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Infrascale now offers fast, SSD-based appliances in its rebranded Infrascale Backup and Disaster Recovery disaster-recovery-as-a-service offering.
Formerly called Infrascale Disaster Recovery, the addition of SSD appliances to the Infrascale Backup and Disaster Recovery (IBDR) hardware lineup gives customers a high-performance option for their on-premises backup and recovery.
Infrascale claims customers can recover up to five times faster on the SSD devices compared with the vendor's previous HDD offerings, enabling smaller recovery time objectives (RTOs) for small-scale outages such as drive failures and accidental deletions.
IBDR consists of both an on-premises software and hardware component in its customers' data centers and a cloud component hosted in Infrascale's cloud. IBDR's cloud component protects customers from large-scale outages, such as from natural disasters and ransomware attacks. Alongside the hardware updates, Infrascale replaced its previous, per-terabyte pricing model with a new one based on how much compute and storage in the cloud the customer consumes.
Infrascale hosts its cloud using its own servers and data centers instead of a public cloud.
These changes resulted from how Infrascale customers' use cases have evolved, said Infrascale COO Brian Kuhn. Infrascale, like most vendors, regularly refreshes its hardware. IBDR's HDD offerings were previously good enough for Infrascale's mostly SMB and MSP audience, but demand for higher performance has recently risen. This prompted Infrascale to add SSD to its disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) product for the first time, Kuhn said.
"We refreshed that hardware line explicitly for the use cases we saw with our SMB customers," Kuhn said.
Infrascale partners with two hardware manufacturers but did not disclose the names or models of the hardware included in its IBDR product.
IBDR's core DRaaS functionality hasn't changed from its predecessor's. It captures image-based backups and stores them on premises as well as in the cloud, and Infrascale's proprietary technology makes all backups bootable like a full image. It protects Windows and Linux physical and virtual servers running off VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V and has a Boot Verification feature to provide assurance that backup images are recoverable.
Infrascale targets the SMB market and has some direct customers, but mostly sells its products through MSPs and VARs. It is most directly comparable to Datto and Arcserve, which recently merged with StorageCraft.
The idea of using high-performance storage as a backup target isn't new, but it is uncommon. In August 2020, Pure Storage and Cohesity partnered to release FlashRecover, which combined Cohesity's backup software with Pure's FlashBlade SSD-based file and object storage.
Krista MacomberSenior analyst, Evaluator Group
Typically, IT organizations want to use less expensive storage for secondary data, but there are cases where businesses will want to pay a premium for faster backup and recovery, said Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group. These would be for mass-scale recovery operations of critical systems where RTOs need to be kept as low as possible.
Normally, only enterprises are willing and able to pay for that level of performance. Infrascale's introduction of SSD hardware as backup targets might indicate growing interest among SMBs, Macomber said.
"Typically speaking, larger enterprises would have an easier time justifying the price premium, and smaller companies less so," Macomber said.
IBDR changed its pricing model to cater to its partners, Kuhn said, as SMBs typically consume IBDR through MSPs and VARs. This is unsurprising, as DR poses a cost barrier for SMBs, Macomber said. It's expensive to maintain a secondary physical site or an active standby cloud for failover, but getting them through an MSP can remove or reduce customers' upfront costs. Macomber pointed out that both Datto and Arcserve have extensive channel ecosystems, as MSPs are a typical route to SMB customers.