IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Asigra Cloud Backup Connector Leverages Cisco 2900 and 3900 Routers as Gateway

The router-based appliance enables customers to further leverage their Cisco router investments and does not add any overhead to existing servers. By James E. Gaskin

Asigra Inc. announced that its new Cloud Backup Connector Appliance began shipping in volume at the end of October. Aimed at companies with multiple locations, with the sweet spot of from 100 to 500 employees, the Cloud Backup Connector bundles a Cisco ISR G2 multifunction router (2900 and 3900 series) and UCS E-Series server blade with version 12.2 of Asigra Cloud Backup software. Users with Cisco ISR G2 routers (a huge installed base) can just add the server blade and software.

A Toronto-based company in business for nearly three decades, Asigra focuses entirely on cloud backup products and services. The company uses the channel for 100 percent of its sales, and believes it has one of the closest partnerships with Cisco of any backup company. New routers can be fitted with Cloud Backup Connector software and the server blade before delivery.

Using AES 256-bit encryption in flight and at rest, the Asigra Cloud Backup Connector provides local and off-site file recovery. Geographically distributed companies with multiple Asigra installations can manage them all with a single pane of glass, and can remotely control the entire backup process. Agentless backup pulls data from all major hardware and operating systems, including Microsoft, Linux, iOS, Android, and Macintosh clients. Mobile phone and tablet backup support became a feature in version 11 of the software.

"Our agentless solution increases security," says Asigra Vice President of Marketing Tracy Staniland. "There are no agents on the endpoints, so no open ports. And we can now back up data in third-party clouds like Salesforce and Google Apps, and Microsoft Office 365 in 2014."

Some of the advantages Asigra believes its router-based appliance model provides include enabling customers to further leverage their Cisco router investments and not adding any overhead to existing servers. "There are two business opportunities for our partners," says Staniland. "They can help customers use routers for multiple jobs, or help them justify router refreshment with these new capabilities. This gives resellers a chance for conversation on ways to help their customers get more value from their router installation."

Companies in this market segment often still use tape for at least part of their backup process. As those systems come up for maintenance or license renewals, Asigra hopes its Cloud Backup Connector Appliance will be seen as an attractive replacement. Add in the hundreds of thousands of Cisco routers that can support this new solution and the growing demand for mobile device backup options, and Asigra partners should have excellent points to discuss with their customers.

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