A few days ago there was a good article by George Crump in Information Week about the gap between traditional backup and recovery solutions and virtualized backup solutions. Crump says that while virtualized backup solutions have some features that are very attractive, especially for virtual server backup, overall they lack some of the high-end features that traditional backup solutions offer.
On the other hand, Crump says that the traditional solutions don’t have some of the attractive features that the virtual solutions offer. He calls this the “Virtualized Backup Gap.” It’s a gap that all of us here at R1Soft seek to close.Truth be told, the virtualized backup gap, much like the old US-USSR “missile gap,” is more perception than reality.
The fact is most virtualized backup solutions have more than enough features to satisfy 99% of the market. The traditional backup solutions that are optimized for big single-use boxes and the old tape infrastructure are quickly becoming dinosaurs. The cloud, virtualization, and new models of backup are making them obsolete.
In addition to the above reasons, however, are the changing needs of the market and our customers. You know the old saying about the Fortune 100? There are only 100 of them. But everyone needs backup today. There are something like six or seven million businesses out there with more coming aboard every day. It is hard to say you don’t want to serve a market of 6 or 7 million business customers. For these millions there is no virtualization backup gap.
So if there really is a gap, it exists only for the top 1% of the market. Again a closer look is warranted. When we look closer we find that at that top 1%, their needs for backup are evolving to reflect the new reality of the IT environments we operate in.
When you look at the cost of some of these “traditional backup” solutions, they don’t mesh with today’s budget constraints. It is hard to spend thousands and thousands more to get only 10% or so more features or functionality. That gap is just not critical enough to justify the much higher cost.
The higher cost is not just in initial outlay, either. Maintaining these legacy systems, including the tape monsters they work with, adds fat numbers to the total cost of ownership of these systems.
This is exactly the scenario we explored here at R1Soft. We weighed and evaluated all of these factors and more. We came to the conclusion that the virtualized backup gap was more perception than reality. That offering a solution that allows customers to back up all of their servers, virtual and physical alike, was doable.
The feature gap from what the top 1% wanted, all the way down to the bottom 99%, was not as wide as it had been. You could give people what they wanted, what they needed, and what they could afford.
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