In the latest move to continually increase choice and flexibility to its customers and service partners, this week Acronis announced a new strategic partnership with Microsoft for deeper integration of Acronis’ data protection products with Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. The partnership will provide expanded access to the public cloud platform, giving customers another option for their backup storage and disaster recovery.
As a result of the partnership, customers and service providers will be able to store their data or clients’ data in the Azure cloud more easily. That’s because Azure will be available as a possible storage destination in future versions of Acronis products, appearing alongside our own secure Acronis Cloud and other public cloud vendors.
The partnership expands the capabilities Acronis already delivers to those who rely on Azure.
More support for Microsoft
For some time now, Acronis products have offered total data protection for all Microsoft workloads – from workstations to servers to applications and mobile devices – as well as backup for Microsoft Azure workloads through Acronis Backup and Acronis Backup Cloud. These solutions allowed customers, resellers and service providers to leverage the full power of Microsoft’s technology stack.
And while Acronis partners and customers could already use Azure for storing data, it required manual installation and configuration of the Acronis Backup Gateway.
This new partnership was pursued based on customer and partner requests to provide native integration of Acronis solutions with Azure services.
Native integration with Azure
There’s a definite benefit offered by this native integration that will help many of those who rely on Acronis’ data protection solutions. Integration with Azure will make Azure-based services more attractive to customers while helping Microsoft partners drive additional revenue.
Service providers will be able to complement their Azure-based product offerings with Acronis’ easy and efficient data protection solutions, which already include Acronis Active Protection, our unique artificial intelligence-based anti-ransomware defense. Together with Acronis, they will be able to drive more Azure usage and generate additional revenue by upselling data protection services to existing clients and using Acronis’ complete data protection as a differentiator in the crowded market space.
“A lot of products that we build deliver value to clients using Microsoft technology,” said Acronis President John Zanni. “With easy, reliable and efficient backup and built-in security in the form of active protection against ransomware, our clients enjoy complete protection of their data. Adding Azure as a native storage destination increases their options, making Acronis solutions even more attractive to use. For any organization that has built their strategy on Microsoft, this is great news.”
Partnering beyond integration
It’s worth noting that Acronis’ partnership with Microsoft will also extend beyond Azure integration. The two companies plan to join forces to extend the artificial intelligence (AI) functionality of Acronis Active Protection, which successfully prevented more than 200,000 ransomware attacks during the past year.
The partnership has already inspired joint research, discussing applications of Hierarchical Attention Neural Network for sequence classification to detect malware without executing the malware code, as published in the Microsoft Developer Blog.
“Microsoft has invested decades of research into artificial intelligence including; cognitive services, conversational AI, Machine Learning tools and more….and has built the global cloud platform to help our customers make use of these powerful AI technologies. By using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and AI Tools/Services with the Acronis Backup service, Acronis will be able to work on bringing valuable analytics services to market, so their customers can understand and manage their data much more effectively,” commented Steve Guggenheimer, Vice President of Business AI at Microsoft.
The partnership with Microsoft is part of Acronis’ overall strategy to support all workloads, delivering safety, security, accessibility, privacy and authenticity for data stored in local, cloud and hybrid environments.