3 Ways Datacastle Helps Microsoft Azure Partners Grow


Recent data from IDC data shows that partners that generate more the 50% of their revenue from the cloud are fundamentally changing their business versus traditional resellers:

  • 1.6X more recurring revenue than other partners
  • 1.5X the gross profit % vs. their less cloud active peers
  • 1.3X higher new customer ratio vs. other partners
  • 43.1% cloud revenue coming from new customers

Datacastle RED on Microsoft Azure provides concrete advantages to partners as they grow out their cloud business.  3 key advantages for Microsoft partners looking to get started in cloud services on Microsoft Azure:

  1. New cloud sales organizations need solutions that they understand and are easy to communicate the benefits of the service to the customer.  Datacastle RED provides a concrete value proposition that is easy for everyone to understand. Endpoint backup and protection is addressed by only 8% of corporate IT market today. Many companies have a complete gap in endpoint data protection, or a legacy desktop backup services that doesn’t meet the needs of their growing laptop population with sensitive company data traveling across the globe. This is an easy discussion for your sales team to have with your existing customers or new customers that you are targeting.
  2. Rapid deployment is critical for cloud partners to have satisfied customers.  Datacastle RED’s centrally managed policies leverage Active Directory and LDAP to silently deploy to customers of all sizes in days. Getting customers successfully using the service improves stickiness, ensures long-term recurring revenues, and let’s you continue on selling versus deploying cloud services.
  3. Reselling Datacastle RED on Microsoft Azure helps partners fulfill new Cloud Platform Competency requirements. Microsoft is rolling out new cloud competencies that provide numerous sales, marketing and support benefits for their Silver and Gold partners. To become a Silver or Gold Cloud Platform Competency partner you must meet minimum Azure consumption performance targets. Datacastle RED can help you become a certified partner via a single customer!  Combine Datacastle RED with Microsoft’s StorSimple service to offer a complete package for server and endpoint protection to rapidly grow your revenues and benefit from Microsoft’s new cloud programs.

Contact us today at www.datacastlered.com so we can help you get started in growing your cloud services business.

4 Keys for Rapid Time to Protection

Time to Value

Time to Protection = Time to Value

In the world of backup and recovery there is a great deal of focus on recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO). Another measurement that is increasing in importance is Time to Protection. From the point that you decide that you need to protect the sensitive data on your laptops, desktops, and tablets how quickly can you make that a reality? Often times, the larger the organization, the harder it is to experience the value from rapid protection. Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind:

- How quickly can you deploy a solution from the time that you decide to protect your laptops, desktops, and high end tablets? This will often be driven by how easy it is to deploy an endpoint data protection solution using your existing IT infrastructure such as Active Directory/LDAP, Single Sign-on (SAML v2), and silent deployment via tools like SCCM or KACE.

- How quickly can you perform the initial backup? Do you have a hybrid cloud strategy that allows LAN-based speeds for backing up devices first, then WAN-based techniques for getting the data to the cloud? Are you using local caches to protect the data immediately on the endpoint? Using local caches and hybrid cloud techniques can dramatically improve time to protection.

- How quickly can you get the data to the cloud vault? WAN optimization is key here as well as the ability to perform seeding. Global data deduplication starting at the source can dramatically cut down the amount of data that need to be moved across the WAN and thus cut down on the amount of time required to move data to the offsite or cloud vault.

- Is the solution friction-free for end users? One of the surest ways to slow down a deployment is getting lots of feedback from end users if there is friction related with the deployment (asking users to do something, slowing down their laptop, slowing down their network connection, etc…). Enterprise endpoint backup solutions need to run in the background and not draw attention to themselves – especially during deployment.

Datacastle is considered best-in-class when it comes to rapid time to value for enterprise customers. To learn more our hybrid cloud and enterprise integration capabilities, contact us at www.datacastlered.com .

Hard Drive Failures & eDiscovery

Hard Drive Failures & eDiscovery

The Datacastle team is very excited to be making its way to Washington D.C. in the next couple of weeks to join our Microsoft Azure partners at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). As we head to our nation’s capital, we couldn’t help but notice that the need for modernized laptop backup has never been greater. Recent incidents at the IRS and EPA point to the need to modernize the way laptops are being backed up.

While the most common motivation for laptop, tablet, and desktop backup has to do with disaster recovery there is also another important reason that large enterprises and institutions know all too well – eDiscovery. Consumer-based online backup solutions don’t meet the requirements associated with laptop backup for eDiscovery use cases. Enterprises and institutions need an endpoint backup solution with the following capabilities:

  • Legal hold: be able to retain and secure the laptop data for the duration of the investigation
  • Centralized policy management: IT needs to be able to enforce the company’s policy for backup and not leave it to employee behavior
  • Search: be able to find the “needle in the haystack” when you are backing up a large organization’s endpoint data
  • Admin recovery: While users need to be able to self-recover files, administrators need to be able to collect the data for investigations
  • Audit: be able to know who recovered what files and when
  • Encryption & Key Management: These are sensitive documents and you have to have the confidence that they are secured for the long term

To learn more about how enterprise endpoint backup and recovery can support your eDiscovery processes, contact Datacastle at www.datacastlered.com .

Datacastle RED Not Vulnerable to Heartbleed


Datacastle prides ourselves on our strong, thorough, and multi-layered approach to security. We have been asked by many of our partners and customers in the past week about any vulnerabilities Datacastle RED has to the Heartbleed bug. We are pleased to report that Datacastle RED partners and customers are not exposed to the Heartbleed vulnerability.

What is the Heartbleed bug? The Heartbleed bug can be found in OpenSSL v1.01 and later. SSL is commonly used for secure, encrypted communications with web servers, especially when performing username/password exchanges. OpenSSL is commonly used with Apache web servers for secure communications. The Heartbleed bug potentially makes it possible for hackers to retrieve the SSL encryption keys from the web server, thus making encrypted information such as passwords vulnerable.

Why are Datacastle RED partners and customers not exposed to the Heartbleed bug? Datacastle RED uses SSL for secure, encrypted interactions with the Datacastle RED vault. Datacastle RED does not use OpenSSL. Datacastle RED uses Microsoft IIS web servers and Microsoft has made it clear that Azure and their IIS SSL technology do not possess the Heartbleed bug found in OpenSSL.

But what if you don’t use Datacastle RED? If you use some other endpoint data protection solution, we encourage you to communicate immediately with your vendor and determine if you or your users have been exposed to this vulnerability. Many online cloud backup solutions use Apache web server technology and potentially carry the Heartbleed vulnerability as a result.

For more questions about endpoint data protection, the Heartbleed vulnerability and how to avoid it using Datacastle RED, feel free to contact us at www.datacastlered.com.


The 3-2-1 Backup Rule and Datacastle RED

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The 3-2-1 Backup Rule is a best practice followed by many companies for data protection and business continuity. When backing up data you should have three copies of the data, at least two of the copies should be on different media, and one of the copies should be offsite. The 3-2-1 Backup Rule is best achieved with a solution that has been designed for hybrid cloud deployment from the ground up. With Datacastle RED and QuickCaches it is easy to implement the 3-2-1 Backup Rule for all of your endpoint data protection.

Rule 1: Three Copies of Data – With Datacastle RED you can automatically get three copies of the data. The first “copy” is always the source data on the original device, whether that is a laptop, desktop, or a new high end tablet like the Surface Pro 2. QuickCaches are easy ways to quickly and reliably backup  up your data (2nd copy) to a low cost network attached storage (NAS) device at your remote office, branch office, or corporate LAN. Finally, Datacastle RED has the “third copy” in the vault. This vault can be hosted in the cloud or on-premise.

Rule 2: Two Types of Media – Datacastle is recognized as having the most flexible storage options for enterprise endpoint backup and recovery. QuickCaches can be NAS devices with traditional HDD storage or can support SSD NAS devices or hybrid SSD-HDD devices if the customer chooses. Datacastle also works with multiple enterprise  cloud storage providers with some of the most advanced storage solutions available today.

Rule 3: One Offsite Copy – Datacastle partners with Microsoft Azure and IBM Softlayer to provide offsite, enterprise class cloud storage solutions for the Datacastle RED vault. For an example, Microsoft Azure cloud storage is triple replicated and geo-redundant to meet the most demanding offsite storage requirements.

With Datacastle RED, enterprise customers and partners can implement the 3-2-1 Backup Rule with ease. To find out more, go to www.datacastlered.com.

What MSP’s need in an endpoint backup technology partner


Datacastle has many MSP partners that use our software to drive a growing endpoint backup service. Over the years, we have learned from them what works and what doesn’t when working with technology partners. Here are the top considerations MSP’s should have when considering a technology partner for an endpoint backup/data protection solution.

True multitenancy: MSP’s have multiple customers and in some cases multiple partners. Your endpoint backup/data protection solution needs true multitenancy from the ground up in order to be successful and match the way you do business. This means that administrative permissions, reporting, policies, encryption key management, data deduplication, and even custom branding need to be supported on a per-customer or even per partner basis.It only takes a few questions of the technology provider to know if the solution possesses true multitenancy or not.

Don’t compete with your technology supplier: Simply ask how much of the partner’s revenues come from direct sales and how much comes from a network of channel partners such as MSP’s. Many technology companies “pivot” to a channel strategy as part of their growth strategy while still keeping their direct sales force in place. Competing with your technology provider is no fun and you will always be at a disadvantage since they now more about their product, the future road map, and can undercut you on price.

The economics make sense: Make sure the total cost of the solution will allow you to have a profitable endpoint backup and data protection practice. This means that not only does the licensing costs need to pencil out, but is the product “quiet in the field” from a support standpoint. How easy is the product to deploy?

Flexible storage and deployment options: For some MSP’s it makes sense to provision the service out of a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or IBM SoftLayer. Other MSP’s will want to take advantage of their existing infrastructure and host and operate yourself. Make sure you have a solution that provides you that level of flexibility. All of your customers are not the same either. Some of them have good connectivity, some of them are highly dispersed with poor connectivity. Make sure you have hybrid cloud options such as Datacastle’s QuickCache where you can meet the customer’s needs and might even be able to make some add-on revenue.

Datacastle generates over 95% of our revenues from channel partners such as MSP’s. Datacastle RED has been architected from the ground up for channel partners through multitenancy, custom branding, licensing model, flexible storage options, and low cost of deployment/operations. If you are an MSP and looking to expand into endpoint backup and data protection, learn more about Datacastle at www.datacastlered.com .

3 ‘Real Things’ to know about Coca-Cola’s recent data breach


Coca-Cola is currently dealing with the backlash and expense of a data breach by an employee who stole 55 laptops and compromised 74,000 employee and contractor records. This incident highlights three key elements around laptop loss and data breaches.

  1. The ability to remotely wipe sensitive data from a laptop is a requirement not a ‘nice to have’ feature for enterprises.  Stolen laptops happen to every company and the ability to remotely delete data from a device when it is lost or stolen can save companies millions of dollars.  Ponemon Institute estimates that 1 in 10 laptops will be lost or stolen in their life-cycle and estimated the organizational cost at $5.4 million for a data breach.  Enterprise customers of every size, shape, and budget will be hit by an employee leaving a laptop in the car for a few minutes and coming back to a massive data breach.  Datacastle RED enables enterprises to remotely shred the data on a lost or stolen laptop ensuring that a data breach does not occur.
  2. Contractors will frequently have critical information with no IT safe-guards to protect from a data breach.  World-class companies with great IT teams frequently have a gap when it comes to dealing with contractors. Contractors often get access to key information and that do not need to follow all the guidelines of full-time employees because they are using their personal laptop which is not owned by the enterprise.  Contractors having unprotected data stolen from a laptop have exposed thousands of sensitive patient records at the Veteran’s Administration,  Stanford Children’s Hospital, and Howard University Hospital.  Datacastle RED enables enterprises to segment their critical data on any laptop for backup or deletion without accessing a contractor’s personal information on a laptop.  With Datacastle RED the ability to remotely delete data from a device is possible no matter the scenario.
  3. Trust with employee/customer data is a key element for brands moving forward.  Recent data breaches clearly show the public is quickly turning on companies that expose their information.  Even established and long trusted brands like Target who had a data breach in December have seen dramatic response to exposing their clients’ data by dropping out of the Top 20 brands in the BrandIndex list.

“The fact that Target not only fell out of the top 10 but out of the top 20 is a big deal, especially since the incident only happened in December,” BrandIndex head of client services Lance Fraenkel told CBS MoneyWatch. “This kind of drop isn’t something that happens often.”

Companies like Coca-Cola have smart IT organizations and will address their endpoint data protection needs quickly. Other companies and their IT leadership need to learn from the hard lessons that come from these incidents and get ahead of the curve. Otherwise, these companies are forced to react to similar incidents after the fact. Learn more about how Datacastle RED can help you get ahead of these issues at www.datacastlered.com.

Enterprise Adaptability – The Top IT Trend for 2014

As we celebrate the successes at end of 2013 and prepare for growth in 2014, we see lots of lists in the IT world about the top trends in 2014. Almost all of these top trend lists include Mobility and Cloud Adoption. But one of the underlying questions is why? The answer lies in the need for enterprises to incorporate Adaptability pervasively throughout the organization.

Enterprise endpoint data backup and protection sits right at the intersection of these two trends as a key enabler. Enterprises need to be able to adapt to a marketplace where change is accelerating. That means enterprises need IT infrastructures that are more elastic, flexible, and can scale up and down as need demands. That is the promise that cloud infrastructures such as Microsoft Windows Azure and IBM SoftLayer are delivering upon today.

At the same time, enterprise employees need to be able to work anywhere at anytime as their customers and stakeholders require. This need drives Mobility. Employees have responded to this need by investing in endpoint devices ahead of many of their IT departments – thus the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend. The combination of these two trends in Mobility and Cloud are leading employees to adopt cloud file sync and share services such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Drive. This new trend increasingly looks like employees are bringing their own clouds (BYOC) to the workplace.

IT needs tools to help them adapt to these new realities and that is where Datacastle RED comes in. IT’s mandate around data protection and data governance hasn’t gone away. Rather the environment in which data protection and data governance must be performed has morphed because of Mobility and Cloud Adoption. Tools such as Datacastle RED enable IT to extend an umbrella of data protection to an increasingly mobile workforce and even into the public cloud services employees are adopting. At the same time, by running Datacastle RED on one of our partners’ clouds such as Windows Azure or IBM Sosftlayer, IT can scale and provision flexibly this new data protection service with minimal upfront costs.

To learn more about how Datacastle RED is helping enterprise IT to provide endpoint data protection and data governance to meet the major IT trends of Mobility and Cloud Adoption, you can go to http://www.datacastlered.com.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Datacastle!

3 Windows Azure Improvements for Enterprise Endpoint Data Protection

Datacastle RED continues to see tremendous growth in the number of customers and partners selecting Windows Azure as the cloud provider for Datacastle RED -powered enterprise endpoint data protection.  Datacastle RED can be deployed in public or private clouds, however it is becoming clear to many administrators that the benefits of Windows Azure make where to host our service extremely compelling.  In the last few months the investments from Microsoft continue to add to the value you can get from Windows Azure, and three stand out for enterprise endpoint data protection.

1. Seeding Large Data Sets

Our service focuses on mid-market to enterprise customers as the latest Gartner report on our industry highlighted.  Datacastle RED supports the hybrid cloud by enabling a QuickCache at branch offices to control WAN traffic for customers.  If the initial data sets are extremely large then the QuickCache can be shipped to a data center and used as a seeding device.  Windows Azure recently added the ability to ship devices to their data centers for large seeding requirements as covered in TechCrunch.

2. Certifications for Key Verticals including Federal Government

Windows Azure has been a leader in getting certifications to enable customers and providers to tackle key compliance verticals in the public cloud.   Healthcare is a prime example where having a Business Associate Agreement or BAA opened up an entire vertical to the public cloud that had traditionally been unavailable due to Personal Health Information and HIPAA requirements.  Windows Azure has now opened up the Federal Government market to the public cloud by joining FedRAMP which has vigorous security revues of Cloud Services, Storage, Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, and SQL Databases that run in  Windows Azure.  If you are a partner or customer that is in need of FedRAMP security package you can request one here.

3. Expanding Global Coverage with Geo-redundancy

Microsoft continues to expand it’s global data center footprint to ensure that global enterprises can meet their requirements for where their data resides.  Windows Azure is now available in mainland China through a partnership with 21Vianet and has new facilities coming on-line in Japan and Australia to compliment their existing Singapore and Hong Kong data centers. Supporting large multi-national corporations requires having facilities in the correct geographies. Windows Azure is making it easier every quarter for their customers. Datacastle RED is available in 10 languages including Simplified Chinese, Kanji, and Korean to support our customers that are going to use Windows Azure in Asia Pacific.

Datacastle RED gets top marks in Gartner’s Enterprise Endpoint Backup research

Gartner has reviewed the growing enterprise endpoint protection arena again this year and three interesting things can be found in this year’s Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup1 report. Gartner has earned the reputation for providing the market with what is important in technology segments and what to look for in the future. This year’s report by analysts Pushan Rinnen and Dave Russell continues the trend as in just twelve months the landscape has changed dramatically.  Reading between the lines three things stand out.

1. Key criteria for selecting an endpoint backup service has evolved into looking closely at the metrics behind how the service operates and effects end users.  Datacastle is proud to have received top marks when Gartner looked at the key metrics effecting a successful enterprise endpoint backup deployment.

  • Performance
  • Back-end Server/Storage Capabilities
  • Data Reduction Techniques

Datacastle RED was designed from the ground up to support endpoint devices to have virtually no impact to end user, and to be extremely performant for large deployments in multi-tenant environments.  Enterprise customers realize that having a poorly performing systems impacts their business in productivity, resources, and the bottom line.  Datacastle appreciates being recognized as a leader in these key areas.

2.  Legacy vendors are not adequately meeting the needs of enterprise customers.  Last year’s report2 had 12 vendors products being rated and included in the report. This year almost half the vendors no longer service the enterprise market sufficiently. As laptops and tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro become the primary devices of the enterprise legacy solutions that weren’t built from the ground up for endpoints are no longer satisfactory to these class of customers.  EMC Avamar, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, CA Technologies ARCserve, and Symantec Desktop and Laptop Option(DLO) are examples of solutions Gartner no longer covers in the report due to these companies either having no future strategy or no focus on offering endpoint protection to the enterprise.  As the number of endpoints per company explodes you will see that legacy and consumer backup products will continue to give way to companies that specialize in supporting endpoints.

3.  Enterprise endpoint backup is also about reducing security risks in the organization.  The ability to protect against a lost/stolen laptop is becoming a requirement where Datacastle RED has been a leader with remote data wipe, at rest encryption, and device trace for our partners and customers.  Reducing risks and security expands into our public cloud partnerships with Windows Azure and IBM SmartCloud as our customers are requiring that their data is kept in up-to-date facilities that have all the proper security certifications and policies.

For more information about how to protect your organization with Datacastle RED, contact us today at sales@datacastlered.com.

1 “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup” by Pushan Rinnen, Dave Russell 24 October 2013.

2 “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup” by Pushan Rinnen, Dave Russell, Alan Dayley 9 October 2012.