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The Top Five Reasons Why Service Providers Choose Acronis Cyber Cloud Over StorageCraft

If you are a managed service provider (MSP) or an IT solutions reseller reading this article, then you are likely researching new data protection and disaster recovery solutions to enhance your client offerings. You are either considering both Acronis and StorageCraft, or you’re already using StorageCraft and looking for alternatives.

Note: This comparison is based on publicly available information about StorageCraft product features as of April 2020.

 

AcronisCyber Cloud

This article offers an overview of how StorageCraft and Acronis compare and why service providers choose to work with Acronis for backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Let’s start by taking a look at the solutions each vendor offers for data protection and disaster recovery. Then we’ll share the key advantages Acronis offers its partners when compared to StorageCraft.

Contents

Solution overviews

StorageCraft

StorageCraft is a well-known vendor that offers server backup and disaster recovery software.

For local backups of servers and virtual machines (VMs), StorageCraft offers two solutions:

  • ShadowXafe – software that’s installed in the client’s data center
  • OneXafe – a local backup appliance

Both solutions integrate with StorageCraft Cloud Services in order to replicate local backups to the cloud and enable disaster recovery to the cloud.

For file-level, local-to-cloud backups of Windows workstations and laptops, they offer StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery.

For Office 365 and G Suite backup, StorageCraft offers a separate solution that’s not integrated with on-premises products: StorageCraft Cloud Backup.


ShadowXafe's dashboard. Source.

As you can see, StorageCraft has distinct tools to protect server infrastructure, employee Windows machines, Office 365 and G Suite. This means that there is no single-pane-of-glass protection for the whole client environment, a noteworthy limitation.

Acronis

For service providers (SPs), Acronis developed Acronis Cyber Cloud, a cloud-based platform that offers a suite of integrated cyber protection services, spanning backup, disaster recovery, malware and ransomware protection, plus other capabilities.

When it comes to data protection and disaster recovery, the Acronis Cyber Cloud platform offers the following services:

  • Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud – the number one hybrid cloud BaaS for any virtual, physical and cloud environment, with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) -based ransomware protection
  • Acronis Cyber Disaster Recovery Cloud – turn-key DRaaS for virtual and physical workloads, built on top of Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud
  • Acronis Cyber Infrastructure – a brandable, scale-out, cost-efficient and multi-purpose software-defined storage (SDS) solution for the edge

Additionally, service providers can easily upgrade data protection and disaster recovery services to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, a groundbreaking new service that offers the only AI-powered integration of data protection and cybersecurity on the market today.


Acronis Cyber Cloud dashboard

Five reasons service providers choose Acronis Cyber Cloud over StorageCraft

Acronis Cyber Cloud offers support for all small-to-medium business (SMB) devices and applications via a single console; the best level of security on the market; better deployment, backup, and licensing flexibility; much greater efficiency when it comes to a service provider’s daily operations and larger business needs; plus reliable and fast backup and recovery. Here’s a more detailed look at these five key advantages.

Minimal solution juggling – all SMB devices and applications can be protected from a single pane of glass

Service providers (SPs) are looking for a unified data protection solution for all SMB devices, enabling them to deliver services more efficiently and increase ARPUs. Unfortunately, StorageCraft has separate – not integrated – tools for server infrastructure, Windows workstations, and for Microsoft 365 and G Suite. It lacks support for cloud VMs, Mac machines, mobile devices, some virtualization platforms, and business applications. Meanwhile, using multiple backup solutions hinders SP efficiency and adds administrative overhead – especially for the numerous service providers who cater to SMBs (rather than enterprises).

In comparison, Acronis not only protects numerous systems, but also empowers SPs to manage all of them through a single pane of glass. Supported systems include:

  • Workstations: Windows, Mac
  • Physical servers: Windows, Linux
  • Hypervisors and VMs: VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Virtuozzo, Citrix XenServer, Linux KVM, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Oracle VM Server, Nutanix Acropolis
  • IaaS: Azure VMs, AWS EC2 VMs
  • SaaS: Office 365, G Suite
  • Applications: Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Active Directory, Oracle Database, SAP HANA
  • Mobile devices: iOS, Android

Integrated cybersecurity defenses – next-generation, full-stack protection against modern threats like malware

StorageCraft does not have malware and ransomware protection built into its products. With cyberthreats emerging as the fastest-growing threat to data today, service providers need a reliable, effective way to safeguard data. With Acronis’ cyber protection capabilities – an approach that combines robust backup with proactive, AI-based anti-malware technologies – service providers can deliver the level of protection that clients require today.

Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud offers the most secure data protection on the market:

  • AI-based ransomware protection with Acronis Active Protection:
    • A set of machine learning-based techniques detect known and unknown ransomware strains, with models trained continuously in Acronis Cloud AI infrastructure
    • Automatic stopping of ransomware processes upon detection
    • Self-defense mechanisms prevent backup-file modification and disruption of Acronis software processes
    • Automatic file restore – all encrypted files are automatically restored from cache should ransomware manage to get through the defense
  • Data authenticity is ensured via automatic blockchain-based backup file notarization

When upgrading to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, service providers and their clients get even more in terms of cybersecurity:

•  AI-based anti-malware protection of systems

•  Anti-malware scanning of backups

•  Data protection maps and compliance reporting

•  Unified policies for data protection and cybersecurity

•  Patch management

•  Automatic endpoint backups before patching

•  Windows Defender Antivirus and Microsoft Security Essentials management

•  Forensic data backup

•  URL filtering

Enhanced sales – SPs control their go-to-market efforts, boosting their ability to win more deals with better deployment, backup, and licensing flexibility

Let’s take each specific capability in turn.

Flexible deployment

StorageCraft offers very limited deployment options, either leveraging on-premises software or an appliance located at each client’s site, which only allows replication to StorageCraft’s cloud or to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With Acronis Cyber Cloud, SPs control their data-protection system deployment with diverse options:

  • Acronis-hosted – turn-key SaaS, with all components ready to use in the Acronis Cloud
  • Hybrid – SPs can choose the cloud storage that makes sense for their clients, whether in public clouds like AWS, Google or Azure, the SP’s own data center or any third-party data center
  • Service provider-hosted – a private cloud deployment option for SPs that host the system in their own data center

Note: Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in all models listed above. However, there are some functionality limitations in the Hybrid model. Meanwhile, Acronis Cyber Disaster Recovery Cloud is currently available via the Acronis-hosted and service provider-hosted models, with the Hybrid deployment option coming in future editions. Users should ask a representative for clarification based on their individual use-case.

Flexible backups

With StorageCraft, SPs have to make a local backup first; then they can replicate this backup to the cloud. This means that with StorageCraft, users lack direct-to-cloud backup. On the other hand, Acronis partners stay in control, backing up as desired via:

  • Local backups, with replication to any cloud
  • Local backups, with replication to any secondary local storage
  • Cloud-only backups
  • Cloud-to-cloud backups
  • Cloud-to-local backups

Flexible (and simple) licensing

Customer use-cases and selling models can vary tremendously. That’s why it’s critical for a SP or reseller to choose their preferred licensing model, based on the advantages that make the most sense for their business. Acronis offers:

  • Per-GB or per-device licensing
  • Consumption-based/Pay-as-you-go or pre-paid models
  • A single billing structure for all services and features (rather than SPs paying for multiple features and products)

Superior SP operational efficiency and service differentiation

Operational efficiency will always be a key priority for service provider businesses: ideal solutions minimize on-going maintenance and usage costs, not to mention everyday management, startup and proof of concept (PoC) costs. SPs should also have the ability to customize, extend and brand the vendors’ solutions. 

As opposed to StorageCraft, Acronis supports service providers with:

  • Additional RMM and PSA integrations, including: ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Control, and SolarWinds MSP (coming soon), in addition to Autotask, ConnectWise Automate, and Kaseya
  • Hosting control panels and billing system integrations: cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS, HostBill
  • Marketplace-provider integrations: CloudBlue, AppDirect
  • Multiple services ready for delivery via a single portal: Acronis enables easy up-sell/cross-sell and seamless switching between solutions with just a single sign-on
  • Modern, intuitive web-based portal: Beloved by partners for its ease of use, Acronis Cyber Cloud makes bulk task management seamless
  • Reseller management capability: SPs can turn themselves into value-added resellers, allowing them to sell beyond their traditional end-client market
  • White-labeling: SPs can stand out from the competition with flexible options
  • APIs: Acronis Cyber Cloud supports custom integrations
  • Software in 25 languages: Acronis offers user-based settings and easy switching between languages

Reliable and fast backup and recovery

You may have seen that some service providers chose Acronis over StorageCraft because of backup and reliability issues. While you’ll have to conduct PoC tests yourself to see if this proves true for you too, it’s helpful to know that Acronis uses top-notch archiving technology – the result of 15 years of ongoing research and innovation – to ensure reliable, high-speed backups. This approach allows users to:

  • Avoid corruption of backup files, even in case of power failure
  • Resume/stop backup jobs any time, so backups continue from the latest point – even if the machine is restarted
  • Back up systems and files quickly – up to two times faster than the closest competitor

In addition, Acronis Universal Restore provides another built-in technology for quick and reliable recovery. It allows users to swiftly recover Windows and Linux systems to bare-metal while reducing recovery-related costs. It does so by detecting the machine type and auto-installing appropriate drivers for the hardware, thereby removing incompatibility issues.

Do I need a local backup appliance?

Acronis plans to release a local backup appliance in late 2020. Even without the appliance, however, you can use Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud to cover the same data protection needs by:

• Using it as a middle ground, leveraging third-party virtualization software and hardware as well as Acronis Instant Restore to run VMs directly from backups in seconds

• Leveraging the Acronis Cyber Infrastructure Appliance, a ready-to-use solution that integrates proven and tested hardware and software in one easy to install and operate unit. You can instantly deploy it as backup storage for Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud and use it as shared storage for general needs like documents, graphics and video files.

Rising above the competition

As a channel-focused company, Acronis is serious about partner success. Those partners who registered with Acronis’ Partner Program reported selling one and a half times more than those who didn’t. That’s because Acronis gives partners a dedicated account manager; year-round, round-the-clock priority support; direct access to its senior management team; and key sales and marketing tools and resources via its award-winning Partner Program – including product materials, regular webinars, laudable technical and sales trainings and certifications, plus pre- and post- sales support, and more.

If you are looking to increase profitability by consolidating your day-to-day operations and support for all popular modern workloads, Acronis Cyber Cloud can help. The made-for-SP platform offers an easy, efficient, secure solution that also addresses modern client needs. This means service providers can leverage just one tool to go beyond traditional BaaS and DRaaS offerings, stand out from the competition, and deliver the level of protection that’s needed today: cyber protection.

For more insight, find service provider solution reviews on sites like G2 and Gartner Peer Insights.

Best Enterprise Data Center Recovery and Backup Software of 2018Best Disaster Recovery as a Service of 2019Best SaaS Backup Software by G2

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