This is part of a series of interviews with Asigra Partners. In this post we're talking with James Chillman from UK Backup about Cloud Backup Services.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is James Chillman, and I am the Managing Director at UK Backup (@UKBackupltd). We provide a range of online backup and hybrid/private backup solutions to organizations in both the private and public sector. UK Backup provides an end-to-end solution that not only makes backing up easy but ensures that our customers can quickly and easily restore their data as and when they need to. Our services are offered as a fully managed public cloud, hybrid or private cloud solution.
We are based out of a high security campus in Farnborough, UK where the data that we backup for customers resides within an ISO:27001, BS 25999 and ISO:9001 accredited facility. With a team of engineers on site 24/7/365 we ensure that our customers’ data is easily available as and when they require it.
When organizations engage with you to discuss using your cloud backup service powered by Asigra, what is their top concern?
Typically, governance. Where is the data stored is the number question we get when first engaging with a potential new customer. They want to know where the data is stored – the physical location – and secondly, whether the location has the most up-to-date accreditations like ISO 27001, etc. Data sovereignty is a primary concern for most companies, they want their data to remain in the country of origin. For example, UK based companies want their data to be kept in the UK. German based companies want their data to remain in Germany.
Companies should keep pace with the IT Industry to ensure that they are future proofing their systems to grow and scale accordingly
Is security still a primary concern for companies?
Yes, security will always be a primary concern as data is the lifeblood of any company. Losing customer data, financial data, the CEO emails, etc., would be bad for any company and could be the downfall of the company. It is critical that the data is encrypted during flight and at rest at all times. Buyers should be asking vendors about encryption to ensure that the cloud backup services they are considering are using AES-256 encryption. Another question buyers should always ask is who holds the encryption key as this is a very important consideration too.
What is one area of back up, that most buyers overlook when procuring a cloud backup service?
Great question. Quite often companies do not ask enough about retention policies. This is a key area of data protection that companies should ensure that the service can provide to meet their short and long term needs especially if they are in a compliance mandated market such as financial services and healthcare. Companies should be looking for a service that can provide more than 30 days and multiple versions in different time periods – per week and every month.
When buyers approach you and your team, do they already know what type of service they want to procure?
Yes and no. There are definitely some companies that approach us and they know they want to outsource all of their back up to us as a fully managed service. Typically, these organizations have completed preliminary research online and are very educated and know what they want. However, we do have some companies approaching us that are concerned about the security of their data and due to corporate protocols; they prefer a private cloud approach. Luckily since our service is powered by Asigra Cloud Backup, we have the flexibility to offer our service as a public (fully managed), hybrid (co-managed) and private (self-managed).
There are always questions about what type of data we can back up. Typically customers have three or four sources of data that they need protected. The data could be email like Exchange, simple office documents, spreadsheets, multi-media files, content created in Office 365, so we typically discuss our capabilities to back up all of the data across their entire environment. Since our service is very comprehensive, this enables us to back up data on virtual and physical servers, enterprise databases and applications, laptops, workstations, tablets, smartphones, Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, AWS and Azure, backing up data in a variety of locations and sources is not an issue for us.
When it comes to Recovery Time Objectives, what advice would you provide to companies considering cloud backup services?
I would tell companies to categorize their data, that not all data should be treated equal or the same. I would also suggest that companies should work with a Service Provider who can help them through this process as it can be daunting depending on how much data is across the organization. Companies should ask the Service Provider to conduct a LAN Storage Discovery analysis to identify the data available across their LAN and then to discuss which is critical data and not critical to build a better data picture. And the Service Provider should be asking questions such as “In the event of a disaster, which data would you need to access immediately?”; “What is critical data that you need to keep 30 versions of in the event that you needed it in a court of law?”; “Which data is non-critical that we can move to low cost storage?”.
Is price a critical factor for companies who procure cloud backup services?
Yes, price is always a factor whether you are buying a car, a fridge or a cloud backup service. However, in my opinion you need to balance quality with price. There is a misperception in the marketplace that cloud backup services should be cheap – we can probably thank Amazon for this as they continue to promote their web services offering for 1 cent. However, in all seriousness, companies need to ensure that they know what they are paying for as not all cloud backup services are priced the same. Some vendors you pay per virtual machine, some per socket, and some for protected data, not stored data. Companies should be asking for a service that prices based on compressed and deduplicated data. For instance our cloud backup service is priced on compressed and deduplicated data – typically we see a 3:1 compression ratio – which can make a big difference on the pricing.
Also beyond the data capacity, the type of service will affect the price too. Some Managed Service Providers provide a white glove service, some provide a fully managed service where they completely handle the entire backups for their client while others provide a co-managed service. So companies need to understand what type of service they are paying for and decide whether they need all of the bells n’ whistles being delivered. It is no different than when you purchase a car – do you need the heated seats or can you live without them? Each buyer has different needs, some are pickier than others.
The one piece of advice that I would provide companies is to ensure that they are comparing apples to apples when considering a cloud backup service as there are many different flavors in the market place – make sure you are selecting the one that meets your business needs and can evolve as your needs change.
Last week was not a good week for Salesforce.com or for its customers. The data loss experienced last week is tragic; however, it validates why companies of all sizes need to ensure that they have a data protection strategy in place for data born and stored in any part of the cloud.
Whether corporate data resides in Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, AWS, Azure or another cloud source, companies need to remember that they bear the corporate responsibility to ensure the data is protected to meet their Recovery Time Objectives and compliance mandates.
Sadly for Salesforce.com customers, this is not the first data loss instance and likely not the last. For customers who are relying on the SaaS vendor to provide comprehensive data protection, it’s time to rethink that strategy and get serious about data protection.
Companies need to remember that SaaS vendors such as Salesforce.com charge per recovery if a data recovery is required. For example, with Salesforce.com, after 15 days, records sent to the Recycle Bin can only be recovered with the help of support at a cost of $10,000.00 per recovery. And after 90 days, records sent to the Recycle Bin are unrecoverable; and restores, where possible, are ‘all or nothing’ meaning you could end up with a large and confusing quantity of files in a user’s account. Office 365 and Google Apps have similar policies whereby after a specific number of days the data restores may not be possible.
Not only do companies need to think about what they are doing to protect the data in these SaaS-based applications, but if they are outsourcing their IT to Managed Service Providers (MSP), the MSP bears a responsibility as a trusted advisor to provide guidance to their customers on how to protect this data, which may be the lifeblood of the company – its critical customer data.
As Eran Farajun, executive vice president, Asigra stated in an interview with CRN editor Joseph Tsidulko last week, “This should remind [the channel] that if you're selling a SaaS application and that data just sits there, you don’t absolve yourself of the responsibility of [protecting] your customers, to ensure the data management processes that the customer was doing for data when it was sitting on-prem are extended to the data sitting now in a SaaS vendor's cloud.”
SaaS data loss can be prevented. For more information on cloud-to-cloud backup strategies, please contact us today.
Tracy Staniland, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Asigra has been recognized by The Channel Company in the 2016 CRN Women of the Channel awards. CRN’s annual list recognizes outstanding female executives across vendor channel organizations, distributors, solution providers, as well as women who are involved in the IT channel ecosystem that have made a prominent impact in the technology industry.
Hand-picked by CRN editors, each honoree is selected for demonstrating outstanding leadership and vision, as well as their achievements in driving channel growth. Along with helping the company’s channel partners grow their cloud backup monthly recurring revenue, Staniland has been instrumental in advancing Asigra’s channel business through developing new programs and initiatives, in addition to keeping the community of partners engaged in a Brand Advocacy Program which through gamification rewards those who contribute to promoting the Asigra brand.
For more information on the 2016 CRN Women of the Channel and the nominees go to www.CRN.com/wotc2016.
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At Asigra, we find exciting news about data protection, cloud-based technologies, and industry updates every day. Sharing that news through our monthly newsletter is part of our mission to help you stay informed. From tips about how to increase monthly recurring revenue, saving money on backup costs, to key backup industry predictions, the Asigra Data Protection Trends Newsletter is a source for everything data protection.
The cloud backup and recovery industry is constantly changing, so we make sure to cover top news and articles to help you stay informed on the latest trends. Topics relate to cloud based technologies, data protection, SaaS, news and trends.
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Check out the April issue to hear why InfinIT Consulting joined the Asigra global partner ecosystem.
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No doubt if you are an AWS user or administrator, you know it is a tedious process to manage your images of instances in an AWS EC2 environment. Manual labor intensive script writing is how you are managing this process today which can result in the mismanagement of images resulting in higher costs, human error, and lost time. Imagine if you could automate the entire scheduling and management process. Would this make your life better?
Asigra recently announced a software solution called AWS Snapshot Manager that automates the entire image management, scheduling and reporting process within an AWS EC2 environment. And best of all the software is free and available today in the AWS Marketplace.
How Does AWS Snapshot Manager Work?
Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager can automatically create machine images across multiple AWS environments. The software also enables AWS administrators to create schedules, set retention management policies, apply application consistent backups for mission critical applications in seconds and has security built-in with role based permission access controlling user rights.
Key Features of AWS Snapshot Manager
- Supports Windows and Linux
- VSS Aware
- Role based
- User Friendly UI
- Automatically restore, copy, delete, migrate between regions, start, stop, launch or delete the images on the fly
- Email Alerts
- Reporting and Notifications
Get started today. Launch the AWS Snapshot Manager AMI from the AWS Marketplace and start optimizing your AWS EC2 environment.
As you may be aware, performing images of instances within an Amazon EC2 environment is cumbersome, time consuming, and difficult. We’ve recognized this problem and have created a solution that addresses it head on - Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager, a free software tool that automates the entire process.
Eran Farajun, EVP of Asigra had a chance to sit down with David Littman of Truth in IT on one of his Xstreaminars to talk about the new Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager. He answers important questions surrounding AWS, cloud backup and common pain points that can be solved.
Take a look at this video to learn more.
By Todd Hussey
For too many years I was a "gym lollygagger" going to the gym too inconsistently and when I did I measured my results on how much time I would spend there. I was basically checking the health check box and got zippo results. A few years ago I finally came to my senses and signed up for a personal trainer spending a pretty hefty monthly OPEX (Operating Expense) for a committed 12 months.
Yikes what did I do and why? Spending a good chunk of change every month for a 12-month commitment was going to make me take it seriously and also I now had a professional helping me meet my goals. But the light bulb moment came when I started my partnership with HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. What?
What does Investing in HubSpot and a Hiring a Personal Trainer Have in Common?
In early meetings with Hubspot execs they would refer to inbound marketing like going to the gym - you need to do the work every day to get the results. Blogging, social media, SEO, content creation, webinars, campaigns, etc. I was told inbound marketing is like lifting weights, the treadmill, calisthenics etc. - the more you do and the more consistent you are the better the results. If you are an "inbound lollygagger" like a "gym lollygagger" you'll get nowhere.
Why am I writing this? It's pretty simple as I see it. It's impossible to argue that the marketing and sales world hasn't turned upside down - it absolutely has. Just look at retail - brick and mortar sales are plummeting and Amazon sales are going through the roof - people are going through the buyer journey on-line. The buyer is now in control and the seller needs to "get found" and nurture them through the buyers journey. Whether the buyer is looking for a bicycle, TV or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – their process is the same. To execute inbound marketing you must go to the gym - if you don't you will fail. I have seen it far too often where the business owner says he/she is committed to inbound but gets impatient after a few short months and opts out. What does he/she usually do then? He/she hires a sales rep, hands that person a list (usually a few years old) and says "start calling". Yikes! Oh, and guess what - that rep is gone in less than six months.
Go to the gym!! Start your inbound marketing training program today. Read our free Inbound Marketing Checklist.
Todd Hussey is Co-Founder and Partner at CSBexcellence a business consultancy that specializes in providing Managed Inbound Marketing services that enable scalable, cost-effective growth specifically for MSPs (Managed Services Providers) and CSPs (Cloud Solution Providers). The company was formed in 2010 as MSPexcellence and has become a respected source of strategic advisory services to technology vendors and business-building programs for their MSP and CSP partners.
We’re pleased to announce that our free AWS Snapshot Manager software is now available in the AWS Marketplace. Asigra is an AWS Technology Partner and committed to developing data protection solutions for AWS customers.
AWS Marketplace provides a way for customers around the globe to find, buy, and immediately start using software that runs on AWS by simplifying licensing, purchasing, and deployment of software to the AWS Cloud.
Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager is an enterprise-class, data protection solution for EC2 machines with EBS disks. Using AWS APIs to create machine images across multiple AWS regions, it helps automate and manage the backup environment via schedules, retention rules, notifications and reports.
Launch the AWS Snapshot Manager AMI from the AWS Marketplace and start optimizing your AWS EC2 environment.
The past few weeks have been busy with a number of new developments, in case you missed them, here are the top Asigra announcements that took place over the past two weeks.
INFINIT Consulting Joins Asigra Global Partner Ecosystem
INFINIT Consulting, a leading provider of digital transformation services has joined the Asigra Global Partner Ecosystem. This partnership will allow INFINIT Consulting to expand its current cloud solutions to include a new branded cloud backup service powered by Asigra as well as expand its line of services to its SMB and enterprise customers and partners.
Asigra Partner Program Recognized with CRN 5 Star Rating for Fifth Consecutive Year
Asigra has been recognized in CRN’s 2016 Partner Program Guide with a 5-Star rating. This annual guide recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs. This rating is assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support and communication.
NavLink, an AT&T Affilitated Company Selects Asigra to Deliver Backup-as-a-Service
NavLink, an AT&T Affiliated company has joined the Asigra global partner ecosystem to deliver backup-as-a-service to telcos and enterprises throughout 17 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As one of the EMEA region’s technology pioneers, NavLink provides end-to-end IT solutions to customers in various sectors including financial, healthcare, media, e-commerce, educational and governmental.
Asigra Announces Free AWS Snapshot Manager
We recently announced the availability of Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager, a free software tool that automates snapshots through a simple, user-friendly GUI that eliminating the need to write extensive scripts. The Asigra AWS Snapshot Manager is free of cost and offers managed service providers the opportunity to expand their total addressable market, in addition to reaching new customers in the cloud infrastructure services market that continues to be dominated by AWS.
Date: Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM EST
The IT cloud marketplace is crowded and competitive. Yet, we have helped managed service providers worldwide increase cloud services revenue by half in just one year. We understand that leveraging a successful business model framework is crucial, and want to explain how you can use our framework to identify your corporate organizational goals to properly execute a plan to succeed.
Register for this webinar to hear Asigra’s Executive Vice President Eran Farajun explain how to increase cloud services revenue, as well as how to:
- Expand your total addressable market
- Drive top line revenue
- Sign on and retain new accounts
- Increase wallet share with existing customers
- Leverage Asigra’s outstanding technologies to power your success
Join us and learn about the Asigra Business Model Framework and how this framework can help you to capture the growing opportunities for MSPs through Software-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service delivery models.