TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT

                                                                            Vendor View point: Asig...
IN THIS STUDY
In this study, sponsored by Asigra, IDC provides insight into Asigra's information
recovery management platf...
Organizations of all sizes are trying to cope with massive data growth, particularly
from unstructured data such as video,...
FIGURE 1


Information is stored and priced, based on its value to the company. Data can be categorized as
     critical, ...
which include both login and auditing capabilities, are designed to ensure that no
individual can impersonate an account t...
data" that needs to be stored for longer-term compliance. This segmentation enables
customers to achieve three objectives:...
From a regulatory perspective, customers of all sizes are looking for help to develop
more effective data protection and d...
FUTURE OUTLOOK
IDC believes the need for improved levels of recovery software that facilitate system,
application and data...
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLE NGES
Based on Asigra's experience in the data storage market, and the increasing demand
for data ...
Number of employees: 100.

Revenue: Asigra is a privately held company and does not report revenues.

Go-to-market strateg...
IDC segments the market into the following categories:

Small: 1–99 employees

Medium: 100–999 employees

Large: 1,000–9,9...
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Idc Asigra Vendor Viewpoint 2008

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Idc Asigra Vendor Viewpoint 2008

  1. 1. TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT Vendor View point: Asigra Krista Collins IDC OPINION Unprecedented data growth is challenging companies of all sizes, placing increasing pressure on their backup and recovery initiatives. With mounting pressure to comply with regulatory requirements and improve disaster recovery practices, companies are experiencing dissatisfaction with traditional backup methods that are falling short regarding efficiency, reliability, and ease of use. The need for innovative and cost- effective backup and recovery is driving interest in managed storage solutions. While storage as a service offers many benefits, these solutions often require agents to be installed on target machines, which can represent additional costs and complexity for service providers, reducing their margins. Asigra is addressing the need for effective, affordable, and easy to manage backup and recovery with its Information Recovery Management Platform — Asigra Televaulting. Delivered to both small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises through managed service providers, including outsourcers and 36 Toronto Street Suite 300 Toronto, Ontario M5C2C5 Canada P.416.369.0033 integrators, the platform is designed to make it easy and cost-effective for customers to achieve regulatory compliance and drive greater benefits from virtualization. Asigra's key differentiation — its agentless service-oriented architecture (SOA) — makes the solution less intrusive and simple to deploy and maintain, decreasing management costs for service providers and increasing their profitability. Based on Asigra's experience in the data storage market, the company has demonstrated the following: "Intelligent retention" reduces costs while enabling compliance. Asigra's approach to tiering and categorizing backup data is based on a data value continuum, storing and pricing information based on its value to the company. This approach, called "intelligent retention", helps customers align the cost and value of data over time with business expectations regarding recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs and RPOs). Agentless software drives profitability for service providers. While many traditional backup and restore solutions require an agent installed on every target server, workstation, and laptop, the Televaulting architecture is agentless, saving deployment, management, and maintenance costs for service providers. Televaulting can maximize virtualization investments. Customers with virtual server environments can leverage the agentless architecture to achieve backup and recovery without placing a "tax" on the CPU and RAM resources of the physical hypervisor host. Filing Information: July 2008, IDC #, Volume: 1 Canadian IT Advisor: Technology Assessment
  2. 2. IN THIS STUDY In this study, sponsored by Asigra, IDC provides insight into Asigra's information recovery management platform, called Asigra Televaulting. IDC studies the capabilities and applications of Asigra's software, the size and trends of the market it is addressing, and the company's challenges and opportunities for growth. All currency figures in this document are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. SITUATION OVERVIEW Since 1986, Asigra has been delivering agentless, secure online backup and recovery solutions designed to centralize data management and reduce agent-based software compliance, pricing, and performance challenges through SOA. The company's software platform, Asigra Televaulting, was designed with some key principles in mind, including minimal human involvement, offsite storage, centralization of backed-up content, and quick and reliable recovery. Sold through managed storage providers, outsourcers, and integrators, Asigra's software currently protects about 50,000 remote sites across North America. Although the solution is designed for large enterprises with multiple sites or complex lines of business, many growth-oriented small and medium businesses (SMBs) that are looking for scalable, affordable solutions to meet their future storage needs find the solution attractive. Asigra's solution has gained the attention of organizations not only in North America, but also abroad. One such organization, The British Red Cross, was facing a number of key challenges in regard to its backup and recovery approach. Backups were being made using a tape library, which was not always reliable and was prone to damage. The organization was also indexing many files, which were becoming corrupt and hard to restore. Furthermore, the Red Cross needed to back up file servers at each of its 70 sites across the U.K., and required users at each site to change tapes in the servers manually. This manual approach was time consuming, and posed a risk to the data since tapes were not always changed, or were taken off-site. The organization needed a more efficient way to manage and monitor its backups. In 2006, the British Red Cross began evaluating solutions from various providers, and came across Asigra during a Google search. According to Kevin Bush, Technical Services Manager for the British Red Cross, "It was the technology that stood out for us." Bush explains that the platform, delivered through a U.K. partner, delivers greater efficiency and reliability now by backing up to disk. The Red Cross also values Asigra's compressed capacity-based pricing model. While other providers charge a license fee per server, with Asigra, the organization can backup as many servers as it wants. In addition to backing up and restoring single and multiple files faster, the solution also supports all of its diverse infrastructure from Linux, Windows, and Novell. Mr. Bush says, "unlike some larger vendors, Asigra has been very responsive, speaks with us live, and is providing great support." ©2008 IDC # 1
  3. 3. Organizations of all sizes are trying to cope with massive data growth, particularly from unstructured data such as video, email, audio, and word processor documents across geographically dispersed environments. IDC data shows that the amount of digital information that will be created, captured, and replicated will grow from 161 exabytes (EB) in 2007 to 988EB in 2010, a six-fold increase (Worldwide Archiving Software 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #212216). With so much information being digitized as well as mobilized through laptops and mobile devices, companies are trying to define retention policies and retrieval processes to meet management objectives and regulatory requirements (Worldwide Storage Services 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #212063). IT managers are also addressing an emerging challenge — virtual machine (VM) "sprawl", or the proliferation of virtual servers without appropriate IT control — where administrators trying to reduce complexity and costs through virtualization face the same basic management issues they faced several years ago with physical servers. Under pressure to find innovative and cost-effective ways to address these challenges, companies are increasingly looking at managed storage services, particularly from their primary storage providers. However, the management and support of most solutions, which require agents on customer endpoints, can represent additional costs and complexity for the storage service provider. Furthermore, the costs associated with storing increasing amounts of data is concerning. If the cost structures become too prohibitive, then service providers risk losing their recurring service revenues from these customers. To address these challenges, Asigra has developed its information backup and recovery management software platform, Asigra Televaulting. The solution is delivered to both SMEs and large enterprises through outsourcers, integrators, and managed service providers on either a software-as-a-service (SaaS) utility or an on- premise deployment basis. From the perspective of SMEs and large enterprises, Asigra Televaulting helps to properly manage and protect their data network offsite, from one centralized location. Both structured and unstructured data on desktops, laptops, and file and print servers are automatically backed up, providing a simple approach to data backup protection for businesses in industries with regulation and compliance concerns such as legal, financial, healthcare, and oil and gas. With Asigra's intelligent retention, content is stored and priced, based on its value to the company. This tiering and categorization of data allows organizations to retrieve critical information faster, and reduce unnecessary storage costs. Information from all computers are backed up with common data eliminated, further reducing storage costs (see Figure 1). 2 # ©2008 IDC
  4. 4. FIGURE 1 Information is stored and priced, based on its value to the company. Data can be categorized as critical, important, or park data. Source: Asigra, 2008 From the outsourcer or service providers' perspective, the solution delivers a wide area network (WAN) optimized software platform to deploy, provision, and sell storage-as-a-service, as well as a multitiered storage billing system to empower remote service delivery. The platform can be delivered to SMEs and large enterprises through a multitenant or one-to-one model, or to very large enterprises as an on- premise solution. With agentless architecture, service providers and outsourcers can deliver backup and recovery solutions remotely without interruption to the client, reducing implementation and IT management expenditures, thus increasing their margins. The solution also provides WAN optimization techniques, including common file elimination, deduplication, and compression, that conserve bandwidth and storage by transmitting only unique instances of data. Security, a critical requirement for corporate customers and outsourcers, is addressed with Asigra Televaulting's use of AES256 bit protection and advanced authentication, notification and other security elements and layers. Asigra's authentication processes, ©2008 IDC # 3
  5. 5. which include both login and auditing capabilities, are designed to ensure that no individual can impersonate an account through client-side attack. Asigra's software requires unique identifiers for login to the account, use of the proper encryption keys with one-way hashes used for verification, and the need for login requests to originate from valid hardware using a specific IP address. These multiple authentication mechanisms are designed to reduce information exposure and provide a reliable first layer of protection. Asigra's platform is comprised of two major components: the DS-Client (one installed at each remote site) and the DS-System (installed at the vaulting location). This scalability enables Asigra to support additional backup loads and multiple operating systems, servers, databases, email systems, and storage environments. While these features were developed with the storage needs of large business and enterprises in mind, the pay-as-you-grow pricing model and scalability makes the solution well suited to, and increasingly popular with, growth-oriented SMBs. Asigra Televaulting distinguishes itself in the market as follows: Agentless architecture is less invasive and easy for service providers to deploy and manage, as well as being optimal for protecting virtual servers. Delta processing, compression, and deduplication reduce network bandwidth and storage consumption. Scheduled automatic backups ensure continuous protection. Restores are designed to be fast, easy, and manageable. Planning, reporting, and charge-back billing empowers remote service delivery. Intelligent retention through backup life-cycle management enables customers to classify data and develop retention policies to reflect business requirements in accordance with a data value continuum. Supports virtual servers of leading vendors. The Asigra Televaulting software removes the need for locally installed agents as it leverages the protocols, APIs, methods, and functionality that platform, operating system, database, and other application vendors use for remotely accessing and managing their own systems. While traditional backup and restore solutions might require backup agents installed on every target server, workstation, and laptop, for each type of system and application, the Televaulting architecture is designed to integrate support for all major platforms and applications into a single software "footprint" on a local area network (LAN). Service providers can therefore service their customers with greater ease, reducing their costs and improving their margins. With intelligent retention, Asigra allows customers to segment data on a value continuum, from newer/younger "critical data" that is essential for the resumption of operations and meeting recovery time objectives, to older "important data" or "park 4 # ©2008 IDC
  6. 6. data" that needs to be stored for longer-term compliance. This segmentation enables customers to achieve three objectives: align the business value of data with the cost of storage; reduce the cost of retention through a backup file's life cycle, and address RTOs and RPOs driven by business requirements and provisions that government regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have specified. The solution can be configured to move data automatically from one segment on the data value continuum to another after a specified amount of time, or given a certain event, such as a newer version/generation of a file. The platform is designed to integrate with cloud storage providers, enabling managed storage providers to offload some of the less critical "park data", and reduce their own costs of managing and storing this information. For customers with virtual server environments, Asigra’s platform ensures the anticipated total cost of ownership (TCO) efficiencies and savings from virtualization deployments are realized. Asigra's agentless architecture enables customers to achieve backup and recovery without placing a "tax" on the CPU and RAM resources of the physical hypervisor host. Additionally, Asigra enables enterprises to bridge the physical and virtual worlds, without having to pick point-solutions for each. As the virtual server market matures, companies that choose to select multiple virtual server platforms can also leverage Asigra to protect leading platforms such as VMware, Microsoft, Parallels, Virtual Iron, and Citrix. When a new virtual server is added, Asigra Televaulting is designed to automatically discover these servers, and include them in a backup schedule. Furthermore, live VM backup allows administrators to back up VMs in the middle of production operations without disruption to production windows. MARKET OPPORTUNITY With exploding data growth and the increasing mobility of data on laptops and cell phones, organizations are trying to improve how they manage, store, and retrieve information for corporate governance and regulatory compliance (Worldwide Storage Services 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #212063). Data growth and regulatory pressures, combined with greater acceptance of hosted SaaS models, widespread and cheap broadband connections, and familiarity with cloud computing, is driving companies to consider managed services for data backup. While still a nascent market, worldwide online backup services are forecast to grow from $235 million in 2007 to $715 million by 2011 (Worldwide Online Backup Services 2007–2011 Forecast: A New Market Emerges, IDC #209868). According to a recent IDC survey of 300 U.S. organizations, customers most frequently cited backup and recovery/archiving (BURA) issues as drivers behind their storage professional services spending (Storage Professional Services Survey: Customer Needs and Buying Intentions, IDC #210426). Customers have indicated that they will increase their spending on storage professional services in the foreseeable future in response to pressures they feel about managing their storage environments more effectively, and many plan to use their primary storage providers for these services. ©2008 IDC # 5
  7. 7. From a regulatory perspective, customers of all sizes are looking for help to develop more effective data protection and disaster recovery plans as their current processes in these areas are revealed to be inadequate in the context of an audit, litigation, or specific regulation addressing these processes (Worldwide Storage Services 2008– 2012 Forecast, IDC #212063). Vendors with solutions that not only address these needs, but that are also easy to deploy and maintain, will be well positioned for growth. As data growth continues, there are a number of trends in the storage market that will continue to impact customer storage strategies. One development that may create efficiencies, and has gained attention in the industry, is data deduplication — the elimination of redundant copies of data. This process allows backup and recovery to be performed faster and more cost-effectively (Storage Optimization: Understanding Data Deduplication, IDC #207218). Solutions such as Asigra Televaulting that leverage deduplication can reduce the amount of storage that needs to be purchased and managed, and expedite data backups of remote sites, which is important for service providers and outsourcers. Another trend impacting organizations is virtualization and virtual server sprawl. While server virtualization projects are intended to achieve consolidation and efficiency, the uncontrolled proliferation of virtual machines due to the ease with which they can be generated, is causing administrators to face similar management challenges to those they faced with physical machines years ago. Administrators are finding it difficult to track and manage servers in the virtual world, and contend with the moves, adds, and changes for these virtual servers, which can, in some instances, quadruple administrative tasks (Worldwide Network Controller and Block-Level Storage Virtualization 2008–2012 Forecast: A Key Component in Building the Virtual Datacenter, IDC #211635). With $20 billion forecast to be spent on server virtualization in 2010, up 68% in five years, the problem of sprawl will only mushroom unless companies gain greater control over their virtual environments. These challenges are driving demand for solutions and services that can help them automate the management of these virtual environments, as well as plan, design, and implement storage and protection plans that are geared toward virtualized environments (Worldwide Enterprise Server 2008 Top 10 Predictions, IDC #210085). T reduce the administrative burden, companies could turn to solutions that leverage agentless integration and block-level storage, such as Asigra Televaulting, to help with automated storage provisioning and data replication in a virtualized environment. Dissatisfaction with the performance of tape systems is also impacting storage strategies. While tape systems will remain part of the storage ecosystem in the foreseeable future, organizations are evaluating alternative disk-based solutions that can offer faster data retrieval and restore. Exploiting this trend are a variety of online service-based storage companies, including Asigra, that have opportunities for growth as companies become more familiar and comfortable with the idea of storage services (Canadian Storage Systems 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #CA2IH8). 6 # ©2008 IDC
  8. 8. FUTURE OUTLOOK IDC believes the need for improved levels of recovery software that facilitate system, application and data recovery will grow over the next few years, as customers continue to invest in next-generation data protection, business continuity, and disaster recovery technologies (Worldwide Data Protection and Recovery Software 2008– 2012 Forecast, IDC #212213). Early adopters of storage services have praised their simplicity, predictable pricing, reliable restores, and flexibility, although other companies are just starting to learn about what storage as a service entails, and what it means for their organizations. IDC believes more companies will become comfortable with storage services as the concept becomes increasingly common, and prospective customers see the successes of early adopters. With cheaper broadband access, greater comfort level with Web-based services, and the need for a second site for remote data protection purposes, online backup is becoming an attractive option for companies of all sizes (Worldwide Online Backup Services 2007–2011 Forecast: A New Market Emerges, IDC #209868). IDC believes that SMBs will be the earliest to adopt managed backup and recovery services in significant numbers, as they look for alternative approaches to storage management and disaster recovery that relieve them of the storage management burden (Worldwide Storage Services 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #212063). Large businesses — those in the 1,000–9,999 employee range — will probably have the greatest storage services needs overall, as they are experiencing data growth rates similar to very large enterprise businesses, but do not have the resources to manage that growth (Storage Professional Services Survey: Customer Needs and Buying Intentions, IDC #210426). IDC expects demand of network-based storage virtualization solutions to remain strong for the next several years. As companies undertake virtualization of their server environments, storage solutions such as Asigra's will enable companies to realize greater functionality and value of their virtualized environments (Canadian Storage Systems 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #CA2IH8). Finally, IT managers across a number of verticals will struggle to meet internal corporate policies regarding data storage management as well as externally enforced standards in the form of audits, regulations, and industry standards that must be adhered to. These drivers will continue to lead customers to seek outside assistance pertaining to these pressures as well as to disaster recovery/business continuity. Companies in financial services, utilities, retail, and communications and media are some of the fastest growing verticals for storage spending. IDC believes that companies addressing data retention and protection processes, remote data replication, and ediscovery will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future (Worldwide Storage Services 2008–2012 Forecast, IDC #212063). IDC expects to see new entrants and acquisitions in the emerging storage-as-a- service market in the years to come. While there are several established companies in the backup, archiving, and replication management markets, IDC believes there is opportunity for emerging companies to provide cost-effective solutions that address the specific needs and challenges of companies, particularly in the midmarket. ©2008 IDC # 7
  9. 9. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLE NGES Based on Asigra's experience in the data storage market, and the increasing demand for data backup and recovery solutions, IDC believes that: Increasing acceptance and adoption of managed storage services presents lucrative opportunities. With cheaper broadband access, greater comfort level with Web-based services, and some early success stories, online backup is becoming a more attractive consideration for companies of all sizes. As more organizations begin to look for managed storage solutions, Asigra has an opportunity to capture increasing market share by providing an affordable and flexible solution that meets the needs of both large organizations and SMEs. Education is needed to drive solution awareness and sales. Asigra's agentless approach to backup and recovery storage is different to traditional methods, and requires some explanation. Helping managed service providers, outsourcers, and integrators understand the cost savings, simplicity, and improved margins they can achieve as a result of agentless architecture, and supporting that with case examples and success stories, will be key to expanding Asigra's relationships with outsourcers and service providers and thus increasing its reach with end users in the market. ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE Asigra has established a sound business by providing simple to use and deploy agentless backup and recovery solutions through service providers, outsourcers, and integrators in either a SaaS utility or an on-premise deployment model. To continue its success in North America and abroad, Asigra will focus on the following: Continuing to work closely with service providers and outsourcers to understand their challenges, help them become more successful, and attract prospective customers. The company's recent storage services event held in June 2008 for its customers and prospects was a good example of how the company is promoting opportunities to communicate with and get feedback from the industry, while also educating them about its solution. Demonstrating its success stories with organizations and service providers that have used Asigra Televaulting and have praised the solution for its simplicity and cost savings, to promote testing and adoption of the platform with other prospective customers and partners. VENDOR DETAI LS Headquarters: 1120 Finch Avenue West, Suite 400 Toronto, ON M3J 3H7 Telephone: +1 416-736-8111 Fax: +1 416-736-7120 www.asigra.com 8 # ©2008 IDC
  10. 10. Number of employees: 100. Revenue: Asigra is a privately held company and does not report revenues. Go-to-market strategy: Asigra's software is licensed to OEMs or sold through outsourcers, integrators, and service providers to SMEs and large organizations as a complete software package or a managed service. The software platform is licensed based on a compressed capacity model, regardless of the number of sites or target machines to be protected. About 50% of Asigra's customers are located in North America, while the remainder are located abroad. Technology partners: Some of Asigra's technology partners include BlueArc, HP, Level Platforms, Network Appliance, OnStor, VMware, Citrix, Parallels, Virtual Iron, and Microsoft. Awards: Asigra has received a number of awards for its technology, including the 2008 CRN Top Emerging Technology award, Byte and Switch 2007 Product of the Year, 2007 Healthcare IT Magazine Best in Class award, Service Provider Weekly Top Technology Award, IT Week Editor's Choice award for 2007, and the 2007 CRN Top Emerging Technology award, among others. LE ARN MORE Worldwide Storage Services 2008–2012 Forecast (IDC #212063, May 2008) Worldwide Archiving Software 2008–2012 Forecast (IDC #212216, May 2008) Worldwide Data Protection and Recovery Software 2008–2012 Forecast (IDC #212213, May 2008) Canadian Storage Systems 2008–2012 Forecast (IDC #CA2IH8, May 2008) Worldwide Network Controller and Block-Level Storage Virtualization 2008–2012 Forecast: A Key Component in Building the Virtual Datacenter (IDC #211635, April 2008) Storage Professional Services Survey: Customer Needs and Buying Intentions (IDC #210426, February 2008) Worldwide Online Backup Services 2007–2011 Forecast: A New Market Emerges (IDC #209868, December 2007) Worldwide Enterprise Server 2008 Top 10 Predictions (IDC #210085, December 2007) Storage Optimization: Understanding Data Deduplication (IDC #207218, June 2007) Deduplicated World of Storage (IDC Link Comment by Natalya Yezhkova, May 2007) ©2008 IDC # 9
  11. 11. IDC segments the market into the following categories: Small: 1–99 employees Medium: 100–999 employees Large: 1,000–9,999 employees Enterprise: 10,000+ employees This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit www.idc.com to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit www.idc.com/offices. Please contact the IDC Hotline at 800.343.4952, ext. 7988 (or +1.508.988.7988) or sales@idc.com for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2008 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved. 10 # ©2008 IDC

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