Axcient Unleashes Appliance-Less Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Cloud-based disaster recovery-as-a-service vendor Axcient on Monday unveiled a new version of its service that now allows full disaster recovery capabilities without the need of a hardware-based or virtual appliance.

Axcient's new Direct to Cloud offering allows smaller businesses or remote offices to replicate their physical and virtual servers together with their data to a cloud, from where the business can be run if the physical office becomes unusable after a disaster, said Todd Scallan, vice president of products and engineering for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.

Direct to Cloud replicates all the data changes -- including changes to servers or client devices like laptops -- to the cloud to provide customers with granular recovery or full image recovery to new hardware, or let them virtualize the images on a cloud, Scallan told CRN.

[Related: Axcient Disrupts SaaS With Program To Pay Partners Upfront]

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There are three primary use cases for Axcient's Direct to Cloud offering, Scallan said.

"Service providers can work with entry-level clients where there is little or no hardware on-site," he said. "Remote office environments also have limited hardware on site. And end users can get disaster recovery for their laptops."

Scallan noted that while there are many companies that provide cloud-based data protection and disaster recovery, Axcient's service is unique.

"We don't just provide file replication to the cloud," he said. "We're offering full-on image replication to the cloud. If a customer's office floods, they can go through Axcient to virtualize the entire office. No one else has this."

The new Direct to Cloud service fills a big gap in Axcient's offering, said Luis Alvarez, president and CEO of Alvarez Technology Group, a Salinas, Calif.-based managed solution provider and eight-year Axcient channel partner.

"We started with Axcient using hardware appliances for disaster recovery, and then moved to virtual appliances, which were great for customers with existing VMware infrastructures," Alvarez told CRN. "Direct to Cloud fills a gap in their offering for small businesses, remote offices or even individual users working from home."

Alvarez said his company also works with other providers of disaster recovery-as-a-service companies such as Chelmsford, Mass.-based Intronis and Atlanta-based eFolder, and each as its strengths.

"For us, we like how Axcient has a 'single pane of glass' management system," he said. "The Axcient portal makes it easy to see everything at one glance. As an MSP, it's easier to standardize all customers whether in a small business, remote office or at home. [It's] easier to control costs. Axcient takes the same technology across traditional appliances, virtual appliances and no appliances, which is a big selling feature."

The Direct to Cloud service is available to the company's channel partners, Scallan said. The service is charged for based on the number of devices, with solution providers setting their own price, he said.