Apr 2013

Demystifying Cloud Series: A NIST FIPS 140-2 Certification Equals Trusted & Secure Data Recovery


FIPS Validated 140-2The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that develops and promotes measurement, standards, and technology. Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS PUBS) are issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). FIPS 140-2 is the most current security requirement for cryptographic modules, or encryption. Asigra was the first Cloud Backup and Recovery vendor to have received validation that its encryption meets these strict standards. View Asigra's FIPS 140-2 Certification. What does this mean for users of Asigra Cloud Backup™?

Business Benefits of NIST FIPS 140-2 Certification

Storing your mission critical data in a service provider's cloud is often a source of contention for enterprises as security and reliability is of utmost concern (as well it should be). What a service provider who utilizes a NIST FIPS 140-2 certified backup and recovery software provides to the enterprise and the users of the backup and recovery software is data that is encrypted at flight and at rest. Not only that but Asigra's technology ensures that the customer is provided two encryption keys – one at the account level and another one at the customer end that aggregates, encrypts and compresses the data. Only a person who knows both the keys can restore the data in unencrypted form from a secure offsite vault. Because we take security so seriously, our software is agentless meaning we don't have traditional agents utilizing a port in the firewall for every agent, creating vulnerability in the server architecture.

Award-winning Asigra Cloud Backup and Recovery is secure, trustworthy and dependable. To learn more about the business benefits of agentless backup software including increased scalability and decreased costs, view our chalk talk: Ensure Ease of Recovery with Asigra's Agentless Software.

Apr 2013

Automate Licensing Capacity Management with Asigra Cloud License Server


Wouldn't it be nice if you could buy your licensing capacity in bulk to better improve your flexibility and customer responsiveness?  With the innovative Asigra Cloud License Server you can.

As a service provider, it is guaranteed that your clients will have different amounts of data and rates of data growth. You can purchase licensing capacity based on projected need and have the real time adaptability you need to respond to the changing requirements of your customers - easily distributing sub-terabyte provisioning options amongst customers based on their individual needs.

In Asigra's latest Chalk Talk, Pavan Vyas, Product Marketing Manager explains this innovative technology and its business benefits for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). MSPs who utilize this feature are able to:

  • automate licensing capacity management
  • automatically meet the backup and recovery needs of your clients
  • minimize disruption to your clients' work through failover protection
  • reduce the staff time devoted to managing each client
  • support multiple deployment models including public, private and hybrid clouds
Apr 2013

Making your backup stronger, better and faster than ever before with Asigra Snapshots and Snapshot Manager

Posted by Pavan Vyas in Cloud Backup

Asigra InterfaceIn the traditional world of data protection, backups and snapshots were considered as substitutes or alternates - and that doing one meant that you didn't need to do the other. Due to the fact that snapshots took birth in the world of storage, it remained an arcane technology to backup administrators; managed and controlled by the storage administrator. However, this separation of responsibilities led to the creation of islands of data protection. Many times the storage administrator and the backup administrator both protected the same data leading to inefficient use of resources and a lot of confusion when looking to restore the information at the time of a data loss.

With the growing popularity of big data and with rapid growth in data volumes, the need to protect data using a quick and efficient approach is becoming ever more important. This need is exacerbated by the fact that businesses are becoming global and backup windows are shrinking. Snapshots offer a perfect solution with their rapid hardware based data protection capabilities which ensure that large data backups can complete in very short time intervals. We're not alone in holding this view. Jason Buffington from ESG also spoke to this very idea in his blog post regarding snapshot based data protection.

And so, at Asigra we have been making enhancements to ensure that the two approaches come together in our software. In V11.2 we announced support for software based methods for snapshot data protection. In V12, we have gone a step further introducing the support for hardware based snapshot data protection in our platform. And with the aim of aiding the integration of snapshots into the role of the backup administrator, we have built in the Snapshot Manager interface which provides the capabilities to the backup administrator to schedule, manage, and control the entire snapshot process using the familiar Asigra interface.

At Asigra we believe that in this world where convergence is the new mantra and where silos are being torn down every day, this change needs to permeate the backup world as well. A true enterprise class software solution needs to provide backup administrators with all the tools, technologies and methodologies needed for data protection without building in additional barriers to its adoption. It is for this precise reason that the Snapshot Manager is integrated into our platform with no additional licensing.

Apr 2013

Have You Ever Wondered, "What is Data Recovery?"

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

One of our partners, The Data Vault (TDV) created an excellent video on Data Recovery that delves into the reasons companies need an active backup and recovery platform, like one powered by Asigra.

Watch, and learn why it's important to backup to the cloud and how you can save both time and money:

Watch on

Apr 2013

How Asigra helps solve the big data protection challenges of banks

Posted by Pavan Vyas in Cloud Backup

The financial services vertical has traditionally been one of the largest spenders on technology. Financial firms, faced with the need to cut costs, improve customer service, and keep to regulatory requirements are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative solutions and technologies. Incidentally, the financial services space is also one of the most open towards seeking the help from external service providers for their information technology needs. All of this makes financial services firms an attractive market for you to offer IT services to.

In particular, when it comes to data backup and recovery services, financial services firms such as banks are facing a number of challenges:

  • Big data: Banks are grappling with the rapid growth of data. Not only do banks have to adapt to new data streams and formats, they are also challenged by the pace of data growth. All this places huge challenges on data protection infrastructure
  • BYOD: Bring Your Own Device movements are gaining ground in enterprises; banks are not going to be able to hold off much longer. As a result, banks will need the ability to protect their data on all devices including mobile endpoints such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Consumerization of IT: As users begin to demand consumer like experiences such as self service provisioning, IT departments in banks will look for opportunities to provide end users with a lot more control of their data and its destiny.
  • Data Security: As hacker activity increasingly begins to target banks, it is essential that any IT asset added to the mix is capable of ensuring the security of the firms' information assets as well as ensuring that it does not create any new threats to the firm's IT infrastructure.
  • Ever reducing RPOs and RTOs: While data is increasing at a rapid rate, the tolerance towards recovery times and recovery points is constantly decreasing. Instant recovery is almost an expected feature today as is the requirement for multiple levels of redundancy.

To read more about this very interesting topic, click on the tiles below.

Apr 2013

Slash Recovery Time Objectives to Less than 1 Day


If your organization is like many organization's these days, you have a portion of field employees who are working remotely generating vast amounts of data that may never hit your internal network. You may have an outdated tape library or unacceptable recovery times. Whatever the case may be, ensuring you are properly able to recover your data in disaster-like events is of utmost importance.

For a 150 employee construction firm, that had performed an internal audit they discovered that if their facility was affected by a natural disaster business wouldn't be able to recover for at least 10 days. Realizing the significance of a recovery time like this, the company turned to 4 other potential vendors plus PCNet, powered by Asigra to try to find the best solution for their company.

PCNet's hybrid storage solution, powered by Asigra ended up winning the construction company's business by standing out in four areas:

  1. Highest security standards;
  2. Annual Disaster recovery testing;
  3. Development of a Disaster Recovery Plan for their business;
  4. Dedicated facility in case of disaster to continue core business operations

Not only did these four differentiators win the deal, but as mentioned in Business Solutions magazine, they were able to slash recovery times from their original 10 days down to less than a day thanks to recent improvements Asigra made to its software.

With the importance and value of your corporate data, as well as complex enterprise IT environments, ensuring you choose a service provider that can address your changing needs with a sophisticated backup, recovery and restore strategy is of utmost important. To learn more about what critical requirements enterprises should consider in a backup and recovery service provider (100% recovery notwithstanding!) view the Requirements Checklist for Choosing a Cloud Backup and Recovery Service Provider.

Apr 2013

Announcing our Winner – Share Your Successes

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Marketing 2.0

Ace Data Devices Pvt.Congratulations to Ace Data Devices Pvt. Ltd. for winning the 2013 Share Your Successes partner contest and a free trip to Toronto!

Ace Data submitted three enterprise case studies across three different vertical markets to capture free airfare and accommodations to the Asigra Cloud Backup Partner Summit.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest and the case study submissions were beyond our expectations. Stay tuned for more announcements about our upcoming summit and we'll see you there!

Apr 2013

Cost Effectively & Efficiently Store Your Data


Asigra recognizes that there are multiple tiers of backup of active data and that the value of data should be aligned with the cost of protecting it. Due to this, we have built the Backup Lifecycle Management (BLM) feature into our software. Utilizing this feature allows you to keep data storage costs effective and efficient.

Operationally critical data requires more frequent backups on higher performance devices. Less critical backups are relegated to less expensive, lower performance devices. Older versions of backup files are moved to slower devices to save costs.

To explain why you need this feature in your business and how it works, Pavan Vyas, Product Marketing Manager, Asigra has given a chalk talk on Backup Lifecycle Management.

Backup Lifecycle Management

As Vyas explains, the BLM process can be automated to occur at a set time, to move data across tiers or when data gets to a certain age. Asigra's unique value ensures data is always recoverable and protected from the core; the data center to the edge (endpoint or external clouds). Download the software overview to learn more about Asigra Cloud Backup.

Apr 2013

Leading analyst firm advises that the chief value drivers of a migration to the cloud are speed and agility

Posted by Pavan Vyas in Cloud Backup

SpeedWish that you could have better conversations about your cloud backup services with enterprises? Here are some tips.

As the awareness about cloud computing grows, enterprises are no longer shying away from having discussions about cloud approaches. However, even as the knowledge about the space increases and successful implementations of cloud abound, there are still some questions and fears that lurk in the minds of enterprises – and these are what come up when service providers get involved in discussions with them around cloud backup.

This blog post distills the knowledge of the cloud that we have had over the many years in the business as well as quotes and insights from leading industry analysts. We hope that this will help our service provider community in conducting more successful conversations with end customers and in addressing their questions more effectively.

Leading industry analysts today agree that cloud is no longer a technology – it is a style, an approach to IT delivery. The analysts talk about the fact that not all enterprise use cases lend themselves to cloud computing. Some areas are better served by using the cloud than others. Some in fact, do not even lend themselves to a cloud based solution. We agree and believe that the fear of the cloud arises because of the wrong choices that firms make when it comes to choosing the cloud as an implementation method for IT delivery. Backup and recovery, in the opinion of IT experts, is an excellent choice for cloud based backup and recovery. Therefore, when approaching conversations around cloud backup, it is essential to be aware of these nuances and specifics.

Gartner advises that the chief value drivers of a migration to cloud are speed and agility. The ability to tune up or tune down resources based on usage and to have the flexibility to try different structures and models with relatively low barriers is the biggest benefit. While all of this does have a cost element to it, cost savings are not the primary driver for enterprises to embrace the cloud. This, in our opinion is a key learning for our partners. If you have been making your pitches only about cost savings, you are doing yourself a disservice. True, there is a huge benefit from being able to convert capital expenditure into operating expenses – and this is a compelling enough reason to make the switch to the cloud – however, it is not the only one. There is the ability to scale up and scale down as required, the ability to respond rapidly to try the adoption of new approaches such as VDR without the risk of large investments, and to benefit from the pooling of competency and resources that cloud provides. Remember, going with just the cost card puts you in competition against automation and virtualization technologies. You are not here to compete against them but to show how you leverage those approaches to drive additional savings and provide so much more value with the cloud.

Not everyone has the same definitions of private, public, and hybrid clouds. Private clouds, the most common implementation today, are those in which you have your data isolated from that of others. This does not necessarily mean that it has to be an on-premise or an on-site solution. It can be data that is isolated in a different location or network, or both, in a service provider's data center – just that there is no sharing of infrastructure or resources between the private location and others. Leading analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester both believe that a private cloud implementation may not be providing organizations with all the benefits that cloud computing can provide. The ability to pool resources and gain from the economies of scale is best enabled in a public environment. Therefore, analysts' advice enterprises to evaluate the best model for each use case and then choose the ideal combination of private and public cloud infrastructures for their unique needs.

That brings us to the most important cloud model – the hybrid cloud. IT has almost become a cliché to suggest that this is the model of the future. Gartner, Forrester, Frost and Sullivan, Deloitte – every analyst firm of repute seems to suggest this to be the case. And to us, this seems to make logical sense. If enterprises are going to look at ways to leverage the benefits of both public and private approaches and want to have the ability to seamlessly migrate between them, the best way to achieve it would be through a hybrid approach with the ability to switch models seamlessly based on changing requirements. And we believe that this is a great development for Asigra service providers – you have a technology that supports these various cloud deployment models and helps you seamlessly migrate between these different models when required.

We sincerely hope that this post gives you some more ammunition and confidence to go out and have discussions with enterprises about your managed backup services. If you find enterprises backing away for fear of the cloud, all you need to do is to educate them about what the cloud means, why not all use cases of using the cloud are the same, what the different cloud deployment models mean and why it makes sense to use your services powered by Asigra.

Do you agree that we need to educate the enterprise more about the benefits of the hybrid cloud? Have you encountered any difficulties in positioning your cloud services within the enterprise? What sales strategies do you find the most impactful within the enterprise? Do you agree that the chief value drivers are speed and agility? Let's keep this discussion going, please let us know your thoughts and experiences.

Apr 2013

8 Reasons why the Healthcare Industry needs Backup and Recovery NOW

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

We hear it over and over, the numerous stories of laptops that have gone missing and data that has disappeared in the Healthcare industry. We hear it so often that we've written numerous blog posts about the risks and costs of losing such critical data. So much so, that we have created the following information that contains 8 Reasons why the Healthcare Industry needs Backup and Recovery.

Let's take a look at the 8 reasons at a high level and from there you can explore the information below to get more details:

  1. Complying to HIPPA regulations isn't easy and the costs are real. Under the HITECH Act penalties are divided into three tiers and the fines can be costly.
  2. More than 19 Million individuals have been affected by a "major" healthcare information breach since 2009. Breaches are embarrassing, and fines can be expensive.
  3. Medical Breaches are prevalent in the industry. We find examples of medical breaches and read about them in publications on a monthly basis. Many of which, could have been prevented.
  4. $1.5M fine for a lost laptop. $1.7M fine for a lost hard drive. Enough said.
  5. If you suffered a data breach, would you know the next steps? The work following a breach can be tedious, embarrassing, costly and damaging to your brand.
  6. The US HHS Wall of Shame is a public site that lists or ousts all Healthcare related breaches to the public, for the world to see. Avoid being published on that list at all costs.
  7. It's not all doom and gloom. There are proactive steps you can take to get the right technology in place to protect your data and to provide you with some peace of mind.
  8. Finally, Asigra provides the backup and recovery software you need to keep patient data safe.

Take a look at the information below, which reiterates all of the above in more detail.

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