Data protection vendor Acronis has introduced the Acronis Data Protection Platform – its next generation cloud platform.
“This new cloud Data Protection Platform has three main product elements – the Backup cloud, the File Cloud, and the Disaster Recovery Service,” said John Zanni, Acronis’ Senior Vice President, Cloud and Hosting Sales. “Before we had Acronis Backup as a Service. We have evolved that solution into a complete platform with more services.”
Acronis, which was a backup software vendor for years, moved into the cloud in 2014 with Acronis Backup as a Service, which was targeted at service providers and MSPs. Earlier this year, they introduced Acronis Backup Service, which has the same technology, but is packaged for resellers who typically do not have a cloud business, with Acronis doing the back end work that an MSP would typically do. As a result, Acronis’ offering now has three channels to the consumer: direct from Acronis, from resellers, with the hosting done by Acronis, and from service providers who manage the service themselves.
Acronis has been expanding that service provider channel. Zanni cited IDC data that said 70 per cent of SMBs have insufficient Disaster Recovery protection, and stated that Spiceworks says 46 per cent want to implement a solution. Since 25 per cent are already working with a service provider, Zanni said this is a natural channel for them.”
“We have been growing, to the point where we now have 150 service providers in production and 450 in trial mode,” Zanni said. “Part of the value we provide is creating an experience that combines a full data protection suite for the service provider to sell, which is also affordable and easy for the end customer to use. Our platform is designed to both be affordable for customers and to let our partners make money.”
The new version of the backup component, Acronis Backup Cloud, expands support for Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange, and Mac OS X environments. It adds initial seeding capabilities to more easily move large volumes of data to the cloud.
The Acronis Disaster Recovery Service hybrid cloud solution originally came from Acronis’s acquisition of nScaled in September of 2014. With this release, it becomes available for the first time as a service that MSPs can fully manage.
“Before, it was only offered as a service completely managed by nScaled, and was only available in the U.S. and the U.K.,” Zanni said. “We have now added the ability for service providers to manage that service, and it is now available worldwide.”
The final component of the platform is Acronis Files Cloud, which provides secure file access, sync, and share (FSS) in a cloud service. It is an enhancement and rebranding of their previous Acronis Access solution.
“What we have done with Acronis Files Cloud is create an updated version of this that allows multitenancy and a multi-tiered offering, so that smaller businesses will be able to have this,” Zanni said.
Zanni acknowledged that the pure play cloud sync and share providers like Dropbox and Box have not been successfully financially to date, but said that their offering falls into a different type of category.
“Box and Dropbox are specialist companies offering one service to customers, but for a service provider serving SMBs with a full portfolio of services, this just becomes another service that they can consume,” he said. “Service providers are not pure play, so can find ways to monetize their services. Our flexible licensing model charges per GB per month independent of the service being sold, so it lets them give away file sync and share if they want, and monetize elsewhere, or else tune the feature set so they can monetize it. Service providers are also experts at running the lowest cost storage available, so it will be easier for them to be profitable with it.”
Zanni said that there clearly is a market for secure sync and share that will attract customers.
“We are seeing demand for it, no doubt about it,” he said.
Acronis Files Cloud is available starting in August, with availability in North America and select markets outside it, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, and Russia. Support for additional languages and nations is planned for later this year. Both Acronis Backup Cloud and Acronis Disaster Recovery are available worldwide today.