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Axcient Expands Cloud-based Data Protection With Direct To Cloud

“We’re bringing three capabilities without the need to manage three separate products. If we can make MSPs’ lives easier, then we can significantly cut the cost of managing their backup stacks,” says David Bennett, Axcient CEO.

MSP-focused data protection software developer Axcient on Tuesday unveiled Direct to Cloud in a move the company said gives managed service providers a complete offering to help protect their client’s data.

Direct to Cloud is the third leg of the Axcient x360Recover offering for MSPs, said David Bennett (pictured), CEO of the Denver-based company.

Direct to Cloud, or D2C, is based on the same software that powers Axcient’s hardware-based data protection appliances for instant local recovery and virtualization and for providing image-based data protection to the cloud for remote workstations, Bennett told CRN.

[Related: Axcient CEO To MSPs: We Can Help You Keep Customers From Paying Ransomware]

“We are launching a software stack that is the same as the software on our bare metal recovery option, but without the hardware,” he said. “We’ve had Direct to Cloud on our long-term roadmap. But 2020 taught us we need to adapt and shift fast.”

One of the results of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is the realization that data protection is still not taken as seriously as it should be, Bennett said.

“It’s human nature: We’re all kind of lazy,” he said. “We’re still focused to storing stuff on the server. But with the move to work from home, many people have been backing up to local devices. The worst culprits are the CEOs because we don’t like people telling us what to do. Axcient knows this, and that this is painful for MSPs.”

Axcient’s Direct to Cloud offers MSPs a lot of flexibility, said Angus Robertson, Axcient’s chief revenue officer.

“MSPs can use their RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform to do a silent deployment to replace data to the cloud, and then later use the same solution to replicate data to clients’ on-site environments,” Robertson told CRN. “Today, with other vendors, MSPs need two solutions to do that.”

Axcient Direct to Cloud is something Robert Cioffi, chief operating officer and co-founder of Yonkers, N.Y.-based MSP Progressive Computing, said he has been asking for for a long time.

Cioffi, who has been on the Axcient partner advisory council for eight years, if he counts the time spent with eFolder before that company merged in 2018 with Axcient, told CRN that the last few years has seen clients moving more data out of the office to public or private clouds, which can be expensive alternatives.

“From an operations maturity level perspective, we want one solution for everything we do,” he said. “We want everything in one basket for disaster recovery. We don’t want to use Axcient for on-premises data protection and someone else for the cloud. This is a real game changer for us.”

Progressive Computing has been using Axcient’s Replibit software for cloud-based backup and disaster recovery on private clouds, which can be costly, Cioffi said.

“Such solutions lead to unnecessary storage costs and unnecessary servers,” he said. “But there has been no other way. Axcient Direct to Cloud simplifies the data protection process and streamlines the move to virtual cloud servers.”

Progressive Computing’s lead engineer has been “kicking the tires” on Axcient Direct to Cloud, and so far so good, Cioffi said.

“We have some new business coming on-line with it already built-in,” he said. “We’re excited about this. It’s been a pain in the butt to do it any other way.”

MSP platform developer Kaseya, in a recent survey, found that 78 percent of MSPs use more than three backup technology providers, Bennet said.

“That has to be a headache,” he said. “For us, we’re bringing three capabilities without the need to manage three separate products. If we can make MSPs’ lives easier, then we can significantly cut the cost of managing their backup stacks.”

Adam Preeo, Axcient’s director of product management, told CRN that Axcient Direct to Cloud takes advantage of flat pricing for unlimited storage, which is important to MSPs.

“Other vendors offer different products and prices, and so MSPs are forced to manage different products with different prices,” Preeo said. “That’s not needed with Axcient Direct to Cloud.”

Axcient Direct to Cloud is now in beta testing, and is expected to go to general availability in mid-November, Preeo said.

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