IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Kaseya Rolls Out Integrated Appliance-Based BDR Solution

Powered by technology from Unitrends, the new product complements the managed services software vendor’s previously introduced direct-to-cloud backup offering and fills a gap in its increasingly comprehensive product set. By Rich Freeman

Kaseya Ltd. has added an appliance-based business continuity and disaster recovery solution to its suite of IT management systems for MSPs and mid-market businesses.

The new product, named Kaseya Unified Backup (KUB), is based on technology from Unitrends MSP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Burlington, Mass.-based Unitrends Inc. In business since last December, the company makes backup and disaster recovery-as-a-service solutions for managed service providers.

Kaseya, which maintains dual headquarters in Miami and New York, already had a direct-to-cloud BDR solution powered by software from Acronis International GmbH. Like that system, named Kaseya Cloud Backup, the new one is tightly integrated with Kaseya’s VSA remote monitoring and management solution.

“This is all built within the same interface,” says Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola. “[Technicians] don’t have to leave the product.”

Complementing Kaseya Cloud Backup with an on-premises solution gives MSPs greater flexibility to meet the needs of clients with varying needs, he continues.

“I anticipate many customers will leverage both,” Voccola says of the two products.

Like an increasing number of BDR solutions, KUB includes anti-ransomware functionality capable of restoring customer infected data to its pre-encrypted state.

“It allows you to understand what moment in time the ransomware hit, and do an immediate restore to that point in time,” Voccola says, adding that the system includes tools for diagnosing how the ransomware slipped past a customer’s defenses as well.

According to Voccola, partnering with Unitrends rather than buying a BDR vendor was less likely than to alienate the many BDR vendors Kaseya does business with. Developing a solution better than those already available in house, meanwhile, would have taken too long and cost too much.

“Building something is probably not an option for this category of software at this stage in the market,” Voccola says.

The deciding factor in Kaseya’s decision to partner with Unitrends specifically on appliance-based BDR was the scalability of that company’s products.

“The product is truly enterprise class,” Voccola says, noting that SMBs with mounting data volumes and MSPs with growing customer bases both increasingly need enterprise-grade backup functionality.

“If I’m an MSP and I have 50 customers that I’m managing, I have 50 appliances, I need an enterprise-class solution,” Voccola says.

Kaseya’s internal IT department also spoke favorably of the Unitrends solution’s BackupIQ component, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze, prioritize, and automate backup-related tasks.

“They said it was incredibly effective at helping them make rapid decisions quickly as to what to do in a large complex environment, which is really what MSP’s have to do,” Voccola says.

Knowing that Unitrends had an MSP edition of its solution in the works influenced Kaseya’s decision too.

“We worked with them on that,” Voccola says, explaining that Kaseya was one of several companies to offer Unitrends inside advice on the nuances of the MSP market.

To ensure that MSPs can rely on KUB as a long-term BDR option, Kaseya negotiated an eight-year deal that requires Unitrends to place source code in escrow in both Europe and the U.S. The deal also gives Kaseya early access to upgrades as well as alpha and beta testing programs for new releases. Unlike most agreements of this sort, Voccola emphasizes, the Unitrends contract doesn’t include an M&A clause allowing Unitrends to back out of the alliance after a change in ownership.

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