Acronis plans to strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities for managed service providers through the purchase of cloud management and security company 5nine.
The acquisition represents the next step in the Switzerland-based company’s evolution from a pure backup and data protection vendor to a comprehensive provider of security technologies, according to Business President Ezequiel Steiner. US-based 5nine offers an agentless, multilayered approach to securing the Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure cloud and virtualisation tools.
“The market is ready for that integrated approach to cyber protection. We think it’s necessary,” Steiner told CRN USA. “Just having backup and data protection isn’t enough.”
5nine was founded in 2009 and employs 32 people, down 37 percent from 51 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn. In addition to its capabilities around Hyper-V and Azure, Steiner said 5nine also has offerings for digital firewall, intrusion prevention, network inspection, and analytics. As part of the deal, 5nine will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acronis. Terms of the 5nine acquisition were not disclosed by Acronis.
Acronis plans to continuing commercialising the 5nine platform as a standalone piece of technology, and will over time also integrate its capabilities into the Acronis Cyber Cloud Solutions portal, Steiner said. This will make it easier for MSPs to offer multiple cloud security services such as patch management and ransomware protection from a single dashboard, according to Steiner.
The first few pieces of 5nine’s platform should be available through the Acronis Cyber Cloud platform within the next few months, according to Steiner. And once 5nine and Acronis’ technology are integrated into a single file, Steiner said the user experience will be seamless.
The transaction comes three months after Acronis received a US$147 million investment from Goldman Sachs. The company had been looking at acquiring 5nine prior to the funding coming through, Steiner said, though one of the intended uses of the proceeds was for acquisitions.
The acquisition of 5nine closed 26 November, Steiner said, and Acronis channel partners can today cross-sell 5nine’s technology to their customers. Acronis would currently have to manually provision the 5nine offering on the solution provider’s behalf since the two systems aren’t yet integrated, Steiner said, but partners should be able to provision 5nine’s technology on their own in short order.
The deal is also expected to open 5nine’s technology up to MSPs for the first time, according to Steiner. Many Acronis MSP partners already have a significant business around Microsoft, Steiner said, and the rich security features offered by 5nine around Hyper-V and Azure will only add more capabilities to their arsenal.
Adding 5nine to the line card means that MSP partners of Acronis will be able to provide customers with more than data and ransomware protection and get into new areas like virtual firewall and intrusion prevention, according to Steiner. As part of the integration, Acronis will turn 5nine from an on-premise offering that’s installed at the customer’s worksite to a SaaS offering that delivered through the cloud.
Nowadays, Steiner said that offering backup without security isn’t enough since vendors must have a way of verifying that the backup is authentic and that nobody has tampered with it. Offering security and data protection as a single product means that Acronis partners will be able to work in just one user interface and won’t have to worry about compatibility issues that arise when using multiple vendors.
“This is significantly more efficient that having two different solutions,” Steiner said.
Acronis plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the 5nine acquisition by assessing the integration of the new technology into the company’s existing network as well as employee, customer and partner satisfaction, Steiner said. And going forward, Steiner said Acronis is looking at additional acquisitions and organic investment to continue growing its footprint in the security arena.
“Security is probably the number one request from customers,” Steiner said. “There’s definitely a lot we’re doing.”