GFI's IASO Backup Tackles Disaster Recovery, VMs, ConnectWise Ties

By Doug Barney

Just months after GFI Software bought IASO, the Dutch backup maker is coming up out with the first major IASO Online Backup revamp.

The IASO tool is driving GFI MAX’s (the MSP arm of GFI) push into the cloud backup and now disaster recovery markets.

The latest rev comes with better support for virtualization, integration with professional services automation (PSA) from ConnectWise, and virtual disaster recovery.


GFI and IASO are aiming this technology in large measure at replacing legacy, slow and fragile tape backup systems. The architecture they propose is called Disk-to-Disk-to-Cloud (D2D2C) also known as hybrid backup.

Here the primary storage device is backed up to a disk storage system, on-premises. Instead of the higher tier being another disk or a tape subsystem, the second tier backup is done to the cloud.

MSPs and the vendors that sell to them are aiming hybrid cloud directly at replacing tape. The argument is tape is far too prone to failure, and an extraordinary hassle for IT to manage.

Hybrid cloud storage, by definition, is a bit complex as it blends two different technologies, physical and virtual storage. That is why there has been an immense number of partnerships, and even acquisition activity.

Hybrid backup makers are chasing what researchers believe is a hot market. A summary of  research compiled by MarketsandMarkets indicates that the cloud storage market will, on a CAGR basis, grow 40 percent hitting $46.8 billion by 2018.

Meanwhile Gartner says they by next year, some one third of medium-sized shops will do disaster recovery in the cloud, up from just 1percent two years ago.

IASO Updates

Besides the virtual support and disaster recovery, the latest rev of IASO Online Backup supports more platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Apple Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and VMware vSphere 5.5. And “with the solution's new Virtual Disaster Recovery technology, customers are now able to recover failed Windows systems as a VMware ESXi 4.1 or VMware vSphere 5.x compatible virtual machine. The ability to perform a full system restore via a Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) automates disaster recovery and provides increased data accessibility, as customers no longer have to wait until a failed physical machine is repaired or a new one is purchased,” GFI said.

GFI partner Redstor Limited is looking forward to pitching IASO as a disaster recovery solution. “IASO Online Backup's Virtual Disaster Recovery technology is a tremendous competitive differentiator, said Thomas Campbell, product manager for Redstor. “It expedites data recovery in the event of a system failure, and it's extremely flexible. Users can restore to a flat file, so they don't need a full VMware estate to benefit from this functionality. Additionally, we now have the opportunity to offer standby virtual machines to our customers. In the event of a disaster, the machines simply need to be turned on and customers will have immediate access to their servers. This combination of innovation and flexibility truly keeps data protected and available when companies need it most.”

MSPs would be well advised to look at the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) market as it is set to grow at a CAGR of 55.2 percent through 2018 when it will hit $5.7 billion, according to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets.

Connecting with ConnectWise

MSP vendors are all about integration these days, using it as a way to let channel partners broaden their service portfolios. “The latest version of IASO Online Backup also includes direct billing integration with ConnectWise PSA tools, in addition to virtualization and automation solutions from Autotask and Parallels. Combined with remote monitoring and management functionality, this native integration enables services providers to monitor storage utilization and automate customer billing through their PSA software, significantly reducing the time and steps involved in managing account billing,” GFI said.

The GFI IASO Pairing

IASO was founded some 9 years ago in the Netherlands, and began as a backup service provider. While many tech companies use made up words for their name, IASO actually comes from the Greek Goddess of Healing, Remedies and Cures. And we all know that all just stands for recovery.

GFI got to know IASO after it crafting a partnership a year ago, and saw unique value in the software for IT customers and MSPs alike.

IASO’s backup software is all about speed and it has a unique approach it calls True Delta Backup. This approach is like incremental backup on steroids. With True Delta, you only backup the full data set during the initial backup. After that you only back up changes to data. But where incremental backups only backup changed files, True Delta only backs up changed blocks within those files, a far smaller amount of data. With True Delta, what you backup every day is only between 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent of the original data set.

Because the backups are so small, they can more quickly across the network and into the cloud. This means you can backup more often so your data is fresher, and restore more quickly because less data has to move back.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

MSPToday Editor at Large

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