x360Recover Direct to Cloud for Microsoft Azure

Seamlessly Virtualize Azure VMs with x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud for Microsoft Azure

MSPs can now protect their business and their client data in the Azure public cloud with a complete Backup and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solution.

Axcient’s business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution, x360Recover, has always provided initial support for backing up Azure virtual machines (VMs). Now, we’re extending the recovery functionality to include full virtualization and VM export for immediate failback. With Axcient x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) for Microsoft Azure, MSPs can protect and recover clients’ Azure data and ensure true business continuity in a single solution. Deployed via Axcient’s hardware-free BCDR, Direct-to-Cloud, x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure gives MSPs and their clients the full economic promise of the cloud, security-first capabilities, and efficient functionality at half of what competitors charge for backup alone.

In this article:

  • See where Microsoft falls short on security, leaving MSPs responsible for data protection in Azure.
  • Discover how x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) for Microsoft Azure protects Azure workflows both on-prem and in the cloud providing uninterrupted business continuity.
  • Compare x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure to similar tools to see why Axcient wins across cost, functionality, and capability.

The Growing Market for Public Cloud

The digital transformation of 2020 accelerated the rate at which MSPs and their SMB clients are migrating production infrastructure from on-premise, hardware-based solutions to publicly available cloud services. Now, as many enterprise businesses have already shifted from on-prem to public cloud, MSPs are well-positioned to adopt similar ‘public cloud’ environments. With both price and complexity decreasing, public cloud services and application benefits will be the backbone of more businesses.

Microsoft offers MSPs a best-in-class program that incentivizes partners to use Microsoft 365, Azure VMs, and associated cloud storage for production workloads. Similar to Microsoft 365, Microsoft has uptime SLAs surrounding its services but not the actual data stored within them. That means MSPs are responsible for protecting client applications, endpoints, and data running within Azure. With Azure revenue growth up 62% from 2019 to 2020, there’s a huge opportunity for MSPs to grow their revenue by offering Azure business continuity.

x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud for Microsoft Azure Business Continuity

Like all of Axcient’s solutions and product features, x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) for Microsoft Azure was born out of need. As a 100% channel-focused solutions provider, Axcient’s mission is to cure data loss and keep businesses running. With increasing public cloud adoption, MSPs need to deliver secure, simple, and cost-efficient business continuity. To do so, we built our BCDR solution to fully support Windows servers and desktops running as VMs in the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

x360Recover has always natively supported Azure VM backups and can fully virtualize Azure backups using Virtual Office and Runbooks, with virtual disk format for failback. These capabilities are built on the same best-in-class proprietary Chain-Free technology as our other products, and x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure skips the local appliance and sends data straight to the cloud.

Key Features and Capabilities Available Now:

  • Straightforward setup has you backing up in as little as 5 minutes
  • No rip and replace required – run the Axcient agent alongside your legacy solution until you’re ready to turn it off
  • Standardize your backup agent and deployment methods for both on-prem and Azure workloads
  • Direct-to-Cloud backup of Azure VMs to the Axcient cloud
  • Near-instant RTO in turn-key cloud with IPsec bridge to Azure
  • Flat cost per server, no bundling of inflated egress fees, long-term retention, and flat-fee pooled storage capacity (per our Fair Use Policy)
  • Built-in AirGap technology to protect backups from accidental or malicious deletion
  • Built-in AutoVerify automatically verifies backup integrity
  • Export any recovery point to Azure format Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) – up to 32TiB per disk
  • Use FTPS protocol to download VHDs at high speed
  • Use Azure tools to upload VHD to create native Azure VM

The release management philosophy at Axcient is to release early and often. For new features like x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure, we take a ‘minimum viable product’ approach. That means we launch as soon as we can provide the minimum amount of value-added functionality for MSPs and then enhance functionality with follow-up releases. The key features listed above are available now, but there’s always more coming from Axcient…

Key Features and Capabilities Releasing in late-2022:

  • Easily use web console (RMC) to restore any recovery point back to Azure as a native VM
  • Recovery of VM config (e.g., vCPU, networks, etc.) and metadata
  • Fast upload to Azure as unmanaged disks with anticipated speeds of 300 GB/hour
  • Use Azure to convert restored VM back to managed disks if desired

Avoid the Risk of Complete Downtime by Separating Backups

It can be tempting to use another native Microsoft service for backing up Azure cloud environments, but with native Azure Backup service, your backups and the production infrastructure live in Azure. In the event of an Azure incident, outage, or cyberattack, it’s possible that both the production infrastructure and your backups will be unavailable.

Having your client’s Azure data in a separate location could mean the difference between your clients staying in business or losing their livelihood.

Additionally, file restores from native Azure backups are more complicated and require extra services for disaster recovery and testing. It’s not an all-in-one solution, so you need Azure Backup for backups and Azure Site Recovery for business continuity. Not only does this add complexity to your stack, but it increases management resources and overall costs.


  • Simple setup
  • Near-instant RTO for failback if using new (1-5 days) backup snapshots
  • Long-term retention


  • High risk with both production and backup data in the Azure cloud
  • Two additional services are required for backup and business continuity – Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery
  • Difficult file recovery – no GUI
  • Double paying for disaster recovery and testing
  • Additional cost for cross-account protection
  • Wildly variable costs – $40-$240 per month for an average-sized Windows server

Why Axcient Wins

  • You get the layered security of a third-party cloud where full disaster recovery testing and live VMs can be virtualized in minutes for a near-instant RTO.
  • Simplified pricing structure includes data pooling for a flat fee per device or perserver, secure long-term retention, and built-in always-on features for one flat, per-device fee. You will avoid invoices for surprise overages or wild cost fluctuations making monthly costs predictable for better business management. Plus, Axcient does not inflate or bundle egress fees.
  • Unify protection for clients with a mix of on-prem and Azure workloads to a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Meet multiple business use cases with a single vendor to standardize management resources and reduce operational overhead.

Comparing Axcient to The Other Guys

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our competition. MSPs have a wide array of solution providers to choose from when adding new technology to their stack. Because each provider has benefits and drawbacks, MSPs need to consider both their client’s and their own business when moving forward. Based on features, functionality, capabilities, and costs, the chart below provides a direct comparison of x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) for Microsoft Azure with our competitors.

x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure Competitor’s Azure Backup
Any size storage capacity Limited – Limited to 1TB VMs
Long-term cloud retention Limited, often to 1 year
RPO as low as 15 minutes RPO of 1 hour or more
Flat cost per server with no bundling of inflated egress fees Costs 2X to 4X more per protected system
Single solution and GUI for backup and business continuity Separate solutions for backup and business continuity
Built-in AirGap and backup testing Extra cost for cross-account protection
Axcient can also protect any size VMs Typically limited to 1TB VMs or less
Ensures disaster recovery in a third-party cloud May leverage Azure storage
No bundling of egress fees, you pay only what you owe Inflated egress fees bundled in, and 2-4X monthly cost

Ready To Try x360Recover D2C for Microsoft Azure to Secure Your Clients’ Data in the Azure Public Cloud?

Try it for Free with a 14-Day Trial 


Carissa Kohn Johnson Axcient

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.

Carissa clearly loved attending college as she studied Sociology and Gerontology at Nazareth College and Biological Sciences at NC State University and has taken several courses since then. In pursuing her goal to be a bona fide polymath, she is a voracious reader who tries to consume a minimum of 300 pages per week.

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: MSP-friendly resources and tools to help MSPs educate clients to combat phishing attacks and Fight the Phish!, 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.