Asigra: Pay for what you recover, not what you back up

New approach by cloud backup and recovery service provider helps throttle costs as data volumes grow.

If you use any sort of cloud storage or archiving service, you're accustomed to being charged more as the data set that you are protecting or storing continues to expand. It just makes sense, right? Um, maybe for the vendor, but not for your company.

That's what you've been trained to think, but one cloud backup and recovery service provider, Asigra, plans to flip that model upside down.

The company has revised the pricing scheme for its Cloud Backup service, a policy it calls the Recovery License Model. Now, instead of paying for what they store, Asigra customers will pay based on what they recover. The amount charged is based on what Asigra calls a Recovery Performance Score that is calculated over a 12- month period (six months during the first year). The score represents the average amount of data that has been recovered during that period (not including the single largest recovery event!) The fees are capped so that customers never pay to recover more than 25 percent of their date, according to the company.

The company figures that businesses can save about 40 percent on their cloud backup costs in the short term, with a long-term savings potential of at least 60 percent. The chart below gives you an idea of how the new model works.

Asigra Price Chart - RLM


"Across the technology spectrum, more vendors are moving away from established pricing models to alternatives based on performance and overall value," said Asigra CEO David Farajun, in a statement about the new strategy. "The backup and recovery market now enters a new era to address the industry value proposition on data recovery ... not backup. The Asigra Recovery License Model introduces a very clear pricing differentiator based on recovery that provides both immediate and long-term value to the customer on a significant scale."

The company has collected comments from several respected technology consulting and research companies that support this position. Here's an example, from Colm Keegan, senior analyst with Storage Switzerland:

"There is an old cliche in IT circles -- people don't care about backup, they care about recovery. Legacy backup software licensing schemes based on the total capacity of data backed up, are placing an undue burden on data center environments trying to contend with the continuous onslaught of data growth. Teh Recovery License Model is a more forward-thinking approach as it directly ties the investment in data protection to recovery operations rather than the total amount of data backed up. Under this model, organizations only pay bsed on the frequency of recovery and what's more, through automated tracking technology, insights may be gleaned to help organizations reduce the rate at which recovery operations are performed -- resulting in still lower costs." 

Asigra, which has been around since 1986 in one form or another, is one of the service providers that provides backup services for the data that your company is storing on premises but also in cloud-hosted applications. This week, the company added cloud-to-cloud backup support for Google Apps to Asigra Cloud Backup version 12.2; various flavors of its services already support Salesforce and IBM SmartCloud applications, among others.

Given the nature of Asigra's new pricing model, I can't just point you to its standard pricing list. And it's clear that there will be economies of scale: if your company is really small, this might be more trouble than it's worth. On the other hand, if your business is expecting rapid growth, it might be worthwhile to put this protection model in place before things get out of hand.