StorageCraft OneXafe Solo

StorageCraft has an excellent pedigree in the MSP and SMB data protection space and it now extends this expertise to ROBOs and home workers.

The OneXafe Solo delivers a plug-and-protect backup and business continuity solution for smaller environments with limited on-site IT support.

Key features are its simplified configuration and management allowing MSPs to provide a DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) solution that requires minimal on-site infrastructure. The Solo offers a swift two-step installation process so it can be deployed any time, anywhere as all it requires is an internet connection to stream data directly to StorageCraft's cloud services.

The Solo is a small-footprint mini-PC which runs StorageCraft's ShadowXafe software and functions as a service leader device allowing it to integrate seamlessly with StorageCraft's OneSystem cloud management portal. All configuration, data protection policies and recovery processes are managed in the cloud so there's nothing for the end user to do other than plug and connect.

Deployment is indeed, a very simple process. After providing power and network connectivity to the Solo, we loaded our OneSystem cloud portal, registered it using the claim code on its base and assigned it to our predefined site.

The Solo is a true hybrid backup solution that can secure data to an internal HDD/SSD plus iSCSI targets or SMB/NFS shares on local networked storage devices as well as to the cloud. For testing, we fitted a 1.92GB Micron SATA SSD in the Solo and used a QNAP NAS appliance with a dedicated 4TB SMB share.

From the OneSystem console, we defined our local storage destinations, enabled compression and selected backup encryption. Cloud storage on StorageCraft's data centres is configured from the MSP portal and then assigned to their OneSystem account.

The Solo uses standard OneSystem protection policies which define backup frequency along with hourly, daily, weekly and monthly snapshot retention requirements. You also assign storage to them and each policy can manage both on-site backups and off-site cloud replication.

Virtual host backup is agentless and we swiftly declared our VMware ESXi/vCenter and Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V hosts. Physical servers and desktops can be included by installing a light agent service on each one and providing the site ID plus agent registration token.

For large initial backups, cloud storage can be seeded by shipping a removable drive to the customer's site. It's connected to the Solo via its USB port and a backup policy with the seed drive option enabled encrypts and copies data to it, after which it is couriered to the data centre for bulk upload.

During testing, we found the Solo performed its protection duties at the appointed times without any problems. The OneSystem console is very informative as its dashboard shows system protection status while the analytics section provides capacity planning data and ensures customer SLAs are being maintained.

Recovery services are excellent as you select a protected VM, choose a recovery point from the local or cloud repositories and restore it back to the host system as a new VM. Files and folders can also be retrieved by browsing the contents of a recovery point and downloading them as a ZIP file.

The VirtualBoot feature provides super-fast system recovery by creating new VMs directly from the backup repository. Cloud recovery is available to MSPs where they view the customer's protected systems and associated recovery points from their portal, restore files and folders or provision a cloud-hosted VM for one-click failover.

Product: OneXafe Solo
Supplier: StorageCraft Technology Corp.
Web site: www.storagecraft.com
Sales: sales@storagecraft.eu
Price: From £1,014 per year exc VAT

Verdict: The OneXafe Solo is an innovative backup solution that's remarkably easy to deploy and manage. It's ideally suited to MSPs that want to provide cloud-managed business continuity to SMBs, branch offices and remote workers.