Todd Scallan is Axcient VP of Products. This blog was originally published in The VAR Guy on July 9, 2012.
I enjoy “do-it-yourself” (DIY) projects, but I know my limits (well, most of the time). If a project is deemed to be within my abilities — either rightly or wrongly — it’s off to the home improvement warehouse armed with a shopping list and unbridled optimism.
If you’re a fan of home improvement shows, no doubt you’ve seen the nightmare scenario: A homeowner gets well into the demolition phase of a project and then discovers something unanticipated. It could be faulty wiring, a crumbling foundation, leaky plumbing — you name it. The project is now more complicated and costly. As you’re watching the episode, you’re probably thinking, “Glad that’s not me!”
Similarly with business continuity, there may be unforeseen issues that make DIY a poor choice for an SMB. Fortunately, there’s a proven alternative to going it alone.
It’s a sad story, one that’s been told many times:
Important data wasn’t backed up. Then a tragic event struck. It was a drive crash on a critical server, or a lost laptop, or a natural disaster that wiped out an entire office. All data was lost, which had dire consequences for the affected business.
Data loss is absolutely avoidable, yet an astonishing 66 percent of businesses don’t have a business continuity or disaster recovery strategy. (See The VAR’s Path to Managed Services for other interesting statistics about data loss and the cost of downtime.) But protection isn’t solely about running backups. A backup is really just a means to an end for ensuring the uptime of business-critical systems. It’s a mechanism that only partially answers the question, “Am I protected?” So, what else is needed?
This blog by Axcient VP of Products Todd Scallan was originally published in The VAR Guy on April 13, 2012.
The cloud provides a natural, evolutionary path into managed services for IT resellers serving small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). In particular, backup and disaster recovery is a great entrée into the cloud because it provides a predictable revenue stream, it offers higher margins than the traditional product sale, and there’s a growing need for SMBs’ data and application uptime.
Within a technology company, Product Management entails turning the chaos of numerous competing demands into a coherent roadmap that yields meaningful product releases. It’s a challenging job, which varies considerably from one organization to the next. But throughout my career, it’s been a role to which I inevitably gravitate.
Is virtualization part of your IT deployment strategy? If you’re an IT professional working with a small- or medium-sized business (SMB), then chances are your answer is “yes.”
A recent survey from Spiceworks reports that virtualization is the top IT initiative among SMBs. The survey goes on to say that 67% of SMBs are planning to move core applications to virtualized environments and that 46% have adopted some form of cloud services. These figures represent a healthy increase over results from a similar survey conducted a year earlier. Continue reading “Virtual Reality” »
Depending on your age and taste in music, you may recognize “Low Spark” as the title of a popular song by the band Traffic. But you don’t need to be a fan of classic rock to appreciate how traffic impacts the performance of offsite data synchronization, which is the subject of this article.
The synchronization of change data between an Axcient appliance and the Axcient cloud involves periods of sustained traffic flow. This would ordinarily consume available bandwidth to move data offsite as quickly as possible. However, if “traffic shaping” is being employed along the path between the appliance and the data center, offsite backup performance may degrade considerably. Continue reading “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” »
Efficient delivery of managed services is achieved by taking advantage of technology to minimize manual activities. That’s why so many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) rely on Axcient for their clients’ data protection needs.
The Axcient platform is complemented by two very important tools for the MSP:
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), which provides insight and access to clients’ networks
Professional Services Automation (PSA), which helps with the management of client projects, including resourcing, financials, and business process.
Let’s explore how these three elements – Axcient + RMM + PSA – combine to help optimize efficiency.
Some like it hot, as in a “hot site” for business continuity in the cloud. Axcient’s newly announced Cloud Continuity makes the idea of a hot site a reality for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).
The power of this offering is in its simplicity: Just point, click, and virtualize an entire office in the Axcient cloud. The complexities of activating server images, configuring a virtual network, and establishing remote access for users are all taken care of behind the scenes. Continue reading “Some Like It Hot!” »
In Pushing Bytes through a Straw, we explored some things you can do with your Axcient appliance to optimize the performance of offsite backups. This time we look at best practices for avoiding common pitfalls with offsite backups.
An offsite backup job is a collection of tasks. A task corresponds to an onsite file backup, an onsite mailbox backup, a volume in an onsite image backup, or the appliance system data. For each task in an offsite backup, the Axcient system detects new or changed files and transmits the incremental blocks to the data center. The upload time for transmitting data depends on the amount of change since the previous offsite backup, available upload bandwidth, and Quality of Service (QoS) setting on the appliance. Continue reading “Don’t Do That!” »
As children, we were taught to ask permission before doing certain things: “May I have a snack before dinner?” or “May I go ride my bike?” Similarly, the Axcient product is instrumented to ask “May I?” before performing certain functions. This “May I” request has to do with certain “entitlements,” which dictate the behavior of the Axcient backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery service.
What are Entitlements?
Entitlements are dimensions that can be automatically measured and enforced. Entitlements provide flexibility to change service capabilities without having to physically swap out an appliance. The Axcient service is tailored to fit each customer’s needs along three dimensions:
Onsite (appliance) storage
Offsite (cloud) storage
Available features that are determined by a subscription package (Backup, Protect, Fortify, Fortify-X)