It’s Time to Wakeup to Online Backup

In this first blog entry for AmeriVault, DCIG Inc wishes to thank AmeriVault for agreeing to be a beta client for DCIG Inc’s new blogging service. As part of this beta, DCIG Inc will provide AmeriVault with three blog entries a month written by a DCIG Inc analyst. In these blog entries, DCIG Inc will discuss and examine topics germane to AmeriVault’s business model – online backup – and is directed to customers who already use it or are considering its adoption. So without further ado, welcome and read on!

In case no one has noticed, it is October 2007 and companies are still struggling with backup. Whether it is troubleshooting a failed tape drive, trying to find a tape lost in a snow bank or wondering who stuck what label on which tape, it is ridiculous to think that high paid systems administrators are spending endless hours managing tapes.

Problems like these are part of the reason that DCIG Inc views online backup as one of the critical technologies that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) need to evaluate. In just the last few years, online backup has grown from a nascent industry to a viable option for backup for SMBs. Online backup managed service providers (MSPs) offer cutting edge data protection technologies such as agent-less backup software, deduplication, redundant data centers and technical staff whose job is doing backup – features and expertise most SMBs only wish they had the time to understand and develop in-house.

Recently I had a conversation with Scott Bush, AmeriVault’s Director of Marketing, about this very topic. Bush agreed that a number of online backup MSPs offer these services but he brought out that backup MSPs are starting to mature and differentiate themselves. For instance, like other backup MSPs, AmeriVault licenses Asigra’s TeleVaulting software for backing up data at its client sites. Where AmeriVault seeks to differentiate itself is by taking advantage of some of the inherent features found in Asigra’s TeleVaulting to help keep its clients’ backup costs under control.

One such feature is Asigra TeleVaulting’s backup lifecycle management (BLM) feature. Using BLM, AmeriVault can set policies that manage which tier of storage backup data is kept on. AmeriVault currently uses three tiers of storage and, by default, keeps all of a clients’ data on its most highly available storage and then replicates the data to a second data center. However, for clients who backup older data and are willing to take advantage of this feature, AmeriVault can classify backed up data by age and move it to other tiers of storage using Asigra TeleVaulting’s BLM feature.

Bush cautions that users will assume a little more risk in this scenario since the data on the lower tier storage is not replicated to a second data center. However since the data is older and rarely or never accessed anyway, users can still keep their data online, lower their backup costs and have some assurance that only in a truly catastrophic situation which impacts AmeriVault’s data center is their data somewhat at risk.

As this example with AmeriVault illustrates, services provided by online backup MSPs for SMBs are evolving beyond just backup. Though online backup helps to takes the sleepless nights and daily struggles out of backup, online backup MSPs like AmeriVault are also taking SMBs to levels of backup management that most have never considered. In so doing, AmeriVault solves immediate SMB pain points while providing them a roadmap for their future backup needs.


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