CRN Exclusive: Continuum Unveils Low-Cost Backup Offering Running on Amazon Glacier

Continuum has rolled out a low-cost backup and restore option to MSPs that service smaller, price-sensitive customers or larger clients with stringent regulatory or compliance requirements.

The Boston-based IT management platform provider said its Archive offering costs just one-fourth the price of a traditional high-availability backup tool, according to Fielder Hiss, Continuum's vice president of product. Customers using Continuum Archive will have their backups stored in Amazon Glacier, Hiss said, and will be able to access the data within 24 to 48 hours of submitting a request.

"Having data available in the highly-available cloud is not the cheapest mode of storage," Hiss told CRN. "We've really broken a barrier here."

[Related: Thoma Bravo Buys Continuum, Plans To Help Drive Security Acquisition Spree]

Hiss said Archive is available only to customers using Continuity247, Continuum's managed backup and disaster recovery platform. The base price for Continuity247 – which provides local, on-site backups – is $40 per month, and Archive can be procured for an additional $10 per month, Hiss said.

A majority of Continuum's existing Continuity247 are expected to be offering Archive within the next year to expand their footprint with end customers, Hiss projected.

A traditional, high-availability backup tool allows users to recover information within a couple of hours, Hiss said. Recovering information on Archive would take one to two days depending on bandwidth and server size, Hiss said, since the information is copied into and out of the cloud rather than being virtualized.

Hiss sees two common use cases for Archive. One, Hess said, is around customers in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services who are often required to store multiple years of data for auditing purposes.

These customers need to archive massive amount of data, Hiss said, but don't need to have it highly-available since they'd know days or even weeks in advance when they're facing an audit.        

The more common use case, Hiss said, will be smaller customers that can't afford the expensive, off-site disaster recovery options available today and are willing to wait a day or two to recover core data. Archive will unlock inexpensive off-site backup to these price-sensitive customers for the first time, Hiss said.

MSPs with their own data center can opt out of using Amazon Glacier and store the backups in their own cloud environment, Hiss said. But Hiss expects most MSPs will opt to use Glacier since they don't have their own data center today.

Continuum's primary goal around Archive is getting MSP and their customers to adopt the offering, Hiss said, and gaining traction and success with them. From there, Hiss said Continuum plans to keep tabs on early adopters of Archive and measure their satisfaction with Archive as it relates to onboarding, deployment, and enhancements and updates to the product.  

Adding Archive should accelerate adoption of MSP adoption of Continuity247 since the vendor will be offering a broader stack and backup and disaster recovery offerings, Hiss said. Continuum isn't disclosing the number of Continuity247 customers it currently has, but Hiss said not all of the company's existing MSP customers using Continuity today.

Many MSPs instead partner with Continuum today around remote monitoring and management (RMM) or security. Hiss said Continuum's breadth of offerings covering an MSPs entire customer base is its differentiator in the backup space, with the vendor capable of providing everything from local backup to a holistic, high-availability, full-site backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution.

Continuum can also fully manage a channel partner's BDR offering through its network operations center, according to Hiss.

Adding Archive onto the existing Continuity247 platform will allow MySherpa to manage its clients BDR services from a single pane of glass, according to President Sherpa Ethan Tancredi. Tancredi said it's critical that the Wilmington, Del.-based Continuum partner be able to provide its customers with a multitude of BDR options since there's no one-size-fits-all approach to the area.

"Archive enables us to offer a reliable, automated, offline archive solution at a low price point, giving our clients access to the public cloud when it makes sense," Tancredi said in a statement. 

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