Storage Providers Scrap Over Pricing, Partner Programs

By Doug Barney

To say the cloud storage market is crowded is like saying Bruce Springsteen packs a concert – in both cases there is precious little room to move.

Just as a rock fan stands out with the right tee shirt or blouse, cloud storage providers stand out with technology, pricing and ultimately a solid brand that sells out just like The Boss.

Asigra pumped up the volume when it announced that instead of focusing most costs on backing up data, almost all the cost would be incurred only when recovering.

And now, Unitrends is countering that move with a brand new Service Provider Partner program.

“We felt the industry was again pricing on the wrong metric. It's not fair. Customers back up for recovery and nobody recovers all of their data. Our model is based on how much or really how little data you recover,” Eran Farajun, executive vice president at Asigra said in announcing the recent Asigra recovery-based pricing model.

Unitrends didn’t match Asigra’s approach (MSP Today hasn’t exactly been flooded with “Me too” announcements), but instead announced a far-reaching new Service Provider Program and with it a fresh economic approach.

This new program “equips hosting, managed services and cloud providers with the agile infrastructure needed to simply and cost-effectively offer onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery services to their customers,” a spokesperson said.

Unitrends calls its program “revolutionary” and promises to be the Bee’s Knees when it comes to recurring revenue.

The Unitrends’ Rundown

Here is a summary from Unitrends of its new program:

  • Partner-Friendly Subscription Licensing: Unitrends’ new program introduces a partnership approach to licensing that eliminates the costly step function often associated with traditional pricing structures.
  • Flexible Deployment Options: The ability to mix and match physical and virtual appliances at both customer and data center sites provides maximum flexibility for service providers to expand their addressable market, as well as customize solutions to best meet customer requirements.
  • Physical and Virtual Protection: Having one solution that protects data across on-premise, virtualized and cloud-based environments provides unrivaled total cost of ownership (TCO) by enabling service providers to eliminate overhead costs associated with managing multiple, disparate systems. 
  • Heterogeneous Agility: Unitrends supports more than 100 different versions of operating systems, applications, servers, storage platforms and hypervisors.

IMS Recovery Services is a Unitrend’s MSP that likes what it sees. “Because Unitrends’ backup and disaster recovery solutions protect data across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure, we are able to deploy and scale in a variety of environments and meet our customers’ needs regardless of their data center setup,” said Devon Wilson, president at IMS Recovery Services, one of Unitrends’ MSP providers specializing in Credit Union backup and disaster recovery services. “Unitrends packs enterprise-class capabilities – from backup and disaster recovery to archiving and replication – into a single solution, which lowers our management overhead and enables us to simplify data protection for our customers. Unitrends enables IMS to be even more flexible in how we interact and protect customers and their data.”

The margins and recurring revenue come in part from value-added services the MSP can offer.

“Service providers can now not only provide basic backup and disaster recovery services, but also use Unitrends’ technology to power a full range of high-growth, high-margin service offerings, including Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), Replication-as-a-Service (RaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). Additionally, providers can maximize revenue per client with the ability to layer additional services at no extra cost,” the company said.

Asigra Action

The Asigra approach still charges for backups, but at a greatly reduced rate. Instead the onus shifts to recovery and here there are caps placed on how much data gets recovered. The more you recover the more you pay. If you restore 25 percent of your data over the last half year, you pay 50 cents a Gigabyte. Recover only 5 percent, and you pay a mere $0.167 per GB.

If this doesn’t prompt a shop to improve server and storage stability, perhaps nothing will.

Asigra sees off the bat savings of round about 40 percent, which over the long run could rise to 60 percent,

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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