Video Series on Data Protection Appliances – Part 4, Failover BC/DR Appliances

Data_Protection_AppliancesThe last installment in our four-Friday video series, based on the recent ESG research report on the Shift toward Data Protection Appliances,   

Part four covers what might be the most interesting, albeit nascent category – failover or BC/DR appliances. While the other three categories are predominantly based on or designed for the same “backup/restore” type methodology, BC/DR failover appliances are more often designed around a replication-centric data mover coupled with some hypervisor or compute-cloud means of “resuming services” instead of “restoring data.”

So far, we’ve covered:

This fourth category is certainly early in market but should be very interesting to watch, as these solutions mature vs. watching the traditional backup vendors increase their agility to restore in order to potentially achieve a similar result:

Thanks for watching!. I do hope that this series has been helpful for you. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jason Buffington. I'm the Senior Analyst at ESG covering data protection.

We recently published a research report on the shift toward data protection appliances. As a reminder, data protection appliances, or DPAs, are more than just purpose built backup appliances, PBBAs as some folks are used to calling them. In fact, PBBAs are just one of at least four DPA categories in use today, with the other categories being dedup storage targets, cloud-gateways that are used for data protection and BC/DR failover solutions. ESG defined BC/DR or failover appliances as including a built-in hypervisor or other means of resuming business services or server operations without first restoring the data. They're actually similar to backup appliances meaning that they have the data-mover, which in this case is more typically replication as opposed to backup and some amount of local storage.

Failover appliances could be physical or virtual and may or may not include cloud services as part of their solution. But the defining characteristic is that instead of requiring a restore back to the production platform, the server or service resumes functionality via the failover appliance itself. To be clear, I wouldn't put backup appliances with instant VM recovery features into this type of failover category. This is intended as a non-backup powered, typically hypervisor-based approach to resiliency; not restoration.

According to the research, only 8% of organizations use failover appliances today, making them the most nascent DPA category in market today. There aren't a large number of alternatives in market today and those that are, haven't been pervasive for long. But nearly half were planning on introducing failover appliances as part of their data protection strategy and another 28% were interested. That only leaves 14% of IT organizations that aren't at least looking at failover appliances. My guess is, another year or two in market will significantly reduce that doubting number.

Even in other data protection to cloud solutions, we hear folks asking, "Why BaaS when you can DRaaS?" Meaning, you already have a second copy of the data. Instead of restoring it back where it came from or someplace else, can't you just power it up and get back to doing business? That's a valid question.

According to ESG research, 47% of production servers have some kind of a resumption capability to a secondary site of some form, self-managed, in the cloud, whatever. The expectations are that 64% of production servers will have that failover capability within the next two years.

The question then is, what will the platform that enables that IT resiliency be, as more and more folks agree that backup and restore isn't enough to meet today's SLAs? The answer to those questions, even as ESG is wrapping up our data protection appliance research, I'm kicking off my next project specifically on understanding what folks' BC/DR and availability solutions are today, in the future, and why.

The real question will be, can the early innovators in BC/DR failover appliances continue to innovate and differentiate? Or will some of the legacy backup solutions, or BaaS service providers, figure out how to shrink their recovery windows while also trying to do a better job of cloud extensibility.

In the meantime, I'm really excited about the early failover or BC/DR appliances that are in market today. I think that those vendors are the ones to watch on where the category of failover appliances is going or at least where it should go.

So stay tuned for more ESG coverage on data protection appliances and thanks for watching.

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Topics: Data Protection