Axcient x360 Part 1:
Sick of the Backup Status Quo? We’re Throwing it Out.

The average person might not think a career in information technology (IT) can lead to sleepless nights and high stress, but as a managed service provider (MSP), you know it’s part of the job. In today’s technology dependent world, there are bad actors, opportunity for data loss, and causes for alarm 24/7/365.

Data protection solutions are your critical last safety net when all else fails. And yet, there’s no obvious solution for how to solve for this. Instead it often involves a patchwork of overly expensive vendors, nervous hope during recoveries, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears beating backup systems into compliance.

Now, Axcient is alleviating those headaches with a brand new approach.

Throughout this four part series, I’m walking you through Axcient’s all-in-one solution to make data protection, backup and business continuity easier, safer and, dare I say it, perhaps even enjoyable. See how we got to this point and understand the current and future problems we’re solving. Forget your preconceptions about painful backups and join us on our journey to cure data loss!

Read the entire series in the links below:

  • Part 2: One Platform to Rule Them All – See how Axcient’s x360 platform provides a unified experience through a single login that integrates business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), Office 365 backup, and protected sync and share under one roof.
  • Part 3: BDR Convergence for Simple, Flexible and Provable Recovery – Take a deep dive into the platform’s backup and disaster recovery capability, x360Recover, that combines the strengths of three product technologies in one.
  • Part 4: Secure by Design – Discover the unique security features included in the x360 platform, including AirGap™, “Air Cover”, AutoVerify™ and Auto Configure.

Are you ready for something different?

Of course you are!

Let’s get started…

What’s wrong with this picture? (A lot!)

Beep, beep. Beep, beep. It’s 3 a.m. and your phone jolts you awake with an alert that your largest client’s production server is down – and it’s tax season. Or maybe…beep, beep. Beep, beep. Another mid-sleep alarm tells you a software vendor was hacked, and as a result, several clients are infected with ransomware – and you’re on vacation with your family.

These real-life nightmares might make you question your career in IT. The reality is, you’re protecting incredibly valuable, business critical data that is susceptible to technology shortcomings, and under siege by cyber criminals.

Ransomware is a big business that’s growing fast, and MSPs are being targeted for the aggregation of data you protect. Cloud, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) are becoming commonplace in the small to medium-sized business (SMB) environments you protect, further complicating incident prevention, and data protection and recovery.

What’s a well-intentioned, well-informed MSP to do? Utilize more vendors of course!

MSPs are dealing with significantly more vendors than in the past. In an effort to combat growing and more intelligent cyber-attacks, while at that the same time, catering to client needs based on business size, budget and individual preferences, AND confirming backup processes to get that oh so necessary night of sleep – there are a lot of factors to juggle at the same time. Especially because, as we all know, it’s not a question of if your clients need to recover data, but when they need to recover data.

With backups being the last line of defense, many MSPs are spending hundreds of hours of labor each year on backup testing and validation. There are more types of data in our modern IT environments than ever before, which makes disaster recovery (DR) testing harder than ever. Because of the effort required, testing is usually only done quarterly, annually, or perhaps not at all – leaving plenty of gaps for issues to arise between tests.

The problem with this picture is a combination of complex risks, fragile solutions, labor intensive management, and an ever evolving ecosystem that introduces new players, complications and tools…just when you think you’ve figured it out. We’ve largely accepted this as the status quo. Even allowing software vendors to point the finger at users when something goes wrong, or blame the underlying infrastructure as the problem – none of which actually helps clients recover their data when they need it most.

Rejecting mediocrity to paint a new picture

I didn’t just run through all that to challenge your career or send you down a spiral of regret. I did it to highlight how comfortable we’ve gotten with the status quo of managing our clients using the tools that exist. Now, what if we throw that picture out, and start over?

Technology should make things easier and safer, not more complex and painful. You shouldn’t have to make-do with a patchwork of vendors and an exhaustive amount of manual labor to do the right thing for your clients. I’m inviting you to join Axcient in rejecting this mediocre, passive approach to supporting clients. Let’s abandon our beliefs of the past and imagine a new way of protecting data that utilizes the best technology we have. Meanwhile, creating modern, value-first solutions to fill-in-the-blanks and solve the problems we confront on a daily basis.

Can you hear that rally cry? Que the music from that hit single by Twisted Sister…

“…we’re not gonna take it.
No, we ain’t gonna take it.
Oh, we’re not gonna take it anymore!”

Building on our 15 years of cloud-first data protection experience, Axcient is out to cure the world of data loss! The new picture we’re painting is comprehensive, simple, and free of headaches and sleepless nights. No fires interrupting the peaceful life we should have in IT, but rather an unquestionable, unbreakable last line defense against any unforeseen eventuality.

Imagine this…

One Platform to Rule Them All

  • One login. One look and feel. One way to alert, monitor and manage.
  • One way to buy, provision and use – all with unlimited cloud storage and retention.
  • One place to integrate with all your MSP tools (i.e. RMM, PSA, BI, etc.).
  • And flexible and adaptable to the way you do business:
    • Appliance-based or direct-to-cloud
    • Our cloud or yours
    • Our device or yours
    • Buy outright or lease-to-own

Total Protection, Recoverability, and Accessibility

  • Protect whole servers, desktops, Microsoft 365, G Suite, files, network attached storage (NAS), and IaaS data.
  • Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) to capture incremental changes as often as every 15 minutes.
  • Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) to get you back up and running within a few minutes of disasters small or large, whether its local or cloud-driven restores or failovers.
  • Service-level agreement (SLA)-based reporting and alerting keeps the noise down, while allowing you to efficiently identify and remediate issues before your client SLAs are at risk.

And our vision to make your data visible and discoverable through our unique SmartSearch and SmartAnalytics technologies.

Secure by Design

  • AirGap isolates backed-up data for provable ransomware recovery and insider protection.
  • “Air Cover” with cloud telemetry of all systems, enables proactive support calls from Axcient when something truly serious is wrong.
  • AutoVerify with automated daily testing ensures operating systems, data and applications are guaranteed to be recoverable.
  • Auto Configure for ‘always-on’ features out of the box, requiring zero configuration to work properly, and are easily auditable to deliver data-driven proof of recoverability.

That rally cry is coming back to me…

“…we’ve got the right to choose it.
There ain’t no way we’ll lose it.
This is our life, this is our song stack.”

Gets me excited!

Stay tuned for part two when I break down the first section of our new approach, one platform to rule them all. I’ll continue to explain each of these components over the course of this four part series. See you soon!

About the Author: 
Kevin Hoffman // Founder & CTO, Axcient

Kevin is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Axcient. In 2002, John Williams, George Welborn and Kevin Hoffman saw the opportunity to reinvent data protection, and became pioneers bringing transformative cloud services to the IT channel. Kevin brings over 20 years of experience solving business challenges with software and cloud technology through a values- and team-centric approach.

He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University. His published research includes work on memory programming models, language theory & runtimes, aspect-oriented programming, software modularity, dynamic software analysis, automated debugging and reputation systems. Beyond work, he is a family  man, and has avid  interests in piano, cycling, skiing, and physics.