Acronis, a backup software company known for its True Image consumer suite, recently announced their next foray into backup-as-a-service for businesses. Acronis Backup Service (ABS) is a “backup anywhere, restore anywhere” data management service that leverages both on-premises local backup and off-site cloud services, with a web interface for remote management.
Acronis recommends having three redundant backups for business systems, and as such, their service is designed to be hybridized. It allows IT management to choose what to backup, and whether to back it up to redundant on-premise servers, to Acronis’ cloud servers, or both. It’s nice to see this level of flexibility, especially as businesses are still wary of sticking secure company data onto off-site cloud servers.
That said, Acronis’ cloud does have a pretty secure backend with Tier IV and SSAE 16 certified data centers. In addition, their service back end offers both 2048-bit SSL management channel encryption and AES-256 data encryption on upload as well as the sleep state.
The most impressive part of this new backup suite is their flexible imaging and recovery support. ABS offers Acronis’ standard compliment of automatic file and folder backup as well as entire system image backup across all Windows, Linux client and server OS’s. This service will also allow IT managers to recover backups and deploy system images to any hardware, regardless of configuration. If an employee’s computer, or even worse, a company server, is in need of repair, IT can grab another device of any make or model and then deploy the broken device’s last system image or backup to the new hardware. This minimizes downtime by allowing IT personnel to quickly bring the business back to a working state, and then focus on dealing with the broken hardware later. Once again, this can all be done remotely via a web interface and works with images both on the cloud and on-premise.
While much of this is possible with existing IT practices, it takes time and resources to create, update and deploy new system images when needed. ABS helps to greatly streamline this process. If disaster strikes, an IT manager can remotely access the Acronis web interface from anywhere and quickly backup, restore, or deploy images across any number of nodes. The service scales as needed, with unlimited backup accounts, unlimited groups and backup policies, and even the ability set access levels based on individual user or role.
As with all business services of this kind, the actual implementation results are key, and pricing is dependent on scale. Thankfully, they offer a 30-day trial of the service for curious IT managers. That said, Acronis’ new service is impressive, offering both a robust feature set along with an unprecedented ease of use in a field that’s not used to anything but complexity.