Gartner’s first DRaaS Magic Quadrant sees IBM, NTT, Sungard AS at summit

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Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), a commoditised offering whereby organisations can recover if their cloud service hits the skids, has had relatively slow uptake. Yet the trend has garnered enough ground for Gartner to put together a Magic Quadrant on it – and the analyst house has seen fit to put IBM, NTT Communications, and Sungard Availability Services at the top of the pile.

Not surprisingly, the platitudes have not been slow in forthcoming. Peter Groucutt, managing director at niche player Databarracks, said that “to be recognised as a niche player in the global market is a testament to our success.”

Sungard AS executive vice president Jack Dziak said the report “further confirm[s] and enhance[s] our leadership position in the highly complex market for advanced recovery solutions.” Nayan Naik, NTT senior director product strategy, said: “DRaaS is quickly becoming a highly diverse market evolving from a service that appealed mainly to small businesses to one that service organisations of all sizes across all verticals, and NTT Communications is proud to be distinguished as a leader.”

Gartner sees three kinds of cloud-based recovery service; DRaaS, recovery using infrastructure as a service, and recovery using backup as a service (BaaS). It’s interesting to note how Gartner saw small businesses – firms with less than 100 employees – as the earliest adopters of DRaaS, with larger organisations initially reticent. Yet research from Databarracks in September 2014 found only 30% of smaller businesses had a business continuity plan in place, compared to 54% of medium organisations and 73% of large businesses.

In all there are 14 vendors listed in the quadrant, including iland, Verizon and VMware. Gartner examines the landscape from the perspective of the larger vendor, arguing many of their initial concerns, such as having multiple data centres that could be used as backups for each other, closing a data centre in preparation for a DRaaS strategy taking years, and lack of readiness to move to a public cloud-based service, are still prevalent.

David Dignam, business development manager at HP, told this publication this time last year that disaster recovery solutions, in more centralised, mature markets such as the UK, do not differentiate between smaller and larger businesses. “There’s a question about [the] maturity of the market,” he said.

Yet the importance of keeping data and applications secure is clear. Cloud storage provider Nirvanix shut down in October 2013, giving customers just two weeks to save their data. Disaster recovery is key – and Gartner offers its insight as to which vendors are best for which customers.

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