Business continuity, MSP, Content, Storage

NinjaRMM Launches Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) for MSPs, IT Pros

NinjaRMM has launched Ninja Data Protection -- a home-grown backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform for MSPs (managed IT services providers) and IT professionals. The move shows how NinjaRMM is transforming from an RMM (remote monitoring and management) product provider into a platform provider -- increasingly competing against Barracuda MSP, ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP, among other entrenched rivals.

Salvatore Sferlazza, CEO, NinjaRMM
Salvatore Sferlazza, CEO, NinjaRMM

According to NinjaRMM, Ninja Data Protection provides:

  • Both file and folder and image backup solutions integrated with NinjaRMM’s flagship platform.
  • Smart scheduling, incremental block-level backup technology, file compression, and bandwidth throttling options that "ensure that backups and recoveries are fast and reliable."
  • A buffered delete capability prevents users and remote endpoints from conducting hard deletes of critical business data.
  • Support for encrypted in-motion and at-rest data via secure AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption.
  • Options to back up data in regional servers located in the United States, Canada, throughout the European Union (EU) and Australia -- thereby providing localized data sovereignty requirements in different locations. The back-end cloud storage system runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Integration with NinjaRMM’s platform-level security, user monitoring, activity logging, and enforced mandatory MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication).

In terms of availability:

  • Customers in North America can begin leveraging the solution immediately, with rollout expected to reach customers in Australia and the EU on August 31.
  • Image backup is currently in private beta in North America, and will expand to the EU and Australia at the end of August.

Ninja Data Protection: Build vs. Buy

NinjaRMM raised about $30 million in growth equity from Summit Partners in March 2020. To be clear: NinjaRMM was not acquired. The funding allows the company to scale R&D and other efforts, and also ensures NinjaRMM founder and CEO Sal Sferlazza retains control of the software firm’s business destiny, the company says.

Armed with that war chest,  NinjaRMM could have partnered, acquired or built its way into the cloud backup and disaster recovery (BDR) Market. Indeed, BDR solutions such as Arcserve, Axcient and StorageCraft are owned by private equity firms, and some of those platforms could be up for sale over the next few quarters, ChannelE2E believes.

Still, NinjaRMM tends to favor R&D (research and development) over M&A (mergers and acquisitions) -- particularly when it comes to product-driven areas where the executive team already has market experience.

In the case of data protection, NinjaRMM CEO Sal Sferlazza previously founded:

  • Lasso Logic, a data protection and disaster recovery company that SonicWall acquired in 2005. It's now called SonicWall CDP.
  • Anchor, a file sync and sharing platform that eFolder (now Axcient) acquired in 2013. It's now called x360Sync.

That data protection experience, coupled with NinjaRMM's expanding R&D team, convinced the company to dive into the BDR market with a home-grown offering that MSPs can manage from within NinjaRMM.

"We built a dedicated engineering team for Ninja Data Protection," Sferlazza tells ChannelE2E. "This is the largest development team we've ever built for a product launch. And it is the most mature product we've shipped out of the gate."

With an eye toward those R&D efforts, NinjaRMM has grown its engineering department by more than 60 percent over the past year, and instituting a new rapid release cadence. (Exact headcount figures were not disclosed.)

NinjaRMM and Data Protection: The Competition

The new cloud-based BDR platform arrives at a key time in the MSP software market. Multiple private equity firms and MSP software providers are mulling potential M&A deals ahead of the U.S. Presidential Election, ChannelE2E has learned.

Entrenched rivals like Barracuda MSP, ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP already own RMM and BDR platforms. But generally speaking, those combination platforms came together through M&A deals. That M&A approach delivered speed to market, an installed base of partners, and tools that are generally trusted by thousands of MSPs. But M&A also involves melding corporate cultures, and managing/integrating multiple code bases, pricing models and partner programs.

In stark contrast, NinjaRMM believes writing its own BDR code from scratch provides a truly single-pane-of-glass experience -- at launch -- that MSPs crave. Admittedly, Ninja isn't alone in that approach. Upstarts like Atera and Syncro have momentum promoting home grown, cloud-based RMM and PSA (professional services automation) software to MSPs.

Still, Ninja has a big, growing installed base of MSPs and customers that spans more than 4,000 organizations as of early 2020. And now, those existing NinjaRMM user dashboards gain access to a new, built-in service -- Ninja Data Protection. Through that move, NinjaRMM essentially transforms from MSP product supplier to MSP platform supplier. And, ChannelE2E suspects, the platform will eventually expand beyond RMM and BDR to include... ...

Well, stay tuned.

More Opportunities in Co-Managed Services

Meanwhile, Ninja Data Protection represents another opportunity for MSPs to offer co-managed services to IT departments -- especially in the mid-market sector.

The thesis goes like this: Amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout, some mid-market businesses will cut IT department headcount and/or product purchases. But those IT departments need to keep the lights on -- particularly when it comes to security and data protection services.

Amid that reality, MSPs are well-positioned to assist corporate IT departments with co-managed services, Sferlazza asserts.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.