Toronto-based Asigra Inc. unveiled a new data recovery pricing model that de-couples data recovery fees from cloud storage price and instead charges customers for based on the amount of data they recover.
The recovery licensing model (RLM) was introduced today by Asigra following its release of the iteration of its cloud backup and recovery tool, Asigra Cloud Backup which now features support for Google Apps.
The latest upgrade to Asigra Backup 12.2 is meant to provide enterprise users with greater data recovery capability over corporate data stored in software-as-service cloud applications.
“The traditional system is no longer sustainable,” said Aran Farajun, vice president of the Toronto-based Asigra. “There are so many providers offering cloud storage that the service has become commoditized. Each year vendors are lowering their prices to undercut the competition.
“We can’t go on this way, because it will be a race to the bottom.”
Some of Asigra’s channel partners appear not to be so sure about the model.
For instance, Guy Netaneli, chief technology officer of eternity.ca, a Mississauga, Ont.-based data recovery service provider which serves small and medium sized businesses as well as large financial institutions in Toronto, said he wanted to “get more details” about the model.
“I’ve heard about the plan but I still can’t get my head around it,” he said on Tuesday before the announcement. “It sounds to me like we will be charging the customer more at the time when they’re in trouble.”
But Farajun said he believes that RLM is the “fairest licensing model for the new cloud reality.”
He likens the RLM to the payment model adopted by the music industry which shifted from selling albums to a per downloaded song model such as the one used by Apple iTunes store.
Under the new system which Asigra wants its partners to adopt, data backup will cost $0.166/GB/month.
Users are charged for data recovery at a sliding scale depending on the data recovery behaviour or performance. For instance, companies that recover 15 per cent of their backed up data are charged $0.333/GB/month.
There is a minimum charge of $0.0167/GB/month which vendors charge their customers. Users that recover 25 per cent of their data (the highest amount in the scale) are charged $0.500/GB. This amount is also the cap. Customers will not be charged more than $0.500/GB if the amount of data they recover exceeds 25 per cent of the data they backup.
“The customer saves because they are paying a smaller amount for their data backup which is growing all the time but don’t need to pay for data recovery unless they really need it,” said Farajun. “At the same time Asigra or our partners can charge more for data recovery which entails more work.”
Farajun said the minimum fee on recovery ensures that channel partners earn something even if no recovery is done but a the cap gives customers assurance that they won’t get soaked when they have an emergency and have to do a massive recovery.
“I think our partners will come out of it okay, surveys show no business does a 100 per cent recovery, typically its 20 to 25 per cent of the backed up data,” he said.
As for the Asigra Cloud Backup solution upgrade, Netaneli said he was very happy about it.
“This is a huge jump from previous Cloud Backup versions,” he said. “It’s a much simpler solution for my clients since they don’t need to deploy several tools to manage and recover data. This gives them greater peace of mind.”
With Asigra Cloud Backup 12.2, Netaneli said, service providers like e-ternity.ca can backup or recovery their customer’s Google Apps data at the entire domain level, the account level.
The earlier version of Asigra Cloud Backup already features support for Salesforce.com and IBM SmartCloud, but Tuesday’s announcement extends the solution’s capabilities further.
“Many companies today put an assortment of data on SaaS-based applications and Google Apps has one of the fastest growing install bases,” said Farajun. “Many organizations are under outsourcing services such as email to cloud services will save them money since they longer have to spend dollars on additional solutions.”
There were 50 million business people provisioned in whole or part with office systems capabilities from the cloud at the start of 2013, according to Tom Austin, senior analyst for Gartner Research. The number of cloud-provisioned users will grow 28.5 per cent a year to 695 million users by 2022
“We’re expecting cloud-provisioned users to constitute 33 per cent of the enterprise universe in 2017,” said Austin, “A major acceleration toward cloud office systems (including email) will begin by the first half of 2015.”
While firms are saving on IT infrastructure they are losing a lot by way of data protection as services such as Google Apps focus mainly on providing cheap storage and the arrangements often lead to users spending more on other measures to meet regulatory compliance standards, said Farajun
“What typically happens is that when you’re data gets lost Google will likely not be able to help you recover it because their cloud contracts stipulate that they provide a service and is not to recover your lost data,” said Farajun.
The latest advancement to Asigra Cloud Backup allows companies to backup and restore all important business information in Google Apps, including emails, calendars, contacts, documents, and sites. Users can automate and schedule the backup activities for the data in Google Apps, select the number of generations of the information that need protection, set retention rules and even decide different backup frequencies for different sets of data. Asigra also provides secure NIST FIPS 140 -2 certified storage of backup data.
Given that all Google Apps backup data is stored in the same single repository as all other corporate information, users no longer have silos of information lying outside of corporate control, according to Farajun.
Enrique Velasco, managing director for Sandz Solutions, an information management solution that services medium and large enterprises in Asia, said the he likes Asigra’s virtual disaster recovery (VDR) feature.
The VDR enables incremental restores for faster failover/failback and offers LAN-free backup and recovery using SAN. It features a recovery speed of two terabytes/hour and takes network traffic off the local area network.
“It’s a very efficient failover mechanism for disaster recovery services that service providers like us can market to customers deploying virtual machines,” said Velasco. “Asigra’s agentless technology also means there is no need for our customers to install additional agents on each of the VM and servers, so this cuts down cost and complexity.”