Asigra Cloud Backup now protects cloud apps, VMs, mobile devices

The latest version of Asigra Cloud Backup tackles cloud apps, platforms and snapshots, and expands virtual machine and endpoint protection.

Asigra Inc., which sells backup software to managed service providers, today released Asigra Cloud Backup 12 with expanded support for cloud applications and platforms, virtual machines and endpoint devices. It also added support for NetApp Inc. array-based snapshots as it strives to turn Asigra Cloud Backup into a platform for all backups.

"We're looking at backing up data into a single repository using one platform irrespective of where it is and which format it is in," said Pavan Vyas, product marketing manager at Asigra. "Version 12 is a step in that direction."

Cloud app and platform protection. Asigra previously let customers back up IBM SmartCloud to a SmartCloud data center. Asigra Cloud Backup 12 allows customers to protect Salesforce.com's entire database, including accounts, contacts, leads, campaigns and custom objects. Customers can recover data only or both the schema and data into the repository where they store the rest of their backups. They also can schedule Salesforce.com backups at regular intervals and use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption for data in flight and at rest.

Such point products as Backupify protect Salesforce.com and other cloud platforms, but Asigra is the first to build the function into an all-purpose backup application. "I'm not aware of anybody else backing up the kit and caboodle with Salesforce.com," said Dave Simpson, a senior analyst at 451 Research. "That could be huge because it's obviously an incredibly large installed base. The question is, do you need it? Most people think it's being backed up by Salesforce.com, but that's a manual process that the customer has to get involved with. Asigra will automate it."

Simpson said he expects Asigra to follow with support for other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 to follow. "Asigra could be out in front for the leading SaaS platforms," he said.

Array-based snapshots. Asigra now supports array-based snapshots in Cloud Backup 12 -- as long as the array is NetApp's. Asigra's Vyas said this is the first step toward wider support of snapshots on storage arrays, a feature that rival CommVault Systems Inc. supports across all major storage arrays and Symantec Corp. also supports with NetApp.

One advantage for Asigra over CommVault Systems and Symantec is that it doesn't charge for array-based snapshots. CommVault last week added its IntelliSnap Recovery Manager software, with a license of $10,000 for 25 servers, although array-based snaps do not cost extra for CommVault Simpana customers with capacity licensing contracts.

Asigra Snapshot Manager lets admins catalog, configure and organize the array snapshots though Cloud Backup.

Virtual machine backup. Cloud Backup 12 supports backups of virtual machines (VMs) within VMware, virtual copies of physical machines and instant restores of VMware VMs. Customers can back up VMs to an off-site data center for disaster recovery and run their applications off backups without doing restores. Simpson at 451 Research pointed out that Veeam Software Inc. was the first to support this and others have followed. "This is not a differentiator for Asigra, it's a must-have," he said.

Endpoint devices. Asigra now has the ability to back up Android devices that have not been rooted, expanding its support to protect Android, iOS, Linux, Windows and Mac OS laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. "Asigra had mobile backup. What's new is support for everything on the Android device," Simpson said. "Very few vendors can back up everything on the device."

Asigra claims it has 550,000 installations of its software, all through service providers. "Asigra's claim to fame from the beginning was to focus 100% on service providers and the channel," Simpson said. "That's why it's not so well-known. Its technology gets covered up [by partners' branding]."

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