Asigra eases cloud fears with Google Apps support

Canadian firm Asigra Inc. yesterday unveiled the latest 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 earlier version of Asigra Cloud Backup already features support for Salesforce.com and IBM SmartCloud. The enhancement announced Tuesday at the Asigra Summit in Toronto also coincided with the company’s rebranding as data recovery firm and its release of a new recovery licensing model that charges customers separate fees for data backup and data recovery.

“Many companies today put an assortment of data on SaaS-based applications and Google Apps has one of the fastest growing install bases,” said Eran Farajun, executive vice-president of the Asigra. “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.”
 
Eran Farajun

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.”
SaaS not good as it sounds

However, Farajun said, 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.

 

“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.

“This is a huge jump from previous Cloud Backup versions,” said Guy Netaneli, chief technology officer of e-ternity.ca, a Mississauga, Ont.-based data recovery service provider which services small and medium sized businesses as well as large financial institutions in Toronto. “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.

Erich Estanislao, project manager for Sandz Solutions, an information management solution that services medium and large enterprises in Asia, said the he likes Asigra’s ability to drill down to individual files.

“The big problem with many SaaS providers is that when a user makes a mistake and deletes data, there’s usually no way of retrieving or it’s very hard to recover that information,” he said. “Asigra drills down to the individual file or emails and restores them as they were at a designated point in time.”

“I imagine this would be very useful in recovering with data created by an employee who has left the firm,” said Estanislao.


New leasing model
 
Also yesterday, Asigra announced a new leasing model for its channel partners called the Recovery Licensing Model.
 
 
Farajun likened Asigra’s introduction of RLM to the shift of the music industry from selling music by the album to a per-downloaded song model and with the telecom industry’s adoption of per-second billing.
 
Traditonally, the price of data recovery was coupled with the fee that businesses paid for data backup.
 
“This system is no longer sustainable for service providers because data has grown tremendously in recent years,” said Farajun. “Many businesses are storing an enormous amount of data even if most of it need not be stored. The real value is when you need to recovery information.”
 
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 backedup data are charged $0.333/GB/momth
 
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.
 
 

 



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