterprises will want a full premise-based deployment of the backup app with an option to vault to the cloud later. Traditional backup vendors will need to offer a cloud target when customers want to get data offsite."


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