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Canadian backup software provider Asigra has introduced the first backup pricing model with a pay-for-recovery element, effectively - so it says - introducing a price cut.

Asigra says its new pricing model is intended to push customers into paying less for the backup capacity licence and more for the recovery part of the data protection facility. This comes against a background of steadily rising backup data amounts where the backup capacity licensing mode pushes costs higher and higher.

It works in two parts. The first part involves having a fixed price per GB/month for backup capacity - say $0.166/GB in the example your correspondent saw. The second part is the recovery cost, which is “based on recovery usage”, measured as a percentage of total backup volume.

Asigra includes tracking software to measure recovery usage. This tracking software computes a "Recovery Performance Score” which, according to Asgira's marketing bumf, “corresponds to a price per GB for recovery."

There are 10 price bands, as the chart shows.

Asigra RLM small

Asigra RBL (recovery-based licensing) model. Click on chart to see a larger version.

Asigra's Recovery Tracker software accumulates recovery statistics and provides users with:

  • Number of recoveries performed per year
  • Amount of data recovered
  • Source of the data loss
  • Reason for restores

The firm says this can help its customers increase their data protection operational efficiencies.

Asigra hasn't provided a current per-unit recovery price at all, so we can't say whether it's a "fairer per unit price for recovery".

Customers do appear to pay less in the first six months than with a single backup capacity licece model alternative, while data is being collected. Subsequently the Recovery Tracker software measures your recovery performance. You could save more money if your recovery performance score is low enough.

The recovery licensing model (RLM) provides scheduled recovery drills and these are charged for too, at $0.07/GB. You have to schedule disaster recovery drills 1 month in advance and purchased drills expire at the end of each term.

Asigra says a move to the RLM will save you money and has produced a schematic to say so...

Asigra RBL Curves

… except the there are no values whatsoever on either axis of the chart - so you can't judge the time period over which the savings would occur.

Steve Duplessie, co-founder and senior analyst of IT analysts the Enterprise Strategy Group said: "I think it's one of the coolest ideas ever, personally. [It] could completely screw up a perfectly fat dumb and happy market, and I love that!"

This is quite a profound change in backup software licensing that could have widespread effects as other backup software suppliers follow in Asigra's footsteps. Cloud storage providers like Amazon already charge for data delivered from the cloud to users' systems. So Asigra is, in a way, adopting a cloud storage model. ®

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