Scalable cloud-based solutions are widely popular among IT professionals these days. The cost, convenience and reliability of ready-to-use software as a service make this disruptive technology a favorable choice.
Still, the market needs some convincing that cloud backup is both a smart and safe thing to do, suggested Paul Evans, CEO of Redstora data management provider based in the UK
Redstor boasts more than 40,000 customers worldwide, more than 400 partners and more than 100 million refunds per year. Last month in London, Redstor was named Hosted Cloud Provider of the Year at the 2022 Technology Distributor Awards.
“Companies should not only say goodbye to on-premise boxes, they should celebrate because removing them reduces the risk of ransomware or the impact of a data center fire or flood,” Evans told TechNewsWorld.
SaaS is a software distribution model that offers significant flexibility and cost-effectiveness for companies. This makes it a reliable option for multiple business models and industries. It is also popular with businesses due to its simplicity, consumer accessibility, security and widespread connectivity.
According to Evans, SaaS trends continue to disrupt the industry this year. Spiceworks Ziff Davis predicts that half of all workloads will be in the cloud next year.
Many organizations are doing cloud-first migration projects. Those of particular interest are hard-hit businesses looking for infrastructure through the Operational Excellence (OpEx) model and framework to avoid large upfront investments.
“Data will become increasingly cloud-based in the coming year, especially with the continued growth of Kubernetes, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Salesforce,” he noted.
A driver of the threat landscape
Grand View Research recently reported that the global managed services market, valued at USD 239.71 billion in 2021, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4 percent from this year to 2030 .Many managed service providers (MSPs) are looking to become more service-oriented.
At the same time, value-added resellers are looking to become cloud service providers. Other distributors are trying to figure out how best to fit in, Evans noted.
“Underneath that is the threat, which has changed dramatically, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. State-sponsored malware and cyberwarfare are coming to the fore, as opposed to smart criminals,” he noted.
US President Joe Biden stressed that the private sector must step up and lock its “digital doors” to protect critical infrastructure. Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ – Britain’s intelligence, cyber and security agency – warned that the Russian regime was identifying institutions and organizations to dismantle, making it only a matter of time before the attacks came.
“Threats are not only growing in scale and complexity. The scope of ransomware attacks makes it abundantly clear that companies of all shapes and sizes will increasingly be targeted. As a result, we will see more businesses bringing in MSPs to manage their IT, cybersecurity and compliance programs,” predicted Evans.
During our conversation, I further discussed with Evans how Redstor and other vendors can strengthen digital security.
TechNewsWorld: What is unique about Redstor technology compared to other data management and disaster recovery solutions?
Paul Evans: Our approach focuses on businesses’ concerns about their risk position, lack of resources during IT skills shortages and profitability challenges. Redstor offers what we believe is the smartest and simplest backup platform for MSPs.
One factor is the ease of integration. With three clicks and a password, users are up and running and can easily scale. It’s also low-maintenance thanks to its many data connectors, and it’s purpose-built from the ground up for MSPs managing multiple accounts.
This is not some Frankenstein’s monster of hastily acquired solutions that have been cobbled together.
What makes Redstor’s platform technologically intelligent?
Evans: Whether MSPs protect data on-premises or in the cloud—Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or cloud-based Kubernetes—they can do it simply and all from one app. Being able to span the on-premises cloud and SaaS worlds from one place, rather than delving into multiple different interfaces, saves MSPs time and money.
Redstor is smart because we enable user-driven recoveries by streaming on-demand data backups so organizations have what they need to get up and running in the event of data loss.
You don’t have to mirror everything, copy everything, or restore everything before you can start working again. During outages, InstantData technology also restores critical data in seconds while less critical recovery continues in the background.
The platform is also smart because it provides more than backup. Plus, you get backup and disaster recovery with search and high-level insights—all from one app.
Redstor is infused with AI, and our machine learning model automatically detects and isolates suspicious files in backups so they can be removed for malware-free recovery. MSPs can perform tagging data classification. We will introduce anomaly detection in the future.
How do cloud-based SaaS data protection and recovery systems compare to other solutions?
Evans: Organizations believe that in order to have a fast cloud experience, they need multiple boxes on-premises to download data quickly. But on-premises Frankenstein solutions tied together with multi-acquisition technology will not meet today’s challenges.
Additionally, with hardware, there may be supply chain issues and shortages of critical components such as semiconductors. Moving your data protection to the cloud eliminates both of these problems and puts the onus squarely on the MSP.
Without cloud-based protection, you’re missing the best means of protecting your data. SaaS security is constantly being updated and upgraded. Free updates are delivered on a regular release cycle to protect customers from risks. MSP provides reliable and secure connectors for multiple sources and popular applications, now and in the future.
Plus, securely storing backups in geographically separate data centers creates an air gap between live data and the archive to improve security.
What is driving the popularity of SaaS data protection?
Evans: The main reason emerged during the pandemic, when getting into a place became problematic. Those with data protection that includes hardware have faced challenges in repairing and replacing boxes. Many organizations also do not want boxes on site because they are difficult to find due to supply chain issues. Additionally, devices are known magnets for ransomware.
SaaS overcomes these problems and more. MSPs are open to requests for data portability and have tools and services designed for today’s challenges. They can also perform services digitally, and distributors appreciate the value of made-for-channel SaaS delivered through online marketplaces.
Most SaaS applications now emphasize the need for separate backup. More and more people are realizing that just because you have Microsoft doesn’t mean you can’t be compromised. You may have an internal user who could destroy the data, or you may not have enough data saved. Backing up SaaS applications is now the fastest growing part of our business.
What should an MSP look for in a vendor besides good technical support?
Evans: Technology designed for MSPs should be partner-friendly from the start and include in-depth sales and marketing support. It should offer attractive margins with clear, transparent pricing so that MSPs can easily sell services.
The software must quickly scale data protection, and by the end of the first interaction, MSPs must be able to offer proof of concept by implementing backups and demonstrating fast recovery to close deals quickly.
Vendors must provide MSPs with the ability to buy everything they need from a single source, whether it’s securing Kubernetes environments, malware detection, backups, or data classification.
Also key is a single interface to remove the complexity of switching between different solutions and consoles. Plus, being able to see and manage data from a single interface saves valuable time.
The provider’s platform should be designed for multi-tenancy and provide a high-level view of the MSP’s own usage and customer consumption. It also requires a view of the type of data being protected and where it is located. The vendor should also have a history of using new advances, particularly AI for malware detection and removal, data classification and cyber attack prediction
How should a business assess supplier suitability?
Evans: Many vendors make bold claims that they have the best solution to market challenges. MSPs must consider first-hand feedback from their peers and adequately test solutions in the field.
Check out G2’s Top 20 Backup Software Top 20 lists ranking Online Backup software and other reviews supported by users. Focus on reports that are based on user satisfaction data and reviews. For example, Redstor ranked first with G2.
Also look for vendors that provide a clear roadmap for future developments that MSPs should be able to influence. Finally, MSPs should focus on intelligent solutions that provide simplified protection.