Blogs

Oct 2013
8

Calling all Spiceheads. Help Ender Recover!

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

In the classic American science fiction novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, we’re introduced to Ender Wiggin, a youngEnders game contest child who is gifted with tactical talents, and unknowingly is responsible for the fate of the world. Set in the near future, Ender is trained as a young child in simulated battles that pit him against an alien life form that is threatening the existence of the human species. Ender is able to utilize his intelligence and his gifted talents in many ways when confronted by such a threat.

Asigra's software, in many ways, prepares organizations from their own ‘alien’ attacks, by ensuring their data is backed up and is always ready for recovery. We use the utmost security procedures to ensure that your data remains safe. Here’s a look at some of the 'battle' tools that come equipped with the Asigra solution.

Agentless Cloud Backup - Asigra requires no agent installations on individual machines. This makes it inherently easier to install and support than legacy backup. On the battlefields, this means you can deploy more machines to protect your data quickly while keeping your army strong.

NIST FIPS 140-2 certification – Asigra is the most secure agentless data platform you’ll find in the industry. It encrypts the data in-flight and at-rest from cradle to grave. With third party certification called NIST FIPS 140-2, it’s next to impossible for anyone to access your data, let alone an alien life form like the Formics.

De-duplication – When it comes to battle tactics, efficiency is the name of the game, and that’s why Asigra offers unprecedented integrated de-duplication. This means that Asigra identifies all duplicate data and ensures only the correct data is backed up and sent over your network.

We know that when the worst can happen, you have to be prepared. And like the many missions that Ender himself faced, you have to ensure that you are equipped with the right tools and strategies. With Asigra, you can be rest assured that your data will always be protected.

Because in the end, Recovery is Everything.

Spice IT Email Post
Oct 2013
7

Datahouse Hits Hole in One

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

Asigra partner Datahouse will be spending more time on the greens when one of the leading golf management companies in the US, Honours Golf, entrusted them with protecting their data. Honours Golf was looking for a provider that shared similar company values like dedication, passion and customer service, and for those reasons they chose Datahouse powered by Asigra.

In this quick video, you can find CEO Bob Barrett of Honours Golf discuss some of the reasons the company selected Datahouse to protect their critical data including email, accounting and payroll systems.

http://youtu.be/6r93rk8JQGE

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Oct 2013
4

The times, they are a changing

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

Some might say that Asigra is ahead of the curve when it comes to our software offering. After all we've introduced some pivotal revolutions into the industry like the Recovery License Model or even the ability to backup cloud-to-cloud applications like Google Apps. Even so, there will always be a few laggards who find it difficult to adapt. But hey, we’re always here to encourage them.

 

cloud humour

Source

Spice IT Email Post
Oct 2013
3

Who is Zeekee Interactive?

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

Asigra partner Datahouse is the cloud backup provider for Zeekee Interactive, an interactive firm that specializes in web development, graphic design, search engine optimization and anything that relates to digital. In this video you can learn how President Dave Gibson of Zeekee Interactive went from backing up a single machine, when he first started his company, to relying on Datahouse powered by Asigra for protecting terabytes of customer files.

You'll find some interesting insights in this video and in particular Dave explains how his staff is more focused on design, development and marketing. Whereas he didn't want to allocate their time to things like backup or backup administration.

You can learn why Zeekee Interactive selected Datahouse powered by Asigra by watching this great video:

http://youtu.be/9TiYBOg8s_k

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
25

How backup centralisation reduces the risks and costs of the cloud

 

The following is a guest post from Jasmina Vermezovic from LiveBackupcentral

There is no stopping the cloud, according to the latest surveys more than 2/3 of companies are at least discussing adoption of cloud applications into daily operations.

It is to be expected that positive decision will be easily reached by most, based on promised ease of management, improved scalability and disaster preparedness. However there are several hidden costs that organisations might soon be facing if the decision is rushed. Although most of the risks can be avoided with careful planning, there might also be a way to address the current situation, regain control and insure protection of all corporate data.

Dealing with the rogue clouds

Companies continually search for business solutions that will keep them competitive and improve the flexibility of their practices. Sometimes in order to save time, employees use unauthorised cloud applications/storages to share files with outside vendors, such as personal Google drives. Companies need to be able to prevent exposure of sensitive data but also to achieve recoverability of data stored in the cloud.

As Google Apps are being increasingly adopted by businesses of all sizes, backup solutions capable of supporting the suite are becoming increasingly in demand as well.

Such backup solution effectively deals with rogue clouds, making sure that although user friendly and flexible, the cloud also provides business grade security.

Cloud storage and non-deduplication

Another solution that can be adopted quickly is that cloud storage in theory has some important advantages - it can be deployed quickly and companies only pay for what they use. It is highly scalable, therefore it is easy to adjust the capacity.

However, a closer look reveals that, since most cloud storages do not support deduplication, companies end up paying for up to 6 times more storage than they actually need. Other challenges include inability to tier data stored in the cloud, so a company does not have an option to adjust to the more efficient manner of data storing.

Recovering data from the cloud is by default slow. According to the survey results, more than one-fifth estimate recovering from the cloud would take three days or longer. Although downtime costs vary significantly within industries, due to the different effects of downtime, several days is still not acceptable for most businesses.

Hybrid environments do not imply hydra-like backup solutions

Companies nowadays store their information on physical, virtual and cloud storage - a complicated environment in regards to backup and recovery, that often results in multiple backup solutions.

According to the survey results, more than two-thirds of enterprises today are using three or more solutions to back up their data. The problems this situation causes for IT departments are not negligible. It is not only necessary to train your staff to use all the solutions, but the management of all those processes is time-consuming. Potentially, the most damaging consequence is the inability to achieve a central, single overview of the entire network.

Instead of combining different backup solutions for cloud applications, critical servers and virtual environments that are complicated and provide dubious restorability assurances, companies are advised to look for a platform and device agnostic solutions capable of meeting all their data protection goals.

True advantages of centralised backup

Centrally managed backup that supports all platforms and devices allows companies to focus on business goals, users, and data, instead of technologies and devices. It also makes sure that information is safe all the time and, most importantly, accessible and restorable whenever needed.

With a single point backup overview it is becoming increasingly easier not only to manage, but to plan future data protection directions.

Centralisation therefore adds to the intangible value of the company that can be hard to calculate without taking some facts into consideration. Just think how much each hour of downtime would result in lost opportunity, shaken customer loyalty, damaged reputation, and lowered employee morale.

About Jasmina Vermezovic

Jasmina VermezovicJasmina works as part of the sales team at LiveBackup, Australia’s leading backup and recovery provider. Prior to moving into sales analytics and support, Jasmina was involved in the development of online platforms, technical documentation and web content for the backup services provider. Jasmina holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Ethnology and Anthropology from the University of Belgrade. During her professional career, Jasmina has worked in a variety of roles, including Marketing and Sales Copywriter, Account Manager, as well as Journalist/Editor for the major national news agency where she covered topics in economics, politics, education, social policies and IT related topics. Her interests include data management, data protection and IT trends.

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
20

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

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

The following is part two of Afinitey's guest post by Douglas G. Hafford, V.P. Consulting servicesafinety

In our previous post, we looked at a few considerations in determining an offsite backup solution. In this post, we’ll address Disaster Recovery and tying it all together.

What is the difference between Offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery?

Certainly a good backup system is part of any disaster recovery plan, whether it is a tape, USB drive, Offsite Backup or a full DR product. However there are systems which allow not only backup and restore once your system is rebuilt, but can also host your network in the event of a significant disaster. In most of the offsite backup solutions we see in the field, a full disaster, meaning that your office is unavailable for some reason, is handled by the backup hosting company sending a large storage device to a NEW site and allow you to use that to restore your data. When you consider a solution like this, keep in mind that realistically, you are about one week away from being back in business. Often this is good enough, but your partners and staff should be aware of this time frame (known as Return to Operation). One week comes about from the following timeline:

  1. 1. Locate a suitable facility that offers power, AC, Internet etc. – 2 days.
  2. 2. Order and receive the necessary hardware to run your system – 2 days.
  3. 3. Restore from the backup device – 1 day.

This IS of course if you are very, very lucky. Imagine a regional disaster where everyone is trying to do the same thing you are! It is entirely possible that it might be two or even three weeks.

A full disaster recovery solution will offer hosting. This means that your servers can be quickly loaded at the hosting facility and accessed remotely (usually via Terminal Services or Citrix) right away. Providers like this can cut your Return to Operation to 48 hours or even less, depending on what you want to spend. Thus, our next evaluation criterion is "Does the system offer hosting in a disaster?

Now the Tricky Part!

Quality Backup and Disaster Recovery systems can take two forms. Image based and File based. Image based backup systems have some nice features however they have one fairly significant problem. A backup “Image” can quickly be restored and handled quite easily by the backup system however, an image can become corrupt. A corrupt image may behave exactly like a good one, but be useless in a disaster. So an image based backup might report that its completing backups, be able to restore a single file or folder without difficulty but when the “stuff” hits the fan, a client can find that they have no restorable image because of corruption that was never detected. These types of backup systems generally recommend testing on a periodic basis, either semi-annually – say twice a year – or annually. However, when we encounter these systems at a potential client site and ask, “How often do you test?” the response is almost uniformly “Test?” Now I don’t want to be too harsh on image based backup. Most of these work just fine and corruption is fairly rare however, there IS a very good reason the vendors want you to test every 6 months and if you have this type of backup, you MUST test. The price of these backup solutions can be higher than stated because generally, the testing has a cost over and above the normal monthly storage based charges.

File based backup systems do not have this issue and can be routinely tested and verified for integrity as part of the normal backup procedure. Since each file is verified as identical at the block level (that’s a real low level, trust me on this!) testing is normally NOT required. Clients may however wish to test things like a failover scenario to ensure that they can be hosted in a disaster. That’s simply thinking ahead, but it’s not about data integrity but rather the supplier’s ability to perform. This brings us to our next evaluation point, "Is the backup system File or Image based?"

What’s next?

All of these solutions are falling in price month by month. At the same time the price of high speed bandwidth to accommodate an offsite backup or disaster recovery solution is also falling. These solutions, once reserved only for larger firms, are becoming more and more accessible for smaller firms with more limited budgets. It is a very good time to contact your trusted advisor and examine some of the offerings that are available now. If you have something in place, it might be time to look around and make sure you have the best available price to performance solution for your firm. At the same time, look at your bandwidth and see if you can improve that as well. Me? I’m looking forward to writing a similar article next year with even better backup solutions!

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 www.afinety.com

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
18

Executive Brief: Cloud Poised to be Most Popular Backup Medium

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

Cloud SurveyIn an Infostor Executive brief, sponsored by Asigra, Palmer Research and Quinstreet Enterprise surveyed 198 IT decision makers in organizations with more than 500 or more employees about the state of data backup and recovery as well as the benefits and issues IT decision makers are confronting. The brief explains why Cloud computing is revolutionizing all aspects of the business with storage being no exception. The results of the survey provide some very interesting insights into the current practices that enterprises are using to protect their data. In fact, you can download the brief in its entirety below to learn some of these insights which include:

  • The number of backup solutions and infrastructure currently employed in IT environments
  • The types of backup solutions being employed by enterprise to meet their backup and recovery needs
  • The primary reason enterprises backup their data
  • The four main types of data that over 96% of enterprises are protecting
  • The total amount of data being recovered on average by enterprises

Download the brief now to discover the leading ways that enterprises are deploying backup and recovery solutions and learn how cloud computing solutions are revolutionizing the industry.

Cloud Poised to be Most Popular Backup Medium

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
17

Vote for Asigra in the Windows Community Choice Awards

Posted by Zaid Rasid in Cloud Backup
 

Windows Community Choice AwardsAsigra is proud to be listed as one of the candidates in the 2013 Windows IT Pro Community Choice Awards. Asigra is amid a competitive landscape of vendors from multifaceted fields. We would be more than honored for you to take the opportunity and vote for Asigra. You can find us under the Best Backup & Recovery Software product.

Here's a link to the awards page: 2013 Windows IT Pro Community Choice Awards

And here’s a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013-CommChoice-WinITPro-FinalVoting

The deadline to vote is September 20th. Thanks for your support in Asigra.

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
12

Upcoming Webinar – Stay on top of evolving cloud storage pricing models

Posted by Zaid Rasid
 

Asigra's Eran Farajun will be featured as a panelist in an upcoming webinar on September 17, 2013 10:00-11:00 am PDTGigaOM presented by GigaOM Research. The webinar will discuss the challenges of existing cloud data backup and recovery pricing models and how the market is evolving to be fairer, simpler to use and budget for.

Here's a look at some of the topics that will be up for discussion:

  • What is the predominant cloud pricing model for backup and recovery today?
  • What are the limitations of this approach? (Examples)
  • How have other industries innovated around pricing to improve customer retention? (Auto insurance, others?)
  • What lessons can we learn from these early innovators failures and successes?
  • What are the potential challenges with new pricing schemes?
  • What will the economics of cloud storage look like in the next 3-5 years?

To learn more about the panelists and to register for the webinar, click the link below:

http://pro.gigaom.com/webinar/stay-on-top-of-evolving-cloud-storage-pricing-models/

Spice IT Email Post
Sep 2013
11

The Unfair Costs of Backup

Posted by Helen Ching in Cloud Backup
 

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently completed a survey of 479 financial buyers such as CIOs, VPs, of IT, Directors of IT and technical buyers such as Storage Admins, Systems Admins, and Application Admins from a wide range of industry verticals. The results showed that the way organizations are currently paying for backup is unfair, and they are interested in a better way to spend their backup and recovery budget. We’ve summarized the major discoveries below. Feel free to explore Asigra’s Recovery License Model further.

The Unfair Costs of Backup Infographic

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