Blogs

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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/

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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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Sep 2013
10

Value of local backup in hybrid solution

 

The following is a guest post from Vladimir Milanovic of LiveBackup

Ready to RestoreWhen it comes to business backup and safekeeping, there is no 100% right solution where you should keep your data. Whether you decide on local, offsite or hybrid backup solution, you should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages. Although security is the main reason for choosing offsite backup storage, local storage has an important role as well.

What are the advantages of local backup?

  • Security and control - The onsite, or local copy of important corporate data, means that internally developed security procedures and standards can be applied. The vault at your office does imply certain management but it provides complete control and sense of true ownership, as company decides what to do with the data and who to grant access to. Data is the foundation for business growth and as such, the control of it needs to stay in the hands of the company.
  • Protection - Ensuring your data is protected is of utmost importance. Local backup storage, as part of corporate network, is protected with the same security features as the rest of the business IT environment. These features include firewall, access rights and trained personnel, accompanied with the software built-in security features, like the one Asigra provides - encryption, auto healing, data validation.
  • Accessibility - Data is collected across the entire business network prior to potentially being sent to a secure offsite location. Data stored on-site, on local vault, can be conveniently obtained whenever needed.
  • Speed - With the local storage, a company doesn't require Internet connection to access or restore data. As it resides on network-attached storage (NAS), it can be easily found and restored within minutes, if the need arises. LiveBackup offers the possibility of quickly and easily restoring from the local environment at LAN speed.

Over time online storages prevailed, but why?

Due to technology innovation, continual upgrades on hardware and software, advances in broadband Internet availability and high resource demand, offsite backup solution was adopted over time.

This option gives more security from on-site disasters and less hardware related costs. Natural disasters or theft from the office are the flaws of local backup in comparison to more secure offline solutions that protect data from such occasions. Additionally, cloud based storage is able to detect viruses before data is sent, whereas local backup can copy undetected virus onto your backup.

Cloud based business application

With shift to the cloud came elaborate offer of variety of business applications. Among most sought are customer relationship management apps, one of the biggest genres of software applications on the market today, such as Salesforce. These cloud services store data in a data centre unknown to the user, owned or leased by provider.

Expansion of cloud demands high trust, as with no local, physical data presence, sense of security is lost.

Sense of dependency of a cloud service provider goes even deeper, as data resides on unknown location, there is a question of availability of data. The question of what happens if service is down arises.

Optimal solution - hybrid backup

Companies producing high amount of data, requiring easy and fast access to restore operations are provided with hybrid backup. This is a superior cloud solution, providing “double protection” as local backup and restores are made to an on-site vault, while data replications are sent to external cloud.

This backup option ensures maximum protection and data availability at the same time, as restores from offsite location can be recalled from the cloud into hybrid on-site storage on demand and restored from there. It draws out the best speed, combined with accessibility of local storage with maximum security of offsite storage. Simply put, business has true continuity guaranteed with hybrid backup.

Conclusion

Local storage helps companies regain sense of security and ownership over the most important asset - data. These storage options can be considered as “taming the cloud” and regaining the sense of security and ownership over company IP. Technology innovations and changes revolutionize business arena on almost monthly level, and companies deciding on data protection strategies should consider pros and cons in detail, given that this decision cannot be made lightly.

Keeping backups on premise remains to be important as it allows you to align the value of data with the cost of protecting it.

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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