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Epaton keen to sound death knell for tape

Channel player argues now is the time to get the remaining users of tape to shift towards alternatives

Long-time tape users are starting to look for alternatives to strengthen their ability to make effective restores from backups, and are increasingly looking to the channel to provide answers.

The past few years has also seen a number of suppliers, including Rubrik and Barracuda, bring tapeless backup offerings to market, and they have encouraged the channel to get behind them.

Epaton is one of those firms keen to disrupt the tape market and help users break old habits when it comes to backup strategies. Jonathan Lassman, co-founder and director of Epaton, said the market was there for partners that had the right alternatives to tape and could provide a more robust backup option.

“We set up an organisation to look at backup because I looked around and said, ‘I don’t have a tape player in my car anymore’,” he explained.

“I don’t have a VHS player in my house anymore. Organisations are still backing up to tape. I don’t understand. It’s obviously going to disappear, so we set up to address the backup market and get rid of tape.

“When it comes to disaster, getting everything back from a tape is much more difficult than getting it digitally when it’s online already,” added Lassman.

He said there was still a need for education, and that he still regularly encountered customers that had not formalised a recovery strategy.

Disaster recovery as a service

The option to provide disaster recovery as a service has also changed the landscape and given customers a chance to pay for a cloud-based reliable offering, but it also gives channel players such as Epaton an opportunity to deliver a service without the upfront costs of hardware and lengthy contracts.

Epaton has been working with Assured Data Protection, which offers Rubrik services on a subscription basis, making it easier for partners to get involved with the service.

“We offer backup as a service, disaster recovery as a service and give partners like Epaton the ability to consume and sell technology on a different basis, instead of the traditional capex,” said Sam Blackburn, UK channel director at ADP. “We give partners the opportunity to come on a monthly reoccurring revenue basis and grow those services without having that big investment into a service.”

He added that there was a significant market opportunity, and more managed service providers were getting switched on to the backup and disaster-as-a-service segment.

“It is a huge opportunity,” said Blackburn. “We have never been as busy with partners. We're very selective on the partners we want to work with, solely because we don’t want to dilute our very good service in backup and disaster recovery. If we start diluting it to put it on people’s line cards, [that’s not what we want to do]. We’re here to have a true partnership.”

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