What is most valuable?
Asigra’s multi-tenancy feature is most valuable as it allows the company to on-sell a private cloud backup and recovery solution to existing customers. I like the fact that agents are not required to be installed on any servers to be backed up, so no downtimes due to the backup solution.
How has it helped my organization?
For an IT Managed Services Provider, this product was selected due to its reliability and it’s flexible business model that it offered. The organization uses Asigra to offer/on-sell a reliable backup and recovery solution to customers. The organization built a private cloud for their customers to house their data and charged based on how much data is used. An in-house built Asigra appliance with considerable amount of disk space is provided to customers without charge, to store backups locally and transmit incremental backups to a private cloud.
What needs improvement?
The setup and configuration of this product is quite complex. There are too many adjustable parameters available. The options that must be configured and tweaked is also the reasons why this product is so powerful. However, I still think they should make their product easier to use.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have worked with this solution in a managed services company for less than a year, 11 months to be exact. The resident Asigra expert had left the company and I was tasked to take over the deployment, maintenance and support for customers who purchased our Asigra cloud backup solution.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Yes, the initial backups and its transportation to the data centre can be painful when issues are encountered. The first backup for each customers must be transported to the data centre and imported before incremental backups can be run. Some customers are located hundreds of miles away and getting the initial backup to the data centre before the incremental backup grows too large for the internet connection to handle the upload can be an issue.
The customer’s internet connection speed can also be a problem because when the internet connection is slow enough, there are issues with timeouts which leads to failed backups. At times, failed backups or other issues can cause the whole backup set to be unrecoverable so the whole process must be started again by creating a new initial backup.
Another issue is that the firewall on all servers to be backed up must be turned off for Asigra to work.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Yes, slow internet connection speed can cause headaches with backup stability. The slow speed causes timeouts in the backup process which will fail afterwards if the retries are also not successful.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This product is highly scalable. It can be configured to suit the smallest customer to a large organisation. A few limitation that affects this product is the customer’s internet connection and how much backed up data they are willing to keep in the private cloud, which is the cost factor.
How are customer service and technical support?
My company selected Xilocore to purchase Asigra from due to their willingness to provide training and support for us across the different time zone. Other companies approached were not so accommodating to our requirements. Technical Support
We paid highly for the support agreement and we were very happy with what was provided. The support person assigned to us was extremely knowledgeable and flexible. His services and assistance to us were second to none.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
As I was relatively new to the company, I’m not sure of the reasons for the switch to the current solution but my guess would be to provide a state of the arts cloud backup and recovery solution for our customers. The older solutions did not cater for offsite backup to the cloud. Asigra was considered to be the best product based on its features.
How was the initial setup?
As a new user, I think the setup for this product can be tricky, however, as we had many customers taking up our private cloud backup solution, the process became easier. We provided each customers with an Asigra appliance built with a virtual windows 7 Asigra client on VMware with enough disk space to hold local backups of all servers as well as be able to restore and run most servers as virtual machines should it be necessary. Customer setups are created within the cloud portal first by selecting the New DS-client wizard on the DS-Operator program then a Registration file is exported. On the customer end, SQL Server Express is installed on a windows box then the Asigra client is installed before the Registration file is imported and a connection made to the DS-Operator program in the cloud, then necessary configurations are entered. An initial backup set is then organised.
What about the implementation team?
Our vendor is based in USA and we are on the other side of the world so we implemented everything ourselves.
What was our ROI?
I’m unable to answer this as I wasn’t privy to the financial details, being a new member of the team at the time. However I was told that the licensing for Asigra was quite high.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I’m also unable to answer this as I did not have access to the financial details. With regards to day to day costs, the troubleshooting and maintenance of failed backups can be time consuming.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I’m unable to comment as I was not with this company when they were evaluating other options. However, we began to look into Iaso to see if it was easier to use. I was not around to find out the result.
What other advice do I have?
The internet connection speed can make or break this product. Without good bandwidth there would be no point in considering any cloud backup solution. As with everything in IT, the more disk space you can afford in licensing costs, the better. Hopefully there are some cheat sheet or best practices out there for guidance. The Asigra forum has many helpful members as well.