IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Acronis Rolls Out New Data Cloud Release with Enhanced Office 365 Backup and Anti-Ransomware Features

Version 7.8 of the consolidated BDR, storage, and security offering also includes functionality for orchestrating and automating cloud-based disaster recovery processes, according to Americas Vice President and General Manager Patrick Hurley (pictured). By Rich Freeman

Acronis International GmbH has shipped a new edition of its Acronis Data Cloud backup, storage, and security offering with increased protection for Office 365 data, automated disaster recovery capabilities, and expanded anti-ransomware functionality, among other enhancements.

Available immediately, Data Cloud version 7.8 qualifies as a major update, according to Patrick Hurley, vice president and general manager for the Americas at Acronis, whose U.S. headquarters are in Burlington, Mass. “Usually, these ‘dot X’ releases are not that big of a deal,” he says. “This one is actually pretty important.”

Data Cloud’s new Office 365 capabilities add protection for documents in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business to prior support for Microsoft Exchange email. “OneDrive and SharePoint offerings have been requested by some of our partners for some time now,” Hurley says.

The solution’s new disaster recovery orchestration feature lets users define and automatically execute step-by-step procedures for deploying virtual infrastructures in a cloud recovery site during service outages. “There’s less manual interaction to actually go about spinning up the VMs and running your infrastructure in the cloud,” Hurley says. “Acronis takes care of those processes.”

At present, the feature works only with Acronis’s own cloud data centers. Support for leading third-party environments like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform though, Hurley says, is set to arrive soon.

The expanded anti-ransomware capabilities in Data Cloud 7.8 extend real-time, behavior-based protections previously available only for backup files to a user’s network and shared folders as well. Also new in the latest release is tighter integration with both Azure and Google Cloud Platform that’s designed to allow Acronis partners to utilize those environments as a storage point for backups without enduring complex configuration and agreement maintenance processes.

“You no longer have to deploy a storage gateway in order to leverage one of those data centers,” Hurley says. “You simply launch Acronis Data Cloud, you point to a storage location, and you start backing up.”

Other enhancements in the new version of Data Cloud include the ability to seed initial backups of customer data more quickly by shipping physical copies on encrypted hard drives to Acronis data centers.

Acronis has made its Notary Cloud solution an integrated Data Cloud component as well. Introduced in 2016, Notary Cloud draws on blockchain technology to verify that backups and other files have not been tampered with by outsiders.

In conjunction with the launch of Data Cloud 7.8, Acronis has also introduced a new library of partner sales and marketing materials including data sheets, value cards, email templates, and call scripts. “A lot of the service providers that we’re working with have fairly limited budgets,” Hurley observes. “We’ve got a pretty strong marketing department here with a lot of collateral.”

Acronis plans to continue adding new tools and capabilities to Data Cloud in the future, in an effort to make the product more valuable to service providers by making those service providers more valuable to their customers.

“As we roll out more and more services within Acronis Data Cloud, it’s becoming a very sticky tool where they can really leverage it for the longer term to be able to wrap multiple cyber protection [and] data protection services around their customers, ensuring that they’re safe and protected, while at the same time making sure that the service providers are creating addition new revenue streams for their business,” Hurley says.

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