The backup and DR secrets of Australian resellers

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This article appeared in the July 2016 issue of CRN magazine.

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The backup and DR secrets of Australian resellers
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The recent spate of cloud outages put the spotlight on backup and disaster recovery. With so many up-and-coming backup and DR vendors to choose from, how do they compare? 

Newer vendors need partners. They are heavily reliant on the channel for their own success. We asked resellers and managed service providers what they look for in their business continuity and DR vendor providers. 

They told us that cloud integration options are a major appeal of newer backup providers, allowing backup data to be stored in the cloud rather than on-site. This is often coupled with consumption-based pricing, reducing the up-front expense for customers. The newer products also have a substantial focus on ease of use, which has also driven rapid growth. 

Insight and Acronis

Acronis has a broad range of software products covering the high midmarket all the way down to SMB, including on-site and cloud-based offerings. Acronis supports both physical and virtual machines, with local or cloud-based backup or replication targets, including support for VMware’s vCloud.

Angela Maniscalco, Insight’s head of strategic vendors and marketing APAC, says Acronis has done a good job of balancing the ability to understand direct sales and channel sales. “There are some client solutions where we do align and partner with Veeam, and with Barracuda, and with StorageCraft,” she said, “but with Acronis we’re taking a broader approach. They’ve set themselves up with quite a mature channel program.

“One of the critical factors in growth globally is that you are easy to deal with,” says Maniscalco. Ease-of-use is a major selling point of all the up-and-coming products CRN looked at in this feature, but ease-of-use is about more than the user interface – partner engagement is key.

Maniscalco points out that “easy to deal with” encompasses many of the daily mechanics of dealing with a vendor, from deal registration to quoting prices to ordering a set of SKUs. In order to scale, these processes need to be efficient, or the frustration of dealing with a vendor can erode the value in an extra half-a-percent of margin. 

“Acronis have done it in really quite a good way, and it’s showing a return,” she says.

CentreRed IT and Datto

Datto takes an appliance approach to backup and DR, providing specially built appliances to be deployed locally that connect to the Datto cloud for remote data protection. Datto has appliances specifically designed for both the SMB and midmarket, which use its hybrid cloud approach to backup and DR. Datto maintains its own data centre facilities as a replication target, rather than relying on other cloud providers, and the appropriate Datto appliance is deployed on-site as a local cache.

Canberra-based Datto partner CentreRed IT is full of praise for the vendor’s Siris2 product. “On most sites we have configured the local device to save 12 months of weekly backups,” says Kent Forster, chief executive of CentreRed IT. “Any of these weekly recovery points can be virtualised in minutes and files quickly recovered. When we explain this to our customers and demonstrate the instant virtualisation, the product sells itself.”

Forster likes that Datto provides both backup and DR capabilities. “Datto provides a complete disaster recovery solution in one product – we don’t need to include any third-party products.”

Preyesh Odhavjee, owner at Sydney-based 360 Consulting, agrees. “DR being built into the solution is my favourite aspect of the Datto technology. It’s simple to use and setup, and restores are quick. It gives us a DR solution that our competitors cannot come close to on price or features.”

Amidata and Quantum

Quantum partner Amidata, based in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin, is full of praise for the vendor’s partners engagement. “Quantum’s Australian team has been incredibly accessible for Amidata. Their sales team continually bring new leads and opportunities, and the pre-sales technical team are always available to discuss and configure solutions to meet customer needs,” says Vincent Ho, service delivery and projects manager at Amidata.

The Quantum DXi series product starts at $30,000, placing it firmly in the midmarket. It has data replication built in, and can replicate to another DXi, possibly located at a different site, or to a cloud location such as Quantum’s Q-Cloud Protect service.

The close relationship has seen Amidata become the sole certified provider of a Quantum-based cloud replication service in the region. Quantum did not yet offer its Q-Cloud Protect service locally, but an Amidata customer wanted the function, and so Amidata was able to work with Quantum to make it happen, and created a new line of business for Amidata in the process. Amidata are thus able to offer the DXi solution on a consumption model, Amidata BaaS-DXi in the Australian market.

With the exception of becoming a Quantum Managed Service Provider, like Amidata, Quantum’s products are only available via the channel. Quantum uses distributors ACA Pacific, Distribution Central and Stutch Data Services.

Solista and Rubrik

Noel Allnutt, general manager of Sydney-based Solista, started working with enterprise appliance vendor Rubrik three months ago after doing his own research on the vendor. “We focus on disruptive technologies,” said Allnutt. “We’re a reseller of next-generation data management solutions.”

Rubrik appealed to Allnutt because of its new approach to backup in the enterprise. “Rubrik simplifies backup for the enterprise, which is something nobody has done before,” Allnutt says. The local de-duplication capability Rubrik provides, coupled with its ability to send data to the cloud, is particularly useful for enterprises with lots of data. 

Instead of running de-duplication remotely in the cloud, Rubrik de-duplicates first in the appliance, and when it comes time to restore, only fetches data from the cloud that isn’t present locally. This can substantially reduce costs of restoring from cloud services like AWS Glacier that charge a lot for bulk data retrieval.

Solista also partners with Veeam. Allnutt was clear to CRN that this wasn’t due to deficiencies in either Veeam or Rubrik, but merely a matter of the target market for each vendor’s products. “In the SMB and mid-market, Veeam kills it,” says Allnutt. But for enterprise customers with different needs to those of the SMB, Solista needed to have an offering that is a closer match to customer requirements, hence the partnership with Rubrik.

Next: Veeam, StorageCraft and Zerto

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