Axcient Unveils Virtual Appliance Version Of Its Data Protection Appliance

Axcient this week expanded its cloud-based recovery-as-a-service offering with the introduction of a virtual appliance version of its data protection appliance, thereby freeing partners and customers to choose their own hardware platforms or, eventually, move their service to the cloud.

The new Axcient Virtual Appliance is a software-defined virtual machine that can be downloaded to the VMware hypervisor, said Justin Moore, CEO and founder of Mountain View, Calif.-based Axcient.

The Axcient Virtual Appliance provides the same capabilities as the company's physical appliance, Moore said.

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"It includes the ability to failover the virtual appliance to a virtual machine," he said. "If a virtual machine gets corrupted or fails, it can failover to an Axcient Virtual Appliance running on the hypervisor. Customers and partners get total feature parity without the pain and expense of the physical environment."

The Axcient Virtual Appliance adds data protection capabilities above what VMware technology can provide, Moore said. "VMware doesn't have a product to recover a file, or to go back to a specific time for data recovery," he said.

This will be a real boost for Axcient's business, said Brad Wiertel, director of operations at Velocity Network, an Erie, Penn.-based solution provider and Axcient channel partner for over two years.

When Axcient first came to market, it was focused on a strategic relationship with Hewlett-Packard servers, which customers had to buy from Axcient, Wiertel said. Axcient later signed a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro that let partners get their HP servers from the distributor, but it still had to be HP servers to run the Axcient software, he said.

"But we're a Dell and Lenovo partner, and can get our servers cheaper from these vendors," he said. "Now with the virtual appliance, we can run it on any server that runs VMware."

The result, Wiertel said, is that Velocity Network's sales team can now find new opportunities by offering the Axcient technology on any hardware.

"We can sell the server with VMware to customers, or lease it to them," he said. "Or customers can have Axcient installed on their own VMware infrastructure. This lets us open our market to new midsize and enterprise customers. We don't have to force-feed HP servers to customers who don't want them."

NEXT: For VMware Now, But Hyper-V And AWS Versions Soon

While the Axcient Virtual Appliance is currently limited to VMware environments, Axcient plans to bring it to other hypervisors in the near future, likely starting with Microsoft Hyper-V, Axcient's Moore said. A version that will run directly on Amazon Web Services is also expected to be available soon, he said.

The AWS version will be a big hit with customers, Velocity Network​'s Wiertel said.

"That will let us spin up Axcient servers in the Amazon cloud," he said. "We're getting a lot of IT directors who think they don't want more physical server in the company, but still want to make sure they can back their data up."

In addition to using the Axcient Virtual Appliance to protect data on physical, virtual or cloud environments, MSPs can use it to provide disaster recovery and data protection services, Moore said.

"For MSPs who host client infrastructures in the MSP's data centers, you traditionally needed separate hardware or software for each customer," he said. "But the majority of hosters are doing this in virtualized environments. Now they can download multiple virtual appliances and assign them to customers."

The Axcient Virtual Appliance is currently available with a list price of $499 per appliance with a license of up to 20 TB of capacity. This compares to Axcient's hardware-based appliance, which is priced at $10,500 for 20 TB.