Aug 2013

What do you mean doesn’t have my data anymore?

Posted by Helen Ching in Cloud Backup

CloudA recent article from the Register reported that users on Salesforce’s EU3 instance had experienced approximately five hours of service disruption, and lost an hour’s worth of data that could never be recovered by Salesforce due to data corruption.

You may say Salesforce, being a mammoth cloud company, should have taken all the necessary precautions to backup customer data and eliminate any data loss. They most likely have, to the best of their ability. This is probably the very rare occasion where all the bad stars aligned and this happened. However, this incident highlights the fact that although you transfer your data to the cloud, you do not transfer your responsibility for your data to the cloud. You are still the custodian of your data, and ultimately responsible for your data.

So how do you protect yourself from this happening to you? By investing in your own secure, reliable backup solution that provides you with the ability to backup from third-party SaaS-based applications like, Google Apps and others. You need to have a way to restore any data that is residing in the cloud, so you can still access the data you need due to any unforeseen events. For the case in point, if a backup had been taken and saved in the organization’s own backup repository whether a private cloud or a trusted service provider’s cloud, even if Salesforce informed you that they were unable to restore the one hour of critical data that was lost, YOU would have a copy and YOU could restore the data back yourself.

A Salesforce customer highlighted the fact that requesting Salesforce to perform a restore of your own data residing on Salesforce would cost a minimum of $10K. The data would be restored on a best-effort-basis, and could take weeks. Furthermore, granular item restore was not possible, and ALL the files would need to revert back to a point in time the customer had selected. Having his own copy of the backup data would have bypassed this very costly and not-so-customer-friendly process.

Take a deep dive into Aberdeen’s report on SaaS Data Loss: The Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

Having your own backup solution is considered best practice to cover all third-party SaaS-based solutions, but is especially important for smaller SaaS solution providers. What if one day you decide that you want to switch to a different SaaS solution because of SLA issues? If they were not responsive while you were a customer, what sort of response time do you think you would get when you wanted to leave them? You certainly would not want to be held hostage to your own data.

You have set a stringent data protection policy, and adhere to certain SLAs for your enterprise data that does not reside in the cloud. Why should your data that resides in the third party cloud apps follow a different policy? Your data protection policy should be agnostic to where the data resides.

Even when your data resides in the cloud, you need to think about the security of your data, maintain control of your data, and ensure a cost-effective way of backing up your data.

Do you have a data protection policy in place for your data that resides in third party cloud apps like Office365, Google Apps, What would you do if any of these providers lost your data?

Comments are welcome.

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Aug 2013

New Video: Recovery is Everything

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

New Video: Recovery is EverythingIn case you weren't at the 2013 Asigra Cloud Backup Partner Summit, we wanted to share with you a quick video that we used during the opening of our yearly conference. The video was presented to over 300 of our partners and it gave a sneak peek into the direction Asigra is heading.

You'll also see how Asigra is leading the revolution in the backup industry. The video goes back into the history of Asigra, over the last 25 years, and highlights some of the major changes that Asigra has introduced to the market. The video also talks about the challenges that companies are facing with growing data and growing costs. You'll learn how Asigra is meeting these challenges and where the future lies in the backup and recovery industry.

Watch the video now

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Aug 2013

Upcoming Webinar: The Business of Backup – The Impact of Business Licensing on IT Budgets

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

Make sure you sign up to our joint webinar with Storage Switzerland’s George Crump, Lead Analyst and featuring EVP, Eran Farajun of Asigra.

The Business of Backup – the Impact of Backup Licensing on IT Budgets.
August 20th, 2013 – 1:00PM ET/12:00PM CT

This webinar will discuss the current state of backup software technology and delve into the rationalization of the various licensing strategies in the market. It will also discuss a new licensing model based on data recovery that promises an easier to manage and more cost effective way to acquire backup and recovery software.

Register now!

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Aug 2013

Asigra Introduces Single-Pass Backup & Recovery for Microsoft® Exchange®

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

Email BlogWhen it comes to protecting business email, it goes without saying that an email platform, like Microsoft® Exchange® is a central part of day-to-day operations. Some interesting stats from the research firm, the Radicati Group state that there are close to 100 billion emails sent out each day. Among that traffic it’s estimated that a majority of those emails are created and distributed through business accounts. With that said, Asigra announced today, through a press release, its support for single-pass backup and recovery for Microsoft® Exchange®.

You can read the press release in its entirety by following the link below:

Asigra Introduces Single-Pass Backup & Recovery for Microsoft® Exchange®

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Aug 2013

White Paper: Take Control – Recovery analytics drive smarter data protection

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

White Paper:  Take Control – Recovery analytics drive smarter data protectionThe Asigra Recovery License Model® (RLM) is a new innovation that allows IT managers to lower backup and recovery costs. In addition, it’s designed to give your IT team the information they need to take control of preventable data loss events. At the core of this model is new proprietary software called the Asigra Recovery Tracker™. Using this tool, you can determine information about the source, frequency and causes of your data recovery activity. You’ll then be able to take the proactive steps to manage your data more efficiently.

We wrote a quick white paper that provides more information about the Asigra Recovery Tracker™ that will show you how to ‘take control’ of your data recovery efforts.

To download the paper, click the link below:

Take Control – Recovery analytics drive smarter data protection

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Aug 2013

Was Hospital 'Cloud Breach' Really a Cloud Security Issue?


The following is a guest post from Kevin Gibson, Marketing Specialist TheDataVault:

More and more we hear about healthcare-related security breaches, and the latest sign that it's become a "thing" is this headline from 'Latest hospital data breach involves cloud services.' Uh-oh. Cloud security has been called out.

This will make ardent supporters of cloud-based backup and recovery solutions cringe without even reading the story. It will make those who scoff at cloud security as they pack up their data tape case for transport beam with vindication. But a closer look reveals something critically important: This wasn't a cloud security issue so much as it was an employee ignorance and poor administration issue.

The story correctly points out that the usual culprits in a healthcare data breach are lost or stolen smartphones, laptops, tablets or thumb drives. Clearly, that's not the fault of the media involved – it's the fault of a careless employee (or a vengeful one).

For example, if a company employee (let's call him "Dave") in, say, Chicago transports some files home to work on over the weekend on his prized Chicago Cubs logo flash drive, and that drive ends up falling down into the bleachers at Wrigley Field during the seventh inning stretch, no one's going to reprimand the flash drive. Or at least they shouldn't. Dave was careless and needs to be held accountable.

Now consider the details of this particular "cloud security breach": Oregon Health & Science University officials recently notified 3,000-plus patients that their private health records had been compromised after residents and physicians-in-training at the hospital used Google cloud services to share data.

Furthermore: "Officials said the university doesn't have a contractual agreement to use the cloud-based ISP."

Let's get this straight: Hospital employees took it upon themselves to share patient records on (we can only presume) Google Drive – and did so more than once, and in two different hospital departments, according to the story. Plus, it's the hospital's fourth HIPAA violation since 2009, and somehow it's a "cloud security" problem?

Cue "fail" trombone sound effect: Wah-wah-waaaaaaah.

This problem is about poor administration, not cloud security. If administration at OHSU were fearful of cloud usage, they should have had policies in place specifically stating cloud services were not to be employed for storing or sharing HIPAA-regulated information, and also should have made sure all employees were aware of those policies.

Furthermore, if cloud-based backup services were to be utilized at such a healthcare facility, administrators could have done minimal research and learned that, ta-da, a service such as Asigra is fully FIPS 140-2 Certified and secure. We're talking more than 20 years of backup and recovery with zero data breaches or compromised systems.

All data protected by Asigra is encrypted and password-protected, and in addition to HIPAA compliance Asigra is compliant with regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and more. Your IT professionals will have the tools to securely manage your data at all times and identify risks.

In short, Google Drive is fine for your family photos and iTunes library, but if HIPAA is involved - no, more importantly, if any critical and private information is involved - it's irresponsible and reckless to not seek out a solution like Asigra.

Cloud security isn't the problem in this case. The problem is cloudy policy and administration.

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Aug 2013

New generation marketing tool


The following is a guest post from Vladimir Milanovic

LiveBackup configuratorLiveBackup is very honoured to have won the award for Best Cloud Backup and Recovery Marketing Campaign at the 2013 Asigra Cloud Backup Partner Summit. We were recognised for presenting the innovative lead generation tool that provided numerous benefits to the company.

This tool was created in response to some of the biggest challenges LiveBackup faced last year. They included increasing awareness about Asigra’s unique features and the benefits it brings to businesses whilst capturing more information about our website leads. Detailed information about the prospects is crucial in order to allow for proper qualification before they are passed on to sales so the team can better position their approach with these prospects.

Numerous conversion points on the LiveBackup website enabled collecting basic information about prospective clients but still lacked addressing previously described challenges. We needed something that will educate our website visitors about the offering without complicating things for them.

LiveBackup needed a unique marketing campaign

We knew that we needed something different. Not just another AdWords or outbound email marketing campaign. That was when we developed a brand new and innovative marketing tool that enabled the company to peak into the business of website visitors whilst, at the same time, providing an entertaining learning experience for the visitor, resulting in a win-win situation for both parties.

How does this tool work?

The tool is called the LiveBackup configurator. It is a web application that consists of 8 simple questions related to 4 key components of data protection strategy. With each question, illustrative information is provided about the most relevant features of Asigra software. It takes no longer than a few minutes for the visitors to complete the journey, after which they are asked to fill out a form and leave their contact information in order to receive a pre-built, but automatically customised and branded PDF report outlining their data backup requirements.

Based on the prospects’ actions after completing the LiveBackup configurator, they are either contacted by the LiveBackup sales team or entered into lead nurturing programs that offer them more information related to products and services. This is how the LiveBackup configurator tool educates visitors, whilst at the same time allowing the company to qualify leads based on their business requirements.

LiveBackup configurator

One of the great things about LiveBackup configurator is that prospects going through the tool do not have to have technical knowledge. Questions are fairly simple and aimed at their business needs which makes the configurator appropriate for a wide target audience of business owners and executives. Prospects are given an opportunity to learn more about backup strategies prior to entering into complex discussions with our experts.

What did the configurator bring to LiveBackup?

The main benefit of the LiveBackup configurator for the company is increased lead generation. From all of the inbound leads we had on our website during the past year, over 70% of them came through this tool. As the LiveBackup configurator is search engine optimised, it increased the number of organic visits to the website by 50%. When all new website visitors are taken into consideration, almost 5% of them converted through the configurator tool, which represents a very successful conversion rate.

Improved lead qualification process is also one of the advantages LiveBackup gained from the configurator tool. The process is simplified by asking questions which help to determine direction of the conversation with the prospects. This automation enables time and cost savings and allows the team to communicate to sales-ready prospects, whilst nurturing the rest of them.

The LiveBackup configurator also provided new sales opportunities to the company. Over 9% of those leads that converted through the tool entered the negotiations and have been moving through the sales funnel successfully.

The success of your marketing efforts lies in understanding your target audience

Lead generation tools on many business websites, particularly in the backup industry, are built for people that are already familiar with the technology and are trying to compare various options available out there. However, there should be tools that capture the interest of visitors coming from different stages of the buying funnel. Some people do not possess the technical knowledge and need to be educated first, without committing to sales meetings and free trials straight away. This is why LiveBackup’s configurator is so successful, it addresses the majority of prospects that are actually in the upper levels of the buying funnel.

We’re currently in the process of creating a new version of the configurator and are excited to see what the improved tool will bring. If you are too, stay tuned!

About the Author

Vladimir MilanovicVladimir has been working with GCOMM since 2010 on the design and implementation of the recent branding and marketing strategies. He was also responsible for the rebranding  of LiveBackup in 2012. Between 2006 and 2010 he was involved in the creation and launch of Imperial Tobacco’s European BTL platform for its Davidoff brand as well as for the rebranding of French icon, Gitanes. Vladimir graduated from the Belgrade University of Arts in 2005.

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Jul 2013

Offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery Systems – Sending Data to the Cloud!


The following is a guest post from Douglas G. Hafford, V.P. Consulting Services – Afinety, Inc.

AfinetyIn the last year, and especially in recent months, there have been a host of new offerings for both offsite backup and disaster recovery systems. When considering these highly desirable options, it is extremely valuable to truly understand what you are getting. Many offerings appear to be similar, yet have wildly different cost structures, so a bit of education on what questions to ask and how to evaluate can help you make a wise recommendation for your firm.

Is Your Data Safe in the Cloud?

Without getting too deeply into terms like SAS70 and the various security certifications, the answer is generally a whole hearted yes! Assuming you are considering a major name brand supplier, the data centers which store your data are far more secure than your own internal network is, can be or ever will be. These companies spend vast amounts of money on hardware, software and security engineering to achieve the proper certifications they need to allow them to service highly demanding corporate clients. Far more than you will ever spend, or need to spend on your local Sonicwall or other firewall. Often we find smaller firms with only rudimentary firewall capabilities enabled on their Internet router so this should not be a major concern for you – again if you are using a trusted name brand. In addition, your data is encrypted by these suppliers before it ever leaves your site so that even during transmission to the offsite facility, the data is safe and secure. In fact, many of these suppliers - while they can verify backups and ensure the integrity of your backup-cannot actually see the data itself.

What about low cost solution providers?

There are a handful of low cost providers that offer “small business backup systems.” The “small business” part of this refers to basic application support – usually Exchange (email), SQL (database) and Active Directory (Windows Server objects). Evaluation point number one should be “does the backup solution support my applications?” The examples above are light duty backups that offer a very low cost however there are some rather significant disadvantages to systems like this. First, these are only Offsite Backup and not Disaster Recovery Systems (in the opinion of this humble reporter). Meaning, you can backup to the cloud, but they cannot host you or even provide a backup device to restore from in a major disaster situation. That however, would be okay if it were not for the most significant issue, which is the speed at which these systems perform backups. Let’s imagine that you have 200GB of data on your server(s). Let’s further imagine that you have a full T1 line running at 1.5mbps which is a common connection speed today. Your initial backup is sent over the Internet connection with these products so in this scenario, it might take two to three weeks (yes, you read that right) for the initial backup to complete. Until it is completed, you have NO backup at all. So, is that something you are willing to risk? With this in mind, let’s imagine a disaster where you have to restore that 200GB. Guess what? Data comes down at the same speed it went up so; can your firm go 3 weeks without computers, data or applications? I’m sure I know your answer. Thus, these solutions don’t really work unless you have a very small amount of data and a very fast connection speed. Please remember that any Internet connection has both an UP and a DOWN speed. Cable connections for example often have very fast DOWN speeds, sometimes near 20mbps or more, but the UP speed – which is used by your backup solution – might be less than 1mbps. So while web surfing is fast, pushing data UP to the web can be quite slow.

We have now arrived at evaluation point number two: Does the backup solution allow “seeding?” This means that an initial backup is run – usually to a large USB drive – and shipped off to the data center. The initial backup time is shortened to a day or so and recovery can be done in the same way. In a disaster, a USB drive or other device is shipped to your recovery location and your system can be quickly restored to its full operational capabilities.  This is a highly desirable feature and most would call it an essential feature to any offsite backup system.

In our next installment, we’ll discuss the differences between Offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery.

About Afinety

Since 1987, Afinety has been a leader in IT services for small to medium size businesses. With a focus on law firms, Afinety provides standardized networks that simply work. Other services include hardware and software sales, consultation, cloud based services including disaster recovery, training and support, as well as proactive services that are designed to keep your network running smoothly, without interruptions. For more information, please visit our website at

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Jul 2013

Executive Summary: Simple and Fair – A recovery-based pricing model

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

Simple and Fair – A recovery-based pricing modelWith the amount of data growth that organizations are continuously facing, it’s no surprise that the associated costs with backup are also increasing. But a lot of these costs can be attributed to the current pricing models that exist in the market. In particular, a capacity based pricing model charges for both backing up data and recovering data.

Asigra is challenging the current capacity based pricing model and we have put together an executive summary that discusses our innovative, patent pending Recovery License Model that is designed to relieve these every growing costs.

The summary is available for free download by filling out the quick form. You can download it here:

Simple and Fair – A recovery-based pricing model

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Jul 2013

ESG Blog post - Blowing Up The Business Model

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup

ESG BlogI'm sorry, but that is just brilliant! It's like saying that if you buy car insurance and don't make a claim, the insurance company gives you 90% of your premium back. How great would that be? – Steve Dupplessie

Enterprise Strategy Group Analyst Steve Duplessie wrote a great blog post about Asigra’s Recovery Based Pricing model. In the post, Steve talks about the ways business model changes upset the traditional ways of doing business. He talks about the very familiar backup market, and how Asigra is affecting change with its new pricing model.

Steve DuplessieIt's different - and people are confused and scared by different so I'm not sure how fast the uptake will be, but I love it.

You can read the entire blog post here: Blowing Up The Business Model: Asigra's Recovery Based Pricing

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