Axcient Includes Unlimited Storage and Retention for All MSP Partners (Seriously!)
Axcient has included unlimited data storage and retention as part of our business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions for years. Still, we recently discovered that some MSPs didn’t believe it. For example, after a recent tradeshow presentation, an Axcient team member was approached by a doubting MSP who asked, “but how?” We were surprised at the disbelief, but after talking with MSPs, we realized other solution providers claiming limitless data storage and retention were muddying the waters of what we thought was pretty straightforward. So, in this post, we’re breaking down what exactly is included, how we do it, and why it’s different from the other guys.
In this article:
- Compare Axcient’s unlimited data storage and retention to similar claims you may have heard from other solution providers.
- Understand why and how Axcient includes unlimited data storage and retention as a built-in, always-on feature for all of our BCDR solutions.
- See how unlimited data storage and retention affects MSP profits and TCO, as well as client relations.
Not All “Unlimited” Storage and Retention Claims Are What They Seem
As we all know, marketing claims are just that – they’re claims. You have to dig deeper, get past the buzzwords, and read the fine print to see what you’re really going to receive for what you’re paying. When doing your due diligence on storage and retention, these are the questions you need to ask:
Does it cover all use cases?
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) need endpoint, server, and cloud-to-cloud backup, which means MSPs need solutions for all use cases. This is where a lot of MSPs accumulated overlapping solutions that lead to vendor sprawl. In an attempt to satisfy a range of clients, MSPs can grow their stack to the point that the staffing and management required is cutting profits and increasing the total cost of ownership (TCO). Axcient x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud solves multiple business use cases with just one solution – endpoint backup, hardware-free BDR, turn-key BDR, and public or private cloud backup – all with unlimited data storage and retention.
What does “unlimited” actually mean?
At Axcient, unlimited means unlimited. Axcient backs up any volume of data you have – C drive, D drive, and so on. If you have multiple hard drives and storage devices, we back those up too. Direct-to-Cloud backs up all servers, regardless of their size. We don’t do tiered pricing, so there’s no option to upgrade or downgrade – unlimited storage and retention is included with your Axcient partnership. No strings attached, no surprise overage fees, or surprise fees.
Other backup providers rely on tiered storage and retention options that can be cost-prohibitive at all levels. Multiple tiers usually mean there are numerous ways the vendor is cutting down on the “unlimited” storage and retention advertised. Often, there may be restrictions on the amount of backup allowed or the type of backup the vendor supports. For example, vendors commonly limit C drive backups to 1TB of data or less, and some vendors cannot cloud-backup servers at all. Higher overhead costs from pricing that favors the vendor will lower profits, so be sure those extra expenses add value to your MSP and your clients.
What is the pricing structure?
Complex pricing can be a way to hide data limit tiers and hidden caps that push costs higher than expected. If the vendor truly offers unlimited data storage and retention, there should not be length of storage retention contracts or data volume ceilings. Axcient’s simple pricing is a straight per-device or per-server flat cost. There are no retention time restrictions, and data pooling is allowed per Axcient’s public and transparent Fair Use Policy.
We Do It With Propriety Chain-Free Backup Technology
Axcient includes unlimited data storage and retention because we have the proprietary technology that removed this pain point for MSPs and their clients. As a 100% MSP-only solution provider, we’re focused on enabling MSP growth with best-in-class innovation and automation. Axcient’s modern Chain-Free backup technology differs from legacy solutions in that you don’t have to manually manage chains or spend time reseeding.
In traditional chain-based backup, each forward-facing, incremental backup depends on the previous incremental backup. When undetected data loss occurs, it can cause catastrophic data loss and data bloat due to the dependent nature of the chains. All the backups occurring after the data corruption are entirely unusable, and a whole new chain has to be started with another full backup and cloud reseed, which can take days. Additionally, because the original backup and chain have to be maintained, chain-based backup wastes a lot of precious storage. This data bloat is often a contributing reason why vendors don’t offer unlimited storage and retention without charging a top-tier premium.
Chain-Free backup starts the same way as chain-based – you still do your first full backup, and you still do incremental backups, but data is stored in a native virtualized state with a pointer array algorithm. That means each recovery point is independent. Now, when corruption occurs, bad data blocks are isolated and can be independently deleted without risking the integrity of your backup dataset. Previous backups can still be recovered, and there is no disruption to new incremental backups and the data post-corruption. Chain-Free backup means no data loss or data bloat and no wasting time or storage having to start new chains or reseed.
- Unlimited Storage: Now that storage capacity and data bloat aren’t problems – because there isn’t any duplicated backup data – there’s no risk of surprise overages, large storage space requirements, or over-provisioning “just in case.”
- Unlimited Retention: Easily meet multi-year compliance standards and shorten recovery time with always-available backup data. Because the points of failure don’t increase with each backup, and since there are no dependencies to break, each backup is entirely independent.
- Near-instant Recovery: No chains means no base image requirements for restore, no consolidation, and no staging space. It significantly reduces the complexity of recovery to ensure uninterrupted business continuity.
Why MSPs Are Choosing Real Unlimited Storage and Retention
True unlimited data storage and retention offers MPS and their clients more than just stress relief and predictable monthly costs…
Long-term Compliance: With legacy chain-based solutions, the set of potential failure points compounds with time. The longer the backup chain, the more susceptible to corruption the entire backup dataset becomes. MSPs have to start the chain over every one to two years with almost no exception.
With Chain-Free backup, there are no time constraints on how long you can backup data without needing to start over. This is especially important for clients in highly regulated industries like healthcare, legal and financial services, and government that require three, five, seven, or even 10-year retention periods. Even if you lose a few backups due to corruption, you do not lose the data because each Chain-Free backup is independent of other backups. The corrupt pieces of data can be isolated without affecting the rest of the backups.
Efficiency and Ease of Management: Legacy chain-based solutions require manual and time-consuming processes to start initially, for ongoing management, and to start over when corruption occurs. As time passes, chain-based technology’s vulnerability to corruption increases with each passing day and requires that new chains be started annually or bi-annually. Having to take a new base or full image backup to start a backup chain from scratch, reseed the data after the new base is created, and manage the old chain – often copying it onto some kind of storage media—demands dedicated time, expertise, and overall, costs, that could be spent otherwise.
Chain-Free backup eliminates all of that extra work. Because each backup is independent, there is no chain to break and no need to rebase or reseed. MSP technicians can focus on value-added tasks rather than adding to vendor management costs.
Security For All: Tiered storage and retention options tempt clients to choose lower quality protections that could compromise their ability to recover or meet compliance standards. The high pricepoint of the best tiers will price SMBs out or eat into an MSPs margin.
Providing tiers implies that storage and retention caps will still deliver business continuity and data protection when that is not guaranteed if the solution is inadequate. MSPs could be liable for failing to fully protect their clients in states where regulations penalize MSPs when their clients suffer a breach. Limited data storage and retention puts both MSPs and their clients in jeopardy of losing critical data and puts their businesses and reputations on the line.
Axcient’s flat fee per endpoint or server provides true unlimited storage and retention for nearly all clients types and sizes, and MSPs can ensure their clients are getting the best solution available to keep their data protected. MSPs can cultivate and build on a trustworthy relationship with clients without uncomfortable and reoccurring conversations about storage overages and surprise fees. Built-in protections like unlimited storage and retention show clients that their MSP understands the benefits of the cloud and hybrid environments and is securing their business to withstand today’s cybersecurity landscape.
Ready For the Real Deal?
X360Recover Direct-to-Cloud is built using Axcient’s Chain-Free technology to provide unlimited data storage and retention and give MSPs a single, reliable backup platform to enable overall business growth. Axcient goes above and beyond legacy technology to solve for long-term retention and data bloat while delivering on the economic promise of the cloud. We make unlimited cloud storage affordable and attractive for all companies, regardless of size. See what your MSP could do with genuinely unlimited storage and retention by taking an inside look at Axcient. Start Your Free 14-Day Trial Now!
About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient
Carissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in behavioral and physical healthcare technology and information technology and currently works as the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in technology, and working with MSPs in particular. She serves on the Information Services Advisory Board for her community and feels most at home with other technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?
More Great Stuff From Our Blog:
Check out some other interesting pieces from our blog: an outline of the 5 must-haves for any MSP Security Playbook, we dove into how chain-based backup works and why chain-free is the way to be, we talked with Jason Phelps from Huntress Labs about planning for the next ransomware attack, our CEO David Bennett explains why the current cybersecurity landscape means traditional backup is dead, or learn how you can ditch pricey on-site appliances with Local Cache for Direct-to-Cloud BCDR.