One backup and recovery vendor has found a way to stand out from the pack.

Asigra Inc., a Toronto-based company known for its distributed backup and recovery software for network computing, this week announced that its Televaulting software can be purchased not only directly through the company but also through a network of resellers.

More than 30 resellers so far have signed up to sell the Asigra Televaulting software either directly to their customers or as a storage utility, with pricing based on the amount of data being managed.

With this announcement, Asigra is targeting two markets for the software: IT service providers that deliver IT services such as Web hosting, disaster recovery or outsourcing to their customers; and medium or large businesses with three or more sites that want to function as their own service provider. Under the second scenario, an Asigra reseller would sell the software to the company under the Asigra name. Service providers that want to sell the software externally also can sell it under their own name, said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra.

Asigra Televaulting was designed specifically for service provisioning, Farajun said. The software has a multitiered billing system with room for the service provider itself as well as resellers, if the service provider’s model uses resellers. The company also licenses the software based on compressed capacity inside the data center, but doesn’t charge for software installed at remote sites. “We don’t care how many sites the customer has,” Farajun said.

The dual-distribution model is a great way to differentiate the software from others in its class, said Mike Fisch, director of storage and networking for The Clipper Group, a consultancy based in Wellesley, Mass.

“Asigra has a nice technology for solving the problem of distributed backup and restore, but lacks the broad market presence of a Veritas [Software Corp.] or [EMC Corp.’s] Legato. Asigra’s challenge is to ramp up sales and marketing, grow revenues, and seize the opportunity before them,” he said. “These new resellers give Asigra broader market coverage and make it easier for enterprise customers to purchase their solution.”

Asigra also can differentiate its offering on the technology itself. The software is agentless, meaning that Asigra installs one piece of software on a Windows or Linux box at a remote site, which travels across the network and backs up and collects data from every other machine on the network.

By virtue of being the only agentless backup and restore product in the market, demand will build itself, said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, of Beaverton, Ore.

“End users hate agents,” he said. “They have agents for backup, for replication, for storage resource management, for application management. With so many agents running on their servers, they don’t have any cycles left for applications.”

Asigra Televaulting also provides grid-based performance and capacity scaling and helps provide the accountability needed to comply with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Farajun said.

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