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Company’s Profile: Asigra

Family affair in backup software since 1986
By François Alexandre Colombani on 2015.07.07

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Company
Asigra, Inc. (name comes from Spanish asegurar, meaning to assure)

HQs
Toronto, ONT, Canada

Date founded
1986

History
In the 1980s, David Farajun invented an OS called "If then Else" for programmable logical controller, computers that managed robots for industrial production. When developing the second edition of this OS with microcomputers, his HDD died. He then was looking for a solution to recover his lost data, went to see other PC users and asked: "What do you do when you lose the data?" and the answer to his question was: "We remake the data." And he said: "No, that's not a serious solution." The industrial company was then forced to close because it wasn't able to recover the lost data.

Consequently was the birth of Asigra, where Farajun designed a software for backup and recovery, and also being the first company, he said: "to transmit the data through telephone communication line."

Financial funding
The private business was founded by David Farajun and he is the only owner of the firm. Investors and other companies offered to acquire Asigra, he said, but he refused all the proposals.

Revenue
Eran Farajun, son of David, comments: "In Europe, these things are disclosed openly. In North America, they're not. A private company is a private company, we don't disclose our revenue. But for example, we have been on the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for a number of years, four or five years, and you have to be a certain revenue size to be there, so already five years ago we were there, and to be there, you need a minimum revenue of $ 35 million. And the business is still growing."

Main executives

  • farajun davidDavid Farajun, founder, director, president and CEO, is responsible for the technology directions as well as leading the R&D. Pioneer in cloud backup, he has been innovating in the managed backup space for three decades. He is credited with creating advancements such as agentless software deployment, unified backup and recovery for physical and virtual environments, de-dupe and service provider features such as integrated billing and SLA management. His other son, Omry, is president of Storage Guardian, an Asigra's distributor.
  • farajun eranEran Farajun, executive VP since 1996, is responsible for the company's expansion, overseeing sales, marketing, business development and long-term strategic activities. Additionally, he oversees relationships with Asigra's technology and channel partners.

 

  • Tracy Staniland, VP corporate marketing, leads a team of marketing communications and product marketing professionals.
  • Stephen Lee, VP technical support and services

Number of employees
110

Product description
Asigra Cloud Backup, now in V13, is an enterprise data protection software solution that provides an integrated approach including VM replication. It allows to securely protect all sources and types of corporate data in the cloud or on-premise, for everything from mobile devices to data centers.

Components are:
o DS-Client: Data aggregator software that collects all the data for backup at the source and sends them to the off-site repository after de-dupe, compression and encryption. It is agentless, therefore, just one copy of the software is sufficient to backup all the data on a single network. This DS-Client software is free.

There are various versions of the DS-Client for different platforms and use cases:

  • Full-Featured DS-Client allows the full set of backup and recovery operations available in the software. Separate versions of this software are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  • DS-Mobile Client for the backup and recovery of standalone Windows laptops.
  • DS-Consumer Client for the backup and recovery of standalone Windows desktops.
  • DS-Notebook Client for the backup and recovery of standalone Mac laptops and desktops.
  • DS-Client applications for smartphones and tablets. Separate versions are available for iOS and Android.

o DS-System is the storage vault that receives all the backup data from various DS-Clients and stores them in the backup repository at a remote off-site data center.

o Backup Lifecycle Management: Helps reduce the software cost of protecting less critical data by moving them to an archival repository.

o Cloud License Server: Helps manage, monitor, and modify license capacities all across the various Asigra components within the environment. This includes managing and provisioning capacity, expiration dates, notifications, and managing license capacities across physical or virtual server, the geographic locations in which they are located, or the software and hardware configurations that they are running on.

Pricing model

  • Capacity-Based License based on data stored
  • Recovery License Model based on data recovered
     

asigra priceThe Recovery License Model is based on a lower cost, assuming the adaptation of this model can guarantee 40% or more in savings as a result of separating backup cost and recovery costs, prioritizing recovery costs over backup costs. The firm provides a Recovery Tracker that generates a statistical analysis of the backup and recovery per year with the details and main reasons of why those recoveries were made.

Roadmap
Asigra decided to enter into hardware. Released on June 16, 2015 and shipping in August, new converged data protection appliances for MSPs, from 1U to 4U based on Supermicro servers, are offered with 1TB of free cloud backup storage, and with usable storage capacity of 9.6TB to 96TB. Pricing starts at $5,000 or $0.01 per GB/month over a three-year amortization period.

asigra appliances

Other features:

  • Data protection for all data sources, regardless of platform, including virtual and physical servers, databases, Docker containers, desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, MS Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
  • Easy deployment. Service up and running in minutes.
  • Black box solution. Everything can be done from the included web console.
  • Built from open system components including FreeBSD and ZFS.
  • Single integrated, multi-tenant solution - viewing and administering protection across all the data sources from the same GUI.
  •  of the software stack from the 24x7 global support team; 3-year manufacturer's warranty on the hardware.

AWS Snapshot Manager in 3Q13: A tool offered for free to automate and manage snapshots in AWS.

Cloud Backup V13.1 in 4Q15: this version will support Windows 10, VMware 6, Oracle 12c, Android 5, Oracle Linux, RedHat Cent OS 7, Suse Enterprise 12 and Azure SQL. Another addition will be incremental virtualization, a Hyper-V equivalent, with file level restore, VMware continuous replication and physical to virtual conversion.

Cloud Backup V13.2 in 2Q16: It will have virtualization with KVM on Linux, archive in native format, data stored on tape in native format, telemetry with improved dashboard and analytics.

Cloud Backup V14 in 4Q16: adding archive in native format with or without DS-Client

Type of partners/customers
Telecom companies, BC, DR companies, VARs and system integrators

Partners, customers and distributors
Include Kordia, Phoenix, Pulsant, Longview, NTT, Verizon, Vistustream, HP, Oracle, Datev, A1 telecom, Fastweb, Zycko, Weston, GlobalMicro, Datacom, Frond, LiveBackup, Vaits and ITC Infotech

Number of partners/distributors
More than 750 in America, EMEA, Asia and Australia, with a goal of 1,000 for the end of 2015

End customers
100,000 end consumers through partners

Main competitors including

  • In protecting backup and recovery data that sits on mobile devices: Druva
  • In servers, data center space and enterprise applications: Symantec, CommVault, EMC Avamar
  • In virtualization: Acronis, EMC Avamar, CommVault, Unitrends, Seagate's EVault, Veeam, Vembu

Our Comments

The growth of Asigra is limited by the fact that all the company relies on one man, founder, president and CEO David Farajun. Moreover he always refused new investors in the firm that could expand Asigra, and, of course, any IPO, as he wants to be the only boss in his family affair.

Big customers are reluctant to deal with privately-held firms that do not disclosed regularly their financial results like public companies obliged to do it.

Neverteless, the Canadian company continues apparently to grew even if no financial figures were revealed. Asigra was born in 1986. Per comparison, CommVault, founded in 1988, also in backup software, after receiving $75 million in financial funding and $161 million following a successful IPO in 2006, is now a $600 million+ company. Asigra is far from that with 20 times less employees, and also far from other giants like EMC, HP, IBM and Symantec in the same business.

Also it will not be easy for Asigra to follow a lot of new technologies currently arriving around backup and to compete with aggressive young start-ups.

In the storage industry, there are other old firms that never wanted or could not be public. They include DDN (born in 1988), DataCore (1998), Unitrends (1989) and X-IO (1995).

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