Patriot Act still an issue as cloud backup vendor opens Canadian data centre

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. – While the buzz may have died down in recent years about the U.S. Patriot Act, and the possibility that the data of Canadian businesses and customers resident in U.S. data centres could be obtained by the U.S. government without consent, it’s still enough of an issue that one cloud backup and recovery provider is about to launch its first Canadian data cente.

Based in Boston, Intronis is a channel-only provider of cloud backup and recovery solutions, primarily to smaller managed services providers serving the small and medium-sized business segment. In a conversation with CDN at the Autotask Community Live conference, Neal Bradbury, company co-founder and vice-president of channel development, said its goal is really to simplify the idea of managed backup and recovery for MSPs and their clients.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Bradbury said being channel-only is a key differentiator for Intronis, and so is allowing MSPs to white-label their offering and market it under their own brand. The vendor launched a number of new initiatives this spring, and chief among them for the Canadian market is the opening its first data centre in Canada, located in Montreal.

“We’re starting a Canadian data centre because we were getting a lot of pushback on the Patriot Act. Customers don’t want data to cross borders,” said Bradbury. “Our Canadian data centre will allow us to service that market. We have MSP clients that want to store data in Canada. It’s a tip-toe into the market.”

Rob Merklinger, vice-president of sales for Intronis, added the vendor now has a dedicated sales team for the Canadian market. It’s based in Boston but is travelling to Canada regularly to meet partners. The Patriot Act remains a concern for Canadians, he said, particularly in verticals such as the financial sector where there are also regulatory issues around data residency.

There’s untapped opportunity in the Canadian market, said Bradbury.

“I think Canada is an underserved market for disaster recovery for SMBs, so there’s a huge opportunity for consultants in Canada to earn revenue offering disaster recovery solutions,” said Bradbury. “It’s a great way to get in the door, and there’s huge margins in it. It’s a completely underserved market.”

Also part of Intronis’ spring Cloud Backup and Recovery platform update is a rebranded portal that MSPs can provide their clients, so they can view the status of their cloud backups directly and, if desired, restore an accidentally deleted file to its original location with a point and click. The vendor is also expanding its footprint, adding additional VMware support as a lot of partners going down the virtualization path.

Another new offering is QuickSpin, for partners working with VMware. Offered by Intronis as a software solution that partners can deploy in a customer data centre on the hardware of their choice, it allows partners to spin up a standby virtual machine that takes a backup image on a regular basis, allowing for much speedier recovery of lost data from local storage.

Finally, Intronis is expanding its trial program. While previously it was more based at the customer user level, which meant MSPs didn’t get to see many of the management “bells and whistles,” now the trial will be available at the MSP level, so they can get a sense of the management capabilities before deciding to use the solution.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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