|At last StorageCraft have taken on board your input about the need to price this lower – the cost of the IT edition where resellers buy it for internal, NFR use has dropped by a third. This ShadowProtect-on-a-Stick solution to image machines on a one-off basis was $1980 plus GST for a one-year subscription and it is now $1320 plus GST, with immediate effect. The end-user pricing is unchanged.StorageCraft Cloud Services
StorageCraft Australia have recently implemented a cloud-based environment in which customers can store ShadowProtect image files. You may have previously been aware of this as an MSP-only offering but they have now also made it available as a service you can sell to individual customers, purchased via distribution.
There are three levels of service: Basic which is store only, Plus which adds the ability to recover individual files, and Premium which includes the ability for a customer to stand up their images as a server in the cloud in the event of disaster while their own infrastructure is rebuilt. There is no immediate plan for a New Zealand data centre.
Each customer gets their own individual login to StorageCraft Cloud Services, which they can manage themselves or you can run on their behalf.
StorageCraft Cloud Services is priced per gigabyte of data being stored, and everything is priced in Australian dollars. For up to 1TB of data the price is AUD 0.66 per gigabyte for basic service, AUD 0.84 per gigabyte for Plus service and AUD 1.08 per gigabyte for Premium service. To enable one of your customers to use StorageCraft Cloud Services you sell them “cloud credits” that they can then spend in the cloud. All of the services are priced on the cloud in Australian dollars but we sell it to you in New Zealand dollars. For an RRP of NZ $275 plus GST your customer gets AUD 250 of cloud credits, or for RRP $1100 plus GST they get AUD 1000 in cloud credits. StorageCraft then deduct from that credit as services and storage are consumed. If a customer has Premium service they pay AUD 10 per month if they want a static IP address allocated for use in the event of disaster. Customers wanting to send their base load to the data centre rather than uploading gigabytes of data are charged AUD 120 for a seed drive service but there is no drive charge in the event of disaster and they want the backup set returned on a hard drive; there is a charge of AUD 370 if they just want to test the process of getting their data back on a hard drive.
To give a simple worked example of the likely costing, a customer with three servers and an average of 50GB of backup per server will use AUD 120 of their credit for the initial seeding to the StorageCraft cloud, then AUD 99 per month for storage. If they choose the Plus service this goes up to level this AUD 126 per month, while for Premium service with three IP addresses reserved, the total charge would be AUD 192 per month.
Because StorageCraft Cloud Services is optimised for use with ShadowProtect, customer backups hosted in the StorageCraft Cloud need to be created with ShadowProtect and customers will need StorageCraft ImageManager IntelligentFTP licensing to transfer the ongoing backups into the cloud. StorageCraft have created special licensing bundles of ShadowProtect physical and virtual server licenses with IntelligentFTP licenses and StorageCraft Cloud Services credits to help get customers started in the cloud.
Cloud space usage will initially be the same as the space needed in the customer’s existing image repository but this will grow as more recovery points are sent to the cloud. The reseller or customer should use the retention policies in StorageCraft ImageManager and in the cloud portal to control backup retention through image consolidation and thereby manage how much storage they will be paying for in the cloud – the more granular level of backups should be stored at the local level, with only the latest backups being available in the Cloud. Lowering the retention of what is kept in the cloud will have a large effect on the space used. Another important factor in how much storage space will be used is that StorageCraft Cloud images (recovery points) are not compressed. A real-world example in the StorageCraft support knowledgebase discusses this in the context of a server with a backup set sized at 300GB using 520GB in the cloud –
To minimise the volume of internet data it is recommended that customers use the continuous incremental method of backup (one base image then incrementals forever).
Link to a StorageCraft Cloud data sheet:
Webinars: StorageCraft have a webinar demonstrating the cloud recovery feature and answering questions on StorageCraft Cloud Services at 12 noon Tuesday 25 March and Thursday 27 March:
Reminder about SOS
This update would not be complete without reminding you that here at Soft Solutions we offer our own New Zealand-hosted cloud storage for ShadowProtect backups that uses mirrored storage in a tier 1 data centre. This has a dealer buy of $200 plus GST per month for the first 500 gigabytes of storage and you can host backups for multiple end users, and non-ShadowProtect files, within that store. We do not offer the ability to recover individual files, and getting a customer’s ShadowProtect backup running in our data centre as a cloud server takes more than the console-based menu options of the StorageCraft solution but it can be done. Image consolidation is a standard feature.