Unitrends talks AWS channel opportunity

cloud migration

Unitrends has been talking opportunities for the channel after revealing “an aggressive investment in big public clouds,” over the next few months.

In particular, Unitrends’ acquisition of Australian cloud data protection firm Yuruware in May sees it look to extend its core backup and disaster recovery offerings to third-party public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), OpenStack and Microsoft Azure.

“It will be a nice addition for channel partners to be able to offer cloud migration services to their customers,” Unitrends president and CEO, Mike Coney tells Channel Pro.

“AWS is really the big player in terms of its cloud offerings for the business clients that we talk to. You will see a more robust suite of products that will see you able to spin up your data into an AWS environment using our products.”

Unitrends aims to roll out the Yuruware solution in Q4, after which Coney says that OpenStack will be the next target: “Yuruware are really solid on OpenStack development; that will be the next target once we launch the AWS platform. Open Stack will follow shortly after.”

Calling time on e92 plus

The purchase of Yuruware followed Unitrend’s acquisition in December 2013 of virtual backup and DR vendor PHD Virtual.

In the UK this has led to a distribution shake-up, with the firm’s EMEA managing director Kevin Moreau revealing Unitrends has dropped former distie e92plus following the acquisition.

He explains: “When we acquired PHD, we inherited the distribution relationships that they had. Prianto was their main distributor in the UK, so then we had three distributors [Prianto, e92plus and CMS Distribution].You don’t want to be over-distributed in the market, so we’re now down to two – e92 has left the table,” says Moreau, who says the breakup “happened organically” towards the end of Q1.

In response, Neil Langridge, marketing manager at e92plus tells Channel Pro: “Unitrends had some very interesting technology, which they continue to invest in, but unfortunately they are still in a high growth phase in the US and their model and approach wasn’t mature enough for the UK channel.”

Elsewhere Moreau says that CMS’ acquisition of Open Source specialist Interactive Ideas last November offers Unitrends “even more reach” in the market. “We’re pretty agnostic in terms of what operating systems we support in the market,” he says.

“We still working on integrating the two sets of partners,” says Moreau. “We’re trying to cross-pollinate the partner ecosystem, rather than going out and acquiring new partners.”

Unitrends' portfolio includes its Recovery Series of physical appliances; Unitrends Enterprise Backup, its software-only virtual appliance; Unitrends Virtual Backup, backup software for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer; No Limits Cloud, a backup and replication offering; Unitrends Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), an automated business continuity solution; and ReliableDR [from the PHD acquisition], a recovery tool that provides automated disaster recovery failover, failback and testing.

“The key words right now are recurring revenue and predictability,” says Coney. “These types of products give them that type of predictability, a way to offer their services as a subscription-model.”

MSP pickup

Nevertheless, the vendor claims to be “getting a lot of traction” among MSPs since launching a dedicated programme in the UK six months ago.

In the US the programme was launched 12 months ago, and the firm claims it has seen 278 percent revenue growth over that period.

“We’ve been opportunistic on the MSP side,” says Moreau, who says Unitrends has signed two large MSPs in the UK which are acting as cloud aggregators to the channel: Core DataCloud and Direct Cloud. “Those two MSPs aggregate the service they can sell on to smaller resellers though distribution,” he explains.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.