Zettagrid concentrates all efforts on what it does best—infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Its business model is straightforward: Zettagrid provides secure, reliable IaaS to its customers (resellers and service providers), who use that infrastructure to deliver cloud services to their clients.
Before moving into the crowded cloud sector, Zettagrid needed to differentiate itself from competitors. The best way was to offer easy, affordable backup and recovery.
“Our customers made it clear that if we offered a trusted data protection solution they would definitely be interested in using it rather than finding a suitable solution on their own,” said Nicki Pereira, Chief Technical Officer at Zettagrid.
The next step was to find a reliable and cost-effective data protection solution that would integrate easily with the self-service web portal that Zettagrid provides to customers. The portal enables customers to provision, customise and deliver cloud services to their clients.
“We evaluated two data protection solutions to determine which one would integrate the easiest and offer the most value to our customers,” Pereira said.
As Zettagrid discovered, there was no contest. One solution was easy to integrate and provided powerful, easy-to-use and affordable backup and recovery. The other was difficult to integrate because of its maze of configuration options and complicated restore process.
Zettagrid partnered with Veeam® Software and integrated Veeam Backup & Replication™ into its customer portal. Customers use the portal to customise backup and recovery for clients’ VMs in Zettagrid’s cloud. In a few simple steps, they assign a backup schedule and the number of restore points per VM. Clients who are technically inclined can operate the portal themselves.
“As a cloud vendor, we bring value to our customers by fully automating backup and recovery,” Pereira said.
The Veeam-powered backup and recovery service is called Zettagrid Image Archive. Pricing for the service is based on the number of VMs to be backed up and the backup storage required (in gigabytes). Zettagrid bills customers monthly.
“Veeam’s licensing model matches the way we bill customers for the VMs they back up,” said Craig Guy, Technical Communications Coordinator for Zettagrid. “We rent licenses from Veeam based on the number of VMs backed up each month.
We bill our customers the same way Veeam bills us—on a pay-as-you-go VM basis.
We don’t have to worry about upfront costs or long-term contracts, and neither do our customers.”
Guy said Veeam-powered backup and recovery helps Zettagrid grows its customer base.
“Veeam has helped us seal a number of deals,” Guy explained. “When people ask us how to deal with viruses, such as CryptoLocker, we explain our backup and recovery service. Within one year of integrating Veeam into our portal, a significant number of our customers purchased Image Archive for their clients, which exceeded our expectations. We expect the trend to continue throughout the next 12 to 18 months.”
Instant VM Recovery®, a VM restore feature in Veeam Backup & Replication, is the muscle behind Image Archive. Instant VM Recovery starts a failed VM from a backup in minutes.
“A number of our customers have saved the day for their clients by using Instant VM Recovery,” Guy said. “For example, when a client’s website was hacked, instead of rebuilding the website and worrying about its integrity, our customer restored the VM from a recent backup, tested the website in an isolated staging area and put it back into production, with minimal downtime.
“Another client accidentally corrupted a domain controller. Our customer used Instant VM Recovery to restore the VM from the latest backup in minutes, saving a day of rebuilding the DC and the nastiness that goes with it.”
Currently, Image Archive delivers backup and recovery for VMs in Zettagrid’s cloud. In the future, Image Archive will offer granular recovery for files and individual application items, such as emails in Microsoft Exchange.
Zettagrid only recommends solutions to customers that it uses internally.
“Veeam backs up and recovers our VMs beautifully,” Guy said. “The technology is fantastic in so many ways. We’re in the process of changing our production storage. From a backup perspective, the transition has been seamless because Veeam is storage-agnostic.
“We’ve also been really pleased with Veeam’s technical support from day one. When we contacted Veeam to explain what we had in mind for our customer portal, they couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. Today, our support team is just as enthusiastic.”
Simplifies and automates backup operations
By integrating Veeam Backup & Replication in its customer portal, Zettagrid simplified, automated and customised backup and recovery for its customers.
“I’m not aware of any Australian cloud providers that offer the functionality that we offer in our customer portal,” Pereira said.
Provides fast recovery
Powered by Veeam, Zettagrid Image Archive lets customers recover VMs in minutes by restarting a failed VM from a backup, as opposed to hours or days with a traditional file-based restore.
“Veeam’s recovery capabilities are quite deep,” Pereira said. “Because we use Veeam for our own VMs, we feel totally comfortable making it available to our customers.”
Aligns with cloud provider’s “pay-as-you-go” business model
Veeam’s VM licensing model aligns with Zettagrid’s VM billing model. Pricing for Zettagrid Image Archive is based on the number of VMs to be backed up monthly and the backup storage required. Zettagrid rents licences from Veeam based on the number of VMs backed up each month.
“With Veeam we only pay for licenses consumed on a monthly basis,” Guy said. “There is no long-term commitment on a specific number of VMs or recurring costs.”