Dan's Take

'Powerfully Simple' Windows Backup

Axcient offers full deduplication of data both locally and in the cloud.

Axcient VP of Products and Engineering Todd Scallan introduced me to a new product that addresses requirements of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) to back up laptop, desktop and server data and then recover that data in case of a failure. The goal, Scallan says, is to make the whole process "powerfully simple."

The Axcient technology is designed to back up and protect data by making "a fully deduplicated mirror of your business locally and in the cloud so that you can easily access and recover files, folders, applications, servers and even your entire office with a click."

This technology, Axcient says, makes it possible for businesses to address a number of requirements including backup and recovery, archival and compliance issues, business continuity and application protection.

Multiple Deployment Options
Axcient hopes to differentiate itself from a whole herd of competitors by moving from their focus on copying files to cloud storage for data protection and application availability. By projecting data directly to their own cloud storage, Axcient is offering customers the ability to take full system images of their laptops and workstations. The company believes that it's the only Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) vendor that has three deployment options: physical appliance, virtual appliance or use of a cloud-based, no-appliance model.

It appears that there is an ever-growing herd of suppliers offering backup and disaster recovery services. Some offer technology that support backup of data from handheld, laptop, desktop and other systems that execute iOS, Linux, Android, Windows and some special-purpose computing environments. The Axcient technology, at this point, only addresses the need to back up and recover data and applications found on Windows-based systems.

Dan's Take: A Crowded Dance Floor
Axcient is facing competition from quite a number of very large, large and small suppliers. If I examine my recent-briefing database, I've spoken with representatives of 12 suppliers offering similar-looking products or services that appear to address the same or similar business requirements. Axcient hopes that its focus on simplicity -- "click one button to virtualize my office" -- will be enough to fend off other competitors.

Furthermore, the company hopes to interest other software and services suppliers to use Axcient technology to address the backup, recovery and business continuity needs of their customers.

It isn't clear to me that the simple-to-use and limited-to-Windows strategy will win out in the end. What is clear is that Axcient's demonstration is impressive and the technology really does appear to be very easy to use. Even an industry analyst like me could use it in minutes. Will Axcient's technology be enough for your company? You'll have to see the demo and evaluate its capabilities for yourself.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.


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