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Asigra's New Cloud Backup Appliance Enables MSPs to Expand Services

The Asigra appliance is built in partnership with Zadara and is available only through channel partners.

Todd R. Weiss

July 30, 2019

4 Min Read
Cloud Backup
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Asigra has launched a new cloud OpEX backup appliance that gives business users another way to add virtual backup capabilities to their infrastructure without having to lay out a large investment of cash in advance.

The Asigra cloud OpEX backup appliance includes Asigra’s cloud backup software version 14 pre-loaded onto partner Zadara’s software-defined cloud storage platform, which then provides a consumption based services for customers. The Zadara cloud platform includes industry-standard hardware and Zadara virtual private storage appliance software which create a virtualized data storage resource abstraction layer that can be used by system administrators to work with any data type or protocol across distributed IT environments.

Sold through Asigra and Zadara channel partners, the 30TB appliances can be deployed on premises, at a colocation facility or in a public cloud for self-hosting, or SMB and enterprise customers can buy the managed services through an MSP and pay for what they use instead of investing in hardware and software up front, Eran Farajun, an executive vice president for Asigra, told Channel Futures.

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Asigra’s Eran Farajun

The service uses a web-based interface to allow users to add or reduce the storage they need and allows them to change the storage they need, including block, object and file storage, he said. Customers that require more than 30TB of storage can add it as needed through the web interface.

For channel partners, the new appliances give them the opportunity to add these services and offer them to their customers as an operational expense (opex) without having to invest $40,000-$50,000 or more in hardware and software as a capital expense to provide the services, said Farajun.

“It’s more cash-flow friendly,” he said. “We’re delivering it in a channel-healthy mode where the service provider decides the price and margin of their backup service” so it works efficiently for them, said Farajun. The partners can also insulate their customer lists from Asigra and Zadara so they can protect their own customer relationships, he added.

Often MSPs sign up customers and then the vendors have the names of those customers, he said. When that happens, vendors can communicate directly with those customers and reach over channel partners’ heads, which irritates partners to no end, he explained.

For customers, the service means they don’t have to invest fixed amounts of money in physical backup storage systems that are either underutilized or require expansion on a regular basis to suit storage requirements, he said.

This is the first formal partnership between the two companies. The product and service were created after the companies realized they have some common customers and that it made sense to bring them together.

“This is based on requests from some of our partners who had asked if we could make so they didn’t have to build it themselves,” said Farajun.

Des Lekerman, CEO of TIG, a U.K.-based cloud services provider, and an Asigra and Zadara partner, said the new product will help his company manage its costs, simplify operations and improve its service SLAs to end-user customers. “It enables us to focus on what our customers want and expect from us — great service,” said Lekerman.

For channel partners, the product offers …

… an appliance purchase model that is aligned with the cash flow generated by the cloud backup services they actually provide in real time, making it less risky for partners because they don’t have to worry about fluctuating levels of service revenue coming in, he said. “Furthermore Zadara provides a fully managed service for the storage which means zero downtime and managed service overhead.”

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TIG’s Des Lekerman

By delivering and operating their own services to customers using the appliances, it gives TIG more control for the services and customer relationships, he added.

“We focus on managing the backup and DR service and don’t worry about managing the underlying infrastructure,” said Lekerman. “We are delighted that the two vendors are finally creating a fulling integrated offering.”

Marc Staimer, principal analyst with Dragon Slayer Consulting, said the opex model provided by the new offering will be attractive for partners who want to offer such services to their customers without the large upfront costs of building up the needed infrastructure.

“There isn’t anybody else out there doing a pure opex play for the service providers,” said Staimer. “This is first in this line.”

The new Asigra product will eliminate the capital-expenditure problem for service providers that want to offer these services, reducing risk while also adding elasticity for partners, he said. Partners will add and lose customers for the services over time, but then their fees for storage will go up and down as those users come and go, he added.

“It’s a better alignment with how they do business. That’s the real issue and that’s the problem they are solving because it aligns their product directly with what the customers consume and it allows them more flexibility in how they price it,” said Staimer. “And this is a very price-sensitive market.”

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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