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October 5, 2010

Acronis debuts SMB cloud backup platform

Wants to get SMBs away from tape

By Steve Evans

Acronis has updated its flagship Backup & Recovery suite to offer cloud-based backup aimed at SMBs.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Online is targeted at small and medium businesses that currently have no backup technology in place or are still using tape or other portable media-based backup. It is said to offer these businesses a cost-effective way to recover valuable information in the event of a systems outage or other disaster such as fires or floods.

David Blackman, general manager for Acronis in Northern Europe, told CBR that the platform will help businesses that cannot afford the cost of investing in off-site data centre infrastructure. Backing up system images locally will offer faster recovery times while critical files can be backed up online, which offers remote recovery capabilities.

"Backing up locally is ideal," he said. "But if that local site is impaired for whatever reason you’ve got the issue of losing everything. This offers an extra level for those who cannot afford a data centre, which is almost everyone. It should be considered incremental to local backup."

The platform provides a centralised management console for the running of local and online backup and includes support for a hybrid of local and online backup of virtual and physical computing environments, Blackman said.

The online element is designed for long-term storage but offers what Acronis calls a flexible retention policy which can be adjusted depending on the customer’s need or as regulation and legislation dictates. It protects backup data through AES-256 data encryption and user authentication.

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For SMBs that may already have a lot of data that needs backing up but are worried about the time or cost of getting started Acronis is offering an initial seeding option, where the customer can upload the data to a hard drive and send it to Acronis for uploading.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Online is available an annual subscription basis. A per-machine licence costs £34 per workstation for 250GB of storage, a 1TB server backup will cost £299 and a virtual server with 2TB of online backup will cost £659 per host.

"It works out at less than 10p per day for a workstation," Blackman said. "Often competitors will charge per GB, which can quickly mount up. We offer 250GB and you can buy more if needed. It’s like an all you can eat buffet."

CBR recently spoke to Acronis CEO Jason Donahue. You can read the interview by clicking here.

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