Online backup and disaster recovery provider Axcient today said it is offering its on-premise BDR virtual appliance free of charge to managed service providers, encouraging them to deploy the technology at customer sites.

Axcient Free, available for download from the company, provides full recovery of data for up to three servers and 20 terabytes of data, CEO Justin Moore told MSPmentor.

“This is a highly disruptive, free version of our platform,” he told me. “We are giving away the local part of our recovery-as-a-service platform.”

MSPs can think of this as a freemium offer. While organizations will still have to pay to replicate the backup to the cloud, they can also just use the free local backup if they wish as an easy way to dip their toes into BDR. Buying the cloud service is not required to get the free local backup.

Moore said he believed that Axcient was the only vendor offering such a service for free right now. This blogger hasn’t heard of others, but please correct me in the comments if I’ve overlooked anyone.

Moore said Axcient sees partners deploying this in smaller customer sites or remote or branch offices.

“There are companies that don't really understand the cost of having a system down. I see this product being used largely by those.”

That’s part of Axcient’s motivation to put the free version out there. Moore also said that Axcient wants to disrupt the market by providing a better product for free. The other motivation?

“To put another nail in the coffin of traditional backup vendors,” he said, adding that companies such as Symantec make billions of dollars selling legacy backup software. “We believe our recovery as a service is the future."