Axcient x360 Part 2: One Platform to Rule Them All
Welcome to part two of our series! In this post I’m unveiling Axcient’s solution to the status quo, the Axcient x360 converged platform. Keep reading to see why this all-in-one platform was created, and discover how it can significantly simplify backup management.
Get the complete series through the following links:
- Part 1: Sick of the Backup Status Quo? We’re Throwing it Out. – Discussion of common problems managed service providers (MSPs) are facing with the invitation to rethink backup for better results.
- 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 Config
Too much backup, too little time.
The industry has come a long way from the days where each client had just a couple of servers, backups were going to tape, and clients required daily reminders to rotate their tapes. We’ve seen image-based, whole-server backup become commonplace technology, local virtualization of recovery points become standard, and cloud replication and even cloud virtualization go from novelty to expected feature.
While the status quo is much better than it was, a recent escalation of security threats and the evolving IT landscape has weighed MSPs down with a mishmash of backup and disaster recovery (BDR) tools needed to meet the needs of all clients. With each vendor demanding their own onboarding, training, monitoring, integration, support and billing processes, MSPs are stuck between the consequences of vendor sprawl and the benefits of providing comprehensive coverage for a range of clients. Typically, different products and vendors are required for use cases like the following:
- Image-based backups of servers to local appliances, replicated to the cloud
- Virtualization, cloud failover, and other business continuity capabilities
- File- or image-based backups of endpoints directly to the cloud
- File-level backup of network-attached storage (NAS) data and non-critical endpoints
- Backing up Microsoft 365, G Suite, and other software as a service (SaaS) data
Not only does using multiple products make it harder for MSP engineers to be efficient – requiring significant time to learn completely different tools and multiple product certifications – but it also introduces operational risk. MSPs have to create, monitor, and enforce different operational policies while monitoring multiple solutions to ensure compliance with contractual service-level agreements (SLAs).
Sure, less is more when it comes to alleviating tech frustration for increased efficiency, but a simple design with seamless integration is also the perfect environment for elevating Operational Maturity Levels (OMLs). If you haven’t assessed your Reference Architecture for profit-boosting purposes, I highly suggest you see how the top performing 25% of MSPs are earning three times more profit.
Consider your own stack…how many vendors are you using? On average, MSPs use at least three different vendors for backup and business continuity, and we know why. Because no one tool solves the price, performance, and capability equation for all clients, regardless of their individual protection needs and budgets.
Introducing the Axcient x360 platform!
Imagine how simple your life could be by consolidating all of your BDR tools under one trusted vendor, who provides daily automated proof of recovery and proactive support, and with whom you didn’t have to compromise on client requirements – what to protect, recover point objectives (RPOs), recovery time objectives (RTOs) – or the way you do business.
In our quest to cure data loss, we’re launching the Axcient x360 platform to deliver on this dream, and more! Axcient x360 brings together comprehensive BDR capabilities through a single login with a unified experience:
x360Recover: Business continuity protection for physical, virtual, and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) servers and workstations, with options to use a backup appliance (ours or yours) or go direct-to-cloud, with RPOs as frequent as every 15 minutes, and near-instant RTO. Plus automated backup testing and comprehensive recovery options.
x360Cloud: Backup, full-text search, restore, and export for Microsoft 365 and G Suite data.
x360Sync: Secure file sync, sharing, and collaboration, file server syncing, and file-level endpoint backup.
A platform designed exclusively for MSPs
Beyond these capabilities, what are some of the most compelling aspects of the platform?
I’m glad you asked!
- Business Simplicity: The platform brings simple and predictable pricing, with unlimited cloud storage and retention for every capability. We’re eliminating the operational and cost headaches traditionally associated with online backup. Imagine life without any overage charges or complex billing reconciliations! All of your business interactions with us are streamlined through the Axcient x360 portal, including technical support, billing, account management, training and certifications, marketing enablement, and our peer-to-peer community.
- SLA-based Reporting and Alerting: Our philosophy is that the platform should tailor itself to the way you do business and your client requirements. Central to this is the Axcient x360 service-level agreement (SLA)-based reporting and alerting. Define what your client requirements are (e.g., on-site RPO, cloud RPO, etc.), and the platform reports current and historical SLA health, while also providing actionable alerts through your preferred method. This allows you to avoid the noise of individual alerts, and instead to efficiently identify and proactively remediate issues that put your client SLAs at risk. This is available today within each Axcient x360 capability. Our vision is to provide unified SLA health reporting and alerting at the platform level, giving one integration point for professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM).
- Rapid Updates: True to our value of being agile, the Axcient x360 platform is rolling out incrementally with updates monthly or sooner. This way we can learn from our partners and rapidly adapt to best meet their needs. Axcient x360Cloud launched at IT Nation in 2019, and we’re targeting Axcient x360Recover and Axcient x360Sync to be integrated by IT Nation 2020 in November. In the meantime, you’ll see rapid updates to each product as we approach convergence. Each Axcient x360 capability (Axcient x360Cloud, Axcient x360Recover, and Axcient x360Sync) has dedicated product and engineering teams with a deep commitment to quality. We push the boundaries for quality-first software by using test-driven development, automated regression testing, structured test planning and execution, CI/CD, “shift-left” security practices, and SCRUM-based engineering processes, to name a few! Our partners and your clients are at the heart of all we do. These practices enable rapid delivery of updates without compromising software quality. Join our community to get the latest updates, and chat with executives and product teams to help shape the future!
- Includes Everyone: A new platform is no good if it leaves our existing partners and products behind! All existing Anchor, CloudFinder, Replibit, BRC, and Fusion partners are automatically upgraded to the Axcient x360 platform. Partners will not be required to do any work to convert existing installations in order to use the new platform. New functionality is delivered as an upgrade to the cloud management experience, all existing services will continue without interruption and be fully managed from within Axcient x360. Certain capabilities unique to the new platform will be available for new client deployments (more on that next time).
- Community: Technology is only a means to an end. Ultimately, it’s the people who matter! Your clients. Your employees. You. Us. We’re out to cure data loss, and we’re all in it together to make it happen! In addition to the direct relationship you’ll have with us, we’ve created a live chat community where our partners can share best practices, discuss industry challenges, hear the latest tech tips and platform updates, interact with our executives, and more.
We’ve only just scratched the surface of the Axcient x360 platform. Stay tuned for part three in the series where I show you how we’ve combined the best of three BDR solutions, to create a single tool that protects everything. See you soon for a deep dive into x360Recover!
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 in bringing transformative cloud services to the IT channel. Kevin brings over 20 years of experience solving business challenges with software and cloud technology through his 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.
More Great Stuff From Our Blog:
Check out some other interesting pieces from our blog: MSP-friendly resources and tools to learn how you can ditch pricey on-site appliances with Local Cache for Direct-to-Cloud BCDR., 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, and hear our CEO David Bennett explain why the current cybersecurity landscape means traditional backup is dead.
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