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StorageCraft Expands ShadowXafe With Eye On MSP Market

The changes, the first since StorageCraft's original ShadowProtect data protection software was given virtualization and cloud capabilities and renamed ShadowXafe, are aimed at making the technology relevant to the growing MSP community.

Data protection technology developer StorageCraft on Thursday expanded its flagship StorageCraft ShadowXafe software with new capabilities targeting the managed service provider community.

The changes, the first to StorageCraft ShadowXafe since it was introduced in August, bring the technology to MSPs serving both SMB and midrange clients, said Shridar Subramanian, vice president of product management and marketing at the Draper, Utah-based company.

ShadowXafe was previously known as ShadowProtect, but was renamed when StorageCraft made a major revision to the software to make it more applicable to virtualized and cloud environments.

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Making ShadowXafe more relevant to MSPs was an important step for StorageCraft, Subramanian told CRN.

"We're seeing a ton of consolidation in the MSP market," he said. "MSPs are looking for rapid growth and on-boarding of customers as a way to increase profits in the long run."

MSPs are also asking for increase simplicity, and for technology that spans multi-cloud environments in a standardized way, Subramanian.

For that reason, ShadowXafe now supports Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization environments for the first time, he said.

Also new is native tunneling, which Subramanian said is a unique way to safely manage clients' data in multi-tenant environments. "We're not opening ports in the firewalls," he said. "We instead have microservices running on the host and target. We open a single-purpose tunnel between the two point specifically for data protection."

StorageCraft is also expanding ShadowXafe's billing and license model from a reliance on perpetual licenses to now include subscription pricing, Subramanian said.

The new subscription pricing is based on consumption on a per-server basis, he said. The servers can be either physical or virtual servers.

The monthly cost depends on the number of servers protected, with a license that provides up to 1 terabyte of data replicated to the cloud per server, he said. However, if the amount of data replicated to the cloud exceeds and average of 1 TB per server, then capacity-based pricing goes into effect, he said.

"So if a client has 10 servers, virtual or physical, and one server replicates over 1 TB, that doesn't matter," he said. "The total capacity can be pooled so that as long as the total doesn't exceed 10 TBs, billing will be on a per-server basis."

For StorageCraft partners, particularly MSPs, the enhancements to ShadowXafe are "game changers," said Jeannine Edwards, StorageCraft's senior director of channel marketing.  

"Before, partners were not able to standardize on a single data protection platform," she said. "Now they can."

StorageCraft has recently also worked to make it easier for channel partners to acquire ShadowXafe, Edwards said. The company in late April signed with Denver-based cloud distributor Pax8 to bring ShadowXafe through its partners. It currently works with the ConnectWise professional services automation platform, and plans to work with others, she said.

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