Blogs

Jul 2016
27

Heartland Business Systems Adopts Asigra Converged Data Protection Appliance for MSPs to Reduce Costs

 

Case study screenshot

Heartland Business Systems (HBS), an established IT Services Provider began receiving requests from a growing number of its SMB customers for better protection of their data, with many wanting an automated solution that could free them from having to use tapes for backup. In search for a new solution, HBS had a few requirements including keeping costs low, the ability to install and manage the software at customers’ sites without additional support, and the ability to replicate to a second data center. They were able to meet all these requirements and more with the help of Asigra Cloud Backup.

Learn how a partnership with Asigra helped grow HBS’s backup and data recovery business by 30% per year. HBS’s experience with Asigra is just one of many examples in which we see new partners go-to-market quickly using our solution and profitably grow their investment over time.

“Asigra charged us on stored data, as well as the amount of data recovered. That was key for us in choosing this product”, says Dave Cummings, Data Center Systems Engineer of Heartland Business Systems. He also states he stores less and pays less, so “the Asigra Recovery License Model is a good cost savings”.

Read the full case study

Spice IT Email Post
Jul 2016
20

MSP Survey Results Show Changing Revenue Landscape: Download the Infographic

Posted by Eran Farajun in Cloud Backup
 

MSP Survey Results infographic screenshot

Asigra just completed a survey of MSPs, asking them to reveal what they consider to be today’s top revenue opportunities; where they anticipate the greatest revenue growth in coming years; and more.

The results are in! Download our infographic to discover what MSPs have to say about a broad range of topics.

One of the key survey results reveals that cloud backup services have led to increased business revenue opportunities and customer retention for most of the respondents. According to the survey, nearly 90 percent of MSP respondents who offer cloud backup services today are profitable, while 87 percent of those profitable MSPs expect profit margins to grow in 2017. As the cloud backup market continues to expand, even MSPs who are not currently offering cloud backup services have plans to do so within the next 12 months.

These findings confirm what we’ve long believed at Asigra: That cloud backup services offer an excellent opportunity for our partners to increase revenue from both new and existing customers. The survey also indicated which industry segments MSPs expect to fuel new revenue growth in 2017 and beyond: compliance-driven verticals such as healthcare and financials, which face stringent regulatory requirements for data protection and security.

As the first cloud backup software solution to achieve the NIST FIPS 140-2 certification, Asigra Cloud Backup employs state-of-the-art encryption to safeguard customer data at all times, enabling our partners to meet strict compliance requirements and win customers among the most highly regulated industries. The survey results emphasize the importance of comprehensive backup solutions for industry verticals with compliance requirements such as HIPAA and SOX, opening the door for enterprising MSPs who wish to seize opportunities by differentiating themselves in otherwise challenging markets. By positioning secure cloud backup services as a revenue driver, these MSPs can expand their total addressable market and grow monthly recurring revenue.

Want more insights into new revenue opportunities and MSP trends? Download the infographic to discover more results from our recent survey. To learn more about the benefits of becoming an Asigra partner, go to http://www.asigra.com/partnering.

Spice IT Email Post
Jul 2016
18

Asigra Named “High Performer” on Summer 2016 G2 Crowd Grid for Backup

Posted by Jackie Liu in Cloud Backup
 

2016 G2 Crowd High Performer logo

For two years running, Asigra has been named as a High Performer on the G2 Crowd Grid for Backup Software. High Performers earn this distinction by consistently maintaining high customer satisfaction scores based on user reviews submitted to the G2 Crowd website.

We are honored to be included in the Grid, which is a reflection of what our most important constituency, our users, think about the software. In our industry, we often rely on expert opinions from analysts to support buying decisions, but it’s also important to consider what our peers, who rely on the software every day, have to say.

  • 88% of users rated Asigra 4 or 5 stars
  • 85% of users said they would be “likely to recommend” Asigra to a colleague
  • 92% of users believe Asigra is headed in the right direction

For an IT function as critical as data backup and disaster recovery, it’s doubly essential to choose a vendor with well performing software and responsive support. Looking at objective opinions like those on G2 Crowd can help narrow down the data protection solutions you want to further research.

There was a diversity of users who reviewed us, from small businesses to major enterprises who were impressed with the feature set of our software. As a platform-agnostic, agentless backup solution, Asigra can back up data from any source including SaaS applications, virtual, traditional servers, laptops and mobile devices.

Take a look at the latest Summer 2016 Grid for Backup to see where Asigra stands among other well-known names in enterprise backup.

Whether you’re building a data protection strategy from the ground up, or migrating legacy backup to the cloud, don’t hesitate to talk to a recoverability specialist with any questions. You may be surprised to find out how Asigra can help you:

  • Reduce costs based on how much you recover each year
  • Simplify data backup by protecting all of your sources with a single solution
  • Ensure disaster recovery readiness with regular “recoverability drills”
Spice IT Email Post
Jul 2016
13

SaaS Applications Change the Rules of Traditional Data Protection

 

Chad Whaley Headshot

This is part of a series of interviews with Asigra Partners. In this post we’re talking with Chad Whaley from Echopath about his experiences and thoughts surrounding Office 365.

TS: Tell us a little about yourself.

CW: My name is Chad Whaley, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Echopath (@EchopathLLC), a managed IT service provider specializing in backup and data recovery. Our team is experienced in implementing and maintaining our Asigra powered solution for organizations of all sizes. We provide more than just data backup and IT services; our clients receive a dedicated service team that is quick to respond to questions and needs in a matter of minutes.

TS: Chad as the trend continues for organizations to adopt SaaS applications in your experience are these companies thinking about data protection for office productivity tools like Office 365?

CW: Our experience in speaking with organizations that have migrated to Office 365 is that data protection is not top of mind.  Many people safely assume that when they purchase Office 365, Microsoft will be there to protect their data. A lot of people I’ve talked to choose not to pay for backup services because they don’t believe it’s worth the cost, again, with the assumption that Microsoft will be there for them and provide enough for their needs. What I see is a constant battle between what data people should protect and at what cost they want to protect it at.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about backup until after they’ve migrated to Office 365. We are working with three large corporations right now where protecting Office 365 data isn’t a budgeted item because it’s just not top of mind for them and it was not a budget consideration as part of the move to Office 365.

TS: Are there any pitfalls for organizations that rely on Microsoft to back up their Office 365 data?

CW: The data protection service provided by Microsoft is not reliable at all because their backup policies cannot guarantee a complete and speedy restore of lost data. There are also other data protection limitations. In a situation where a rogue employee (who was fired or left the company) decides to delete all their emails before leaving, you only have 30-45 days to view them, after those 30-45 days, the emails are gone forever and you can’t refer back to them. This limited time frame for restoring lost data is one of the main reasons why people shouldn’t be relying on data protection from Microsoft alone.

TS: Chad, in your opinion, why do organizations treat their data born in the cloud different than they treated their on-prem data? Why is the data in Office 365 any less important?

CW: Great question. My team and I have spoken to a number of organizations and our experience is organizations were always thinking about the catastrophic loss that might happen such as a natural disaster, fire, flood, earthquake that would have a direct and immediate impact to their office building or data center housing their servers hosting Exchange, SharePoint, file systems, etc.

Now that the data is offsite in Office 365, they think of data protection as more of a utility, not a necessity.  Most organizations think Microsoft has their back (up) covered. However, for publicly traded companies and others that need to meet compliance mandates, they should be thinking about the custody of the data and is Microsoft providing me with the data retention policies required to meet those mandates.

However, companies need to keep in mind that they need to consider that data loss events still occur, they just take a different form such as Crytolocker and other ransomware viruses.  Files synced to Office 365 can still be infected by these viruses just like other data sources.

TS: So, would you say that most organizations are contacting you to discuss data protection of Office 365 after a data loss event?

CW: Yes, in some cases, they contact us because they realize an email they needed to act as evidence in a legal dispute is permanently deleted and that’s when they realize they need to implement a backup solution for their Office 365 Exchange Online. In some cases, it is not a data loss event that made them engage with us, but rather they realize that they need help managing their overall email system from deploying new mailboxes, setting up new mailboxes, implementing and managing the backups on a daily basis, etc.

Especially for organizations that deal with a transient workforce like retail, manufacturing, healthcare, these organizations are constantly creating new mailboxes and then need to figure out how to handle the mailbox when the employee leaves the organization – do they just shut it off or point it to someone else’s mailbox.  People that approach us need help managing the churn of employees, archiving data, managing data as time goes on and managing the eDiscovery of emails.

TS: Chad, for organizations that want to implement a data protection solution for Office 365 what are the top five  things they should consider?

CW: First, I would advise all backup administrators to look for a vendor that can provide data protection for the full Office 365 suite – Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive- even if it’s not part of the initial deployment. Organizations should always being thinking about future proofing.

Second, don’t be fooled by the pretty user interface. IT Professionals should make sure they know what is happening behind the UI – how is the data being transmitted and where is their data being stored.  This is very important.

Third, it is important to know how quickly data can be restored and exactly what services the Service Provider will provide.  Make sure you know the specific actions, tasks and responsibilities of the Service Provider.  Although some solutions are what we call “fire-and-forget”, you should always have a qualified IT professional managing it for you.

Fourth, Microsoft is constantly changing the behavior of Office 365, so there needs to be someone responsible for managing and monitoring your data and the backups to ensure all of the backup sets and schedules are running as required.  I would recommend not putting all your eggs in one basket by making sure your backup vendor isn’t storing data in the same cloud service as the SaaS application you are protecting. Make sure you look at the additional utilities and features that can help you manage Office 365 data and have a data protection strategy in place to ensure that you don’t let data loss take your company down.

Lastly, determining an action plan for handling employees that leave and preserving the emails that carry critical company information can be a very important step that many organizations fail to implement. You don’t want to be put in a situation where you discover that the email you are looking for is gone forever! Based on experience, we have seen that it is a good habit to be backing up certain emails more frequently than others to maintain employee records and paper trails.

TS: Chad, thanks for your time today and your insights relating to Office 365 data protection.

CW: Always great speaking with you Tracy.

If you have experienced an Office 365 data loss event or need data protection for Office 365, and want to know more about how Echopath can help your organization develop a data protection strategy, go to www.echopath.com or contact Chad at info@echopath.com.

Spice IT Email Post
Jul 2016
6

Highstreet IT Case study

 

Highstreet logo

Highstreet IT Solutions, an IT outsourcing company was looking to expand into managed services with a new Cloud Division. In order to provide effective and dependable private cloud IT solutions, they required a cloud backup and recovery platform both flexible and powerful enough to protect any data source for their diverse number of clients across a wide range of industries. Through a six-month evaluation process, Highstreet decided to select Asigra Cloud Backup based on the value and features available.

Highstreet’s reasoning behind choosing the Asigra platform include:

  • Efficiency benefits with de-duplication and advanced compression techniques
  • Agentless platform making it simpler to efficiently protect operating systems and applications
  • Licensing structure that covered all data sources, eliminating any per-node licensing or costly additional point solutions
  • Capability to provide military grade security in a multi-tenant environment
  • Attentive customer support - issues resolved in a timely manner

“In terms of Marketing, Asigra has the best partner portal” says Dolores Wellisch, Executive Director of Marketing, Highstreet IT Solutions. She adds that the turnkey marketing campaigns provided have helped “to further [their] relationships”.

Read the full case study

Spice IT Email Post
Jun 2016
30

5 Reasons You Should Backup Your Website

 

Guest blogger - Benny Lam

5 Reasons You Should Backup Your Website

How important is your website to your business? Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on their websites for a wide range of reasons, including creating an online presence to build brand recognition, to provide information and interact with consumers, and to execute sales transactions. If a business’ website was to be taken down for even a day, they may be faced with disgruntled customers and lost sales. It is surprising not all businesses take extra precautions to back up their website. Here are the top 5 reasons why they should

  1. Peace of mind. Businesses invest a hefty amount of hours, dollars and resources into creating a website and preparing related content. Although websites are rarely “lost”, the content assets are so valuable to website owners that it is definitely worthwhile to invest in a secure, reliable backup and recovery solution. This way, you don’t need to lose any sleep worrying about what could happen to your website. There is no need to take a chance on your website.
  2. Prevent content loss. Data on websites is constantly updated and changing. If you’ve ever lost all your hard work in a file that was spontaneously corrupted, you can understand how easily it would be for a website full of content to also be corrupted, and how frustrating it would be trying to recover the content. Save yourself the stress. Back up your data on a regular basis to prevent wasted time and resources. Eliminate the need for a time-consuming recovery process.
  3. Multiple authors. Content on websites is often managed by more than one person. Sometimes even more than one team. Content is constantly changed, moved and deleted. Especially if there are multiple authors involved, there is a high chance of human error. Data can be easily deleted or overridden mistakenly. Controls can be put in place to reduce the possibility of such errors, but all too often, businesses discount the benefits of having a proper backup solution, which can minimize or eliminate the effect of these errors.
  4. Malicious attacks. Whether the attacks are targeted towards your business or executed at random, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated and challenging to safeguard against. By backing up your website, you have given yourself the tool to reverse such attacks at minimal expense to your business.
  5. Catastrophic server failure. Drastic improvements to the reliability of technology are implemented every year. However, the sad reality is that no technology is perfect and hardware is bound to fail or encounter issues at some point (or points) in time. Back up your data on a regular basis to limit interruptions to your website.

All businesses are at risk of encountering IT nightmares when it comes to their website. How well prepared you are for these incidents can save your company from time consuming recovery processes, corruption of valuable content and loss of customers who can easily turn to a competitor’s website if yours is not up and running when they want it to be.

To learn more about how you can protect your website and corporate data, visit www.asigra.com.

Spice IT Email Post
Jun 2016
23

How IOT is changing the cloud

 

Guest Blogger

Today, we have over 6 billion smart devices, mostly smartphones and TVs that are connected to the Internet. Smart devices like these are called the Internet of Things (IoT) and there’s going to be a whole lot more of them soon.

In just a few years, there will be smart cars driving themselves down the road, smart homes setting their thermostats to the perfect temperature, and even smart cities, where large sets of data can be analyzed to improve the health and safety of the citizens.

The problem is in the next 5 years there will be almost 50 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet.

Growth in the Internet of Things chart

With such this exponential growth, the cloud will not be able to store all that data. As Jonathan Wilkins, the head of marketing for EU Automation, says, "The IoT can only happen through cloud, but today's cloud infrastructure still has a long way to go before it can accommodate for the huge amounts of data that connected devices will generate."

In order to accommodate the influx of data these devices will bring, the cloud is turning into "the fog."

Fog computing (also known edge computing) is made up of nodes or gateways that can store data before it is sent to the cloud. These nodes can be housed in any location, on a factory floor, on top of a power pole, alongside a railway track, in a vehicle, or even on an oilrig, it doesn’t matter. Any device with computing, storage, and network connectivity that can store, organize, and analyze data before it is sent to the cloud can be a part of the fog.

Cloud fog and things diagram

Fog computing will provide all the space that the cloud cannot, plus it will allow for three major advancements, which will allow for faster, cheaper, and safer data storage.

Latency

By the time we have 50 billion devices sending data back to the cloud at once, things are going to slow down. Information will inevitably bottleneck, causing dramatic spikes in latency, which will make IoT devices less smart, which will defeat their purpose entirely.

Latency issues are especially problematic with IoT devices because they are often made to transmit any and all data they intake, regardless of how useful it may seem. Since these objects rarely turn off, they are usually transmitting tons of data non-stop.

In the end, all this data is going to be too much to sift through. As Don DeLoach, co-chair of the ITA Midwest IoT Council, says, "One of the downsides of storing vast amounts of data is [the time it takes to find any useful insights]. If each dataset is over a petabyte and I'm running complex queries, it might take five hours just to get my answer back. If I don't even know if I'm asking the right question, that's a big price to pay."

Fog computing allows for the most important data to be separated from the less important data. Useful data can then be stored in nearby nodes, where it can be analyzed in real-time. This process is called "data-thinning" and it can drastically minimize latency. When important data is thinned from less important data, the non-essential data can still be sent to the cloud, where it can be analyzed over longer periods of time, or even discarded as needed.

For example, driverless cars are going to create a lot of data that doesn’t need to be analyzed or stored. A single car has the ability to create petabytes of data every year – by taking millions of images of every street the car drove down, which are not particularly useful. So, when it comes to IoT, too much data can actually be harmful. Fog computing solves this problem by allowing the less useful information to be discarded before it is sent to the cloud, which makes the cloud smarter too.

Bandwidth

Often times, data is sent to cloud locations on the other side the world, which can take up a lot of bandwidth. Sending a single packet of data across the Pacific Ocean may not take much, but when big sets of data need to be analyzed afar, a lot of bandwidth can be wasted, especially when it comes to billions of IoT devices sending so much data.

However, when IoT data is stored in near-by fog nodes, bandwidth is minimized by offloading gigabytes of traffic from the network at the source.

Saving small amounts of bandwidth can end up making a big difference over time. Below is a table from a study by Wikibon that found how much cheaper it can be to use fog computing, rather than solely using the cloud.

Detailed Comparison of 3-year Management & Processing Costs vs. an Edge Server SAN plus Cloud Architecture

When you are able to sort out the information before it is sent out to the cloud to be analyzed, you can get just the right information that you need for immediate concerns, rather than sorting through Petabytes of unnecessary data.

Security

IoT devices also create major security issues. When all of your devices are connected to your network, they are more vulnerable to hackers. Since, your smart home can recognize your car and connect with it, a hacker simply has to enter your network through your car or your garage, or any other device. From there, they can travel through your network until they find more relevant data. And, with everything connected through the cloud, all of your data is vulnerable.

The 10 Challenges of Securing IoT Communications

Security expert, Bruce Schneider puts it simply, "If we cannot secure complex systems, we can’t build a world where everything is computerized, connected, interconnected, and intermingled."

Under the cloud-centric structure, businesses and homes with IoT devices will become easy targets for hackers, who will have numerous points of entry to your network. But with fog computing, all of these devices can be protected through a single node per network location, which can be secured with encryption, password protection, firewalls, or many other security measures.

The rise of IoT has caused a lot of problems for the cloud, but the solutions that fog computing has provided are actually making the cloud much more efficient at data storage. The table below, from Cisco Blogs, shows the many advantages that fog computing can bring to the cloud.

Cloud Computing vs Fog Computing chart

Having a faster, cheaper, and more secure cloud by utilizing fog computing, has changed the cloud for the better.

Spice IT Email Post
Jun 2016
20

How TIG captured revenue faster with the help of Asigra Cloud Backup software and Zadara Storage services

 

TIG, Zadara storage logo

With cloud services representing one of the fastest growing revenue sources for UK-based managed service provider TIG, they quickly became interested in this new business opportunity. In a traditional service model, offering storage services to end customers posed major financial risks in the event of losing a major customer or the inability to sell enough storage capacity to break even. TIG decided to offer a storage-and-data-protection-as-a-service solution built on Asigra cloud-based backup software and Zadara OpEx Storage-as-a-Service solution as it would enable them to offer agile services meeting changing customer requirements quickly in a flexible pay-as-you-go model for faster revenue realization.

Discover how TIG was able to move to revenue faster (80% of companies that completed a trial went on to purchase the service), reduce operational costs, increase monthly recurring revenues and gain competitive differentiation.

Read the full case study

Spice IT Email Post
Jun 2016
16

Follow the Data Trail to New Monthly Recurring Revenue

 

As more and more organizations increasingly move workloads to the cloud new opportunities are being generated for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who offer cloud backup services. The data migration to the cloud presents a real opportunity for the channel to monetize the cloud by driving new recurring revenue through service offerings.

In our latest infographic, we take a look at the five most common data loss events, new data trends and the workloads that organizations are migrating to the cloud. Check out the infographic below.

Follow the Data Trail to New Monthly Recurring Revenue

Copy and paste the code below to embed this infographic into your website.

Spice IT Email Post
Jun 2016
8

How Managed Service Providers (MSPs) Can Maintain Revenue and Relevance in the Cloud

 

Follow the data

According to Gartner, by 2020, 50% of business users will employ cloud-based office systems. As customers shift their data and workloads to cloud platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, Managed Service Providers can take advantage of this opportunity to drive revenue by offering services that address the growing need of managing data in the cloud.

There are many opportunities for MSPs in the cloud, the greatest being associated with data protection. The threat of data storedin the cloud can come in many forms such as viruses(CryptoLocker), unforeseen outages or accidental data loss events that can leave organizations feeling helpless. By being able to protect data, the lifeblood of organizations,you will be able to start the initial conversation which can help spark further discussions leading to new opportunities.

Take a look at this article to learn how offering cloud data protection services can help you:

  • Earn monthly recurring revenue
  • Realize business growth opportunities with new and existing customers
  • Provide a gateway to further discussions with customers

Read the full article now

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