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Iland DRaaS goes under automatic control

The new Iland DRaaS product targets customers with limited DR resources or expertise. The goal of Iland Autopilot is to make deployment, DR testing and failover simple.

Iland wants to put disaster recover as a service on autopilot.

Autopilot Managed Recovery, the Iland disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) product that launched this week, integrates Veeam and Zerto software into Iland's platform. On top of using software to orchestrate failovers, Iland's service package includes onboarding, detailed reporting and support during DR failover, testing and management tasks.

Despite the software, the Iland DRaaS platform is the key piece of Autopilot Managed Recovery. An IT administrator can use the Autopilot's interface to failover, failback and run a DR test. Although the actual work is powered by Veeam and Zerto technology, customers are not directly interfacing with those vendors' products.

Autopilot Managed Recovery is billed based on a monthly storage cost, determined by how much cloud capacity was used and the amount of time the cloud was being consumed.

Although Iland still works with direct customers, most of its sales are exclusively through channel partners. Like many other IT vendors, it is following the trend of tapping into the SMB market through MSPs.

"This Autopilot Managed Recovery service is just in response to what we're seeing in this market," said Dante Orsini, senior vice president of business development at Iland. "I think a lot of the SMBs will potentially work with our MSP partners."

Autopilot isn't the first Iland DRaaS offering, but DR was a manual process for Iland's customers before Autopilot. Customers had to submit a ticket to Iland to determine the method of replication, orchestrate failover and failback, and conduct periodic testing.

"In the early days, everything had to be managed by us," Orsini said. "Now, when you look at the [continuous data protection-based] technology of today, you can really highly automate and orchestrate a failover, so we didn't want to inject latency into the support process."

Orsini said Autopilot requires a comprehensive onboarding process to get the customer used to the Iland DRaaS platform, and then the onus is on customers to test or failover. The extra step of sending a ticket to Iland, and therefore delaying the work, is removed, although Iland can still step in with support if the customer has any problems.

Screenshot of Iland's GUI
Iland's platform is designed with simplicity and transparency in mind.

Avant Communications is a channel sales enablement company and an Iland partner that also works with Iland competitors, including RapidScale, TierPoint and Flexential. Bill Franklin, director of cloud engineering at Avant, said one of Iland's weaknesses had been its inability to get the customer's DR product set up at their site. Their customers had to bring their own DR expertise to the table before they could use Iland effectively.

"With legacy Iland, the customer had to have skills and capabilities to actually build an infrastructure and replicate it effectively," Franklin said. "That's a challenge, especially with midmarket customers, where they maybe have one or two people on staff."

This Autopilot Managed Recovery service is just in response to what we're seeing in this market. I think a lot of the SMBs will potentially work with our MSP partners.
Dante OrsiniSenior vice president of business development, Iland

Franklin said Iland's biggest differentiator among the other service providers he works with is its simplicity. He described Iland's interface as an "easy button" that doesn't require a lot of training to use. He sees Iland potentially performing strongly in the SMB market, where many customers don't have the skills or resources to learn a complex platform.

Part of that simplicity comes from Iland Catalyst, a free cloud assessment application that pulls an inventory of what the customer has and allows them to build simulated use cases. Customers can use it to properly size their cloud environment and send a report to Iland to begin building a service package.

"They make it easy for the customers to consume, and that's their biggest differentiator," Franklin said. "They're as granular as you want them to be, or as hands-off as you want them to be."

Iland operates from nine data centers around the world, located in the United States, Europe, Australia and Singapore. Orsini said the company has about 2000 customers globally, most of which are in industries heavily focused on compliance like finance, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

"Where we play really well is in regulated industries. Where people are really invested in things like security and disaster recovery," Orsini said.

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