In the last blog, I discussed how ESG’s research has identified that the vast majority of organizations have little to no tolerance for downtime. As they are looking to improve SLAs, many technology questions or tradeoffs will naturally come up. What technologies are you using today and what do you need to consider moving forward to meet the requirements? Should it be a software, or cloud-based, or a hardware-based solution that gets you there as an end-user?
Our research (ESG Master Survey Results: Real-world SLAs and Availability Requirements) gives us a number of interesting data points, revealing a landscape in which end-users leverage a “hybrid” strategy today, consisting of a combination of hardware, software, and cloud, including fault-tolerant hardware architectures, backup software with enhanced recovery capabilities, high availability and replication, and clustering at the OS level.
Cloud technologies are increasingly becoming part of the mix, although a third of the respondents to our survey do not use cloud in general today as part of their IT resiliency strategy.
While this number may seem high, further data suggests that half of these respondents (not using cloud today in their strategy) will actually adopt it moving forward. The future is getting cloudier! Many vendors in the data protection space have developed solutions, sometimes in partnership with their ecosystem and public cloud partners, delivering backup-as-a-service or disaster-recovery-as-a-service. In no particular order, a few non exhaustive examples include Dell, Veeam, Arcserve, Commvault, Veritas, Unitrends/Kaseya, Carbonite....
What does this mean for end-users? ESG research indicates that end-users will be leveraging cloud further as part of the IT resiliency “equation.” The bigger question for end-users is whether this multi-pronged approach is sustainable long-term as one considers the management complexities associated with delivering predictable and coherent SLAs across the infrastructure, on and off-premises, while juggling all these moving parts.
For vendors, I will suggest that the best product/solution strategy will revolve around adding simplified interfaces, more process automation (for example runbooks), and developing a robust set of APIs for the ecosystem. No one vendor will be able to do it all, but whoever integrates with other vendors or complementary technologies in the most efficient way will have an advantage, improving their customers’ SLAs while reducing complexity and cost.