Business continuity, Small business, Storage

Appliance or Pure Cloud Backup? Debate Continues

It's one of those classic storage architecture debates: Do small businesses still need on-premises backup appliances -- or can pure cloud systems effectively handle today's business continuity needs? Before you answer, consider recent moves at Carbonite and Zetta, respectively.

Carbonite today unveiled E2, which combines an on-premises appliance with a cloud backup service "designed specifically for small businesses – and sold completely through the channel," the company said. E2 leverages technology from Carbonite's EVault acquisition. That buyout originally helped Carbonite to engage midmarket MSPs.

Fast forward to present day, and E2 delivers the EVault technology down to small businesses. Key capabilities, according to Carbonite, include:

  • Image-based backups and granular restore capabilities to shorten backup windows while providing faster recovery times. 
  • A complete as-a-service model that blankets the hardware, software and cloud storage.
  • Data-at-rest and data-in-transmission encryption.

The offering targets businesses with about five or fewer on-premises servers, and 500 GB to 1 TB of storage.

More Cloud, Managed Backup Models

Meanwhile, Zetta recently launched its Disaster Recovery Service -- a pure cloud offering sold by MSPs. It involves no on-premises appliance. And MSPs can recover customer businesses in the Zetta cloud. Zetta typically targets midmarket MSPs that manage larger data footprints customers.

Yet another model, from Continuum, fully offloads the BDR management from the MSP to the vendor. The overall Continuum system also includes NOC (network operations center) and RMM (remote monitoring and management) options.

Of course, dozens of cloud, on-premises and hybrid backup models now compete for the hearts and minds of MSPs. In some cases, the models are starting to blend storage with security -- including names like Datto and Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda.

As MSPs and channel partners weigh all the different models, they'll need to carefully consider customers' mean time to repair and mean time to recovery goals. Datto, working with RapidFireTools, recently launched a BDR assessment tool to help MSPs scope customer workloads.

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.