Asigra

August 25, 2014 1 By Eric Shanks

asigra-logo  I got a chance to get a first hand look at Asigra at the Tech Field Day Extra sessions on the Monday of VMworld 2014.  I went into the sessions thinking that his was just another backup company, but found that they have a very robust suite of backups and they’ve been around for a very long time.

Asigra handles, Cloud Platform apps such as Office365, Salesforce, Google, storage array integration, vSphere snapshot integration, file level backups and the list went on.

Architecture

The architecture consists of three separate pieces.

  • License Server which is a secure offsite server so it can manage multiple different types of clouds.
  • The DS System houses the backups and is in the secure offsite location.
  • DS Client sits behind the firewall and communicates to the DS System.  It is responsible for grabbing the data, dedupe, compression and encryption which then sends to the DS System.

One of the cool things I found about this product was that you could have a DS Client at your production site, and another at your DR Site, the DR Site client can grab the data from the DS System on an on-going basis sort of like replication.  Let me explain, with replication, you have Prod Site –> DR Site.  With Asigra, you’ll have Prod Site –> DS System (in the cloud) –> DR Site.  This means that you could have your VMs backed up to the cloud, and then replicated all with a single policy.  This makes a backup administrators job much easier since he can manage replication, and backups all in a single pane of glass.  Couple this with the fact that Asigra can backup more than just virtual machines, this becomes a pretty powerful tool.

Secure File Level Recovery for VMs

This is all secret sauce and I wasn’t able to get a great answer for this due to patents filed on the software, but Asigra claims they are capable of doing a file level restore from a virtual machine disk file without mounting the VM, decrypting the files, uncompressing the files and then sending the packets back to your recovery system.  This makes recovery VERY fast in comparison and doesn’t require additional space to mount the image just long enough to grab the required files.  I was told that this “Secret Sauce” is in the process of being filed for patent so no more information could be given, but they can just resend required packets to restore the file, without mounting the image first.  VERY COOL (if backups were cool) but I would love to see more about how this actually works.

Licensing Models

You first will have to pay a price for the storage space for the GB.  This is not uncommon, and should almost be expected at this point, but the price per GB is pretty low.  There is then an additional cost for recovery and it’s based on a sliding scale.  If you have to recover a lot of data, you’ll be charged a higher rate per GB, whereas if you’ve really gotten your processes in place to prevent accidental deletions, etc then you’ll pay a smaller price per GB.  This is kind of reverse wholesale, where the less you use it, the cheaper it is per GB.   When I say “a lot” of date, this is based on a % of the data that you’ve backed up.  Example, recovering 50% of your data is going to cost you much more per GB than recovering 5% of your data.

Asigra also allows you to to schedule your tests ahead of time without incurring a charge for the recovery in that price per GB that we mentioned.

If you’d like to read more about Asigra licensing, please check out.  http://www.asigra.com/solutions/recovery-license-model

 

Summary

I know that backups aren’t something COOL that everyone wants to talk about but Asigra seemed to have a pretty cool solution despite this fact.  If you want to learn more, I invite you to check out their site and if you’re looking for a new solution and Asigra looks like the answer, check for one of the partners.