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Asigra Cloud Backup software pushes appliance option for SPs

Asigra will ship backup appliances preconfigured with Asigra Cloud Backup software to make it easier for service providers to offer cloud-based backup.

Cloud-based backup software specialist Asigra this week plunged into the hardware market with backup storage appliances for service providers.

The Asigra Converged Data Protection Appliance family consists of 1U, 2U and 4U models designed with commodity hardware and open source software. The devices include Supermicro servers, Intel Xeon processors, Seagate 4 TB SATA drives, the FreeBSD operating system version 10.1 and ZFS file system.

Selling hardware is a new twist for the vendor. Its flagship product is its agentless Asigra Cloud Backup software, which is sold through cloud providers and managed services providers (MSPs). Asigra does not sell directly to storage end users.

Asigra: Hardware helps MSPs add cloud-based backup

Asigra Cloud Backup software will ship preinstalled on the Asigra hardware. William Kulju, Asigra senior product marketing manager, said the appliances enable service providers to roll out or expand cloud-based backup as a service.

The appliances include 1 TB of licensed backup capacity for free, and service providers can expand license capacity in increments as small as 10 GB.

"One key benefit is the time to value. Service providers are starved for time. This appliance gives them a turnkey box they can plug in and have their backup and protection service up and running in minutes," Kulju said.

Asigra said appliance shipments are scheduled to start in August. The appliances include 1 TB of licensed backup capacity for free, and service providers can expand license capacity in increments as small as 10 GB. They pay only for billable capacity after deduplication, compression and encryption are turned on.

Kulju said Asigra will directly support all software in the box for three years, including FreeBSD and ZFS. It has partnered with Avnet to handle hardware service calls.

'Billable capacity' pricing based on deduped data

Asigra sells its storage on the devices as billable capacity, which is equal to physical capacity. With deduplication compression turned on, the actual amount of data stored on the billable capacity may be up to three times that capacity.

The high-capacity 4U model provides 96 TB of billable storage using Asigra's projected 3:1 data reduction ratio. Asigra said pricing for the 4U is about $20,000. The 4U supports up to 36 4 TB SATA drives, including 30 drives for persistent storage and six parity drives. It includes dual Intel E5-2630 v3 processors, eight cores per CPU, 128 GB of DDR4 RAM and four 10GBaseT Ethernet ports.

The six-core 2U model with 32 TB of billable capacity contains slots for 12 4 TB drives, 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, dual Intel E5-2620 v3 processors and two 10GBaseT Ethernet ports. It is priced at about $8,000.

The 1U appliance tops out at 9.6 TB of billable storage with two CPU cores, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. It is priced at around $3,500. It comes with four 4 TB SATA drives for 12 TB of useable capacity before data reduction. Two CPU cores, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM are standard on the 1U.

Brian Garrett, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said service providers are experiencing hyper-scale growth that requires them to continuously add and manage storage.

"Smaller partners want to buy backup appliances directly from Asigra, while those on the higher end [are] looking for a better care cost structure," Garrett said. "What Asigra did was package a robust, industry-standard open source ZFS stack that reduces the back-end storage for their customers by about one-third to one-half. That's a big deal, because it means service providers can pass on those savings to their customers."

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