The new ION and ION+ appliance families are designed to pack the same features found in the vendor’s earlier Recovery Series and Recovery Series MAX products into compact form factors suitable for use in small office environments without racks and server closets. They’re also quieter than those earlier devices, according to Unitrends General Manager Joe Noonan.
“The decibel levels of the ION and the ION+ are far, far lower than what you would see with rackmount units,” he says.
According to Unitrends, the new products are comparable in functionality to competitor Datto’s popular ALTO and SIRIS 4 devices. Available with either 1TB or 2TB of usable M.2 NVMe flash capacity, ION devices feature a case about the size of an Apple TV device. The somewhat bigger ION+ units provide 1, 2, 4, or 8TB of usable capacity in a desktop tower.
Both product lines come with built-in recoverability test software and are compatible with the Unitrends Forever Cloud offsite immutable storage service and Unitrends Disaster Recovery as a Service automated failover offering.
ION appliances, which are designed to provide roughly the same capabilities as Recovery Series products, come with dual-core processors offering four threads, as well as a single Ethernet port. ION+ products, which are meant to be more similar to Recovery Series MAX units in functionality, feature eight-core processors running 16 threads, plus two Ethernet ports.
“You can actually run workloads on it in a recovery scenario,” says Noonan of the ION+. ION users, by contrast, will typically recover onto separate physical or virtual hardware.
Price points on ION devices, which Unitrends didn’t specify, are designed to parallel that of Recovery Series appliances with comparable specs. ION+ devices generally cost a little less than comparable Recovery Series MAX products. “There are some IOPs benefits with the MAX” that are reflected in their pricing, Noonan explains.
Though physically appropriate for them, ION and ION+ appliances aren’t designed for use in work-from-home environments. “What we typically find for remote workers who are at home is they prefer an approach that has no hardware,” says Noonan, noting that the cloud-based Unitrends EndPoint Backup service is the recommended solution for home-based employees.
The new Cyber Assurance Program, which Unitrends also unveiled today, provides access to a growing library of internally produced security materials, plus in-house expertise buttressed by Kaseya’s recently hired chief information security officer.
“We’ve been doing a lot of content and putting together a package for folks to be able to become very, very aware and educated around cyber recovery [and] cyberattacks,” Noonan says. “We’ve built this Cyber Assurance Program to bring it together in a nice consumable way.”
Annual Cyber Assurance subscriptions also include one free VIP pass to Kaseya’s Connect IT event, which takes place June 20-23 in Las Vegas this year, as well as a free subscription to Helix, the automated backup error monitoring and remediation tool Unitrends shipped in 2020. Members receive free onboarding advice and quarterly technical account reviews as well, along with invitations to regional Connect IT events, quarterly cyber awareness training sessions, and monthly “Power Hour” training webinars.
Pricing for Cyber Assurance subscriptions is still being finalized, but will be in the vicinity “of a few hundred bucks,” Noonan says.
Security figures more prominently than ever among target use cases for Unitrends appliances, the vendor says. “We have more of a cyber recovery problem than a disaster recovery problem these days,” Noonan observes. “We’re seeing in our own world about 20 times more ransomware-related recoveries in our customer base in the last six months than we had the prior 18 months before that.”
Kaseya merged with Unitrends in 2018, roughly five months after the company introduced its first BDR solutions specifically for MSPs. In the years since, Noonan says, “we’ve been really kind of building out that portfolio, closing the gaps in terms of our offering and what the MSP market needs.”
The 2019 rollout of the Recovery Series MAX portfolio was a key step in that process, he adds, as is today’s ION and ION+ launch.
“This has been a big, big push from our MSP customer base,” Noonan says.