14 DRaaS vendors that will rescue you in a pinch

Gartner assesses products ability to help networks recover quickly.

01 title life preserver
To the rescue

According to a Gartner report, the Disaster Recovery as a Service market originally emerged to address IT organizations' need to support increasingly aggressive recovery-time targets and more frequent and lower-cost testing while understaffed, or without requiring a significant time commitment by existing IT staff.

With its well-known Magic Quadrant, Gartner took a look at the DRaaS market and pulled out each vendors pros and cons.

acronis
Acronis

Strengths: Acronis' recovery testing is flexible and allows nondisruptive automated test activation and scheduling in a segregated environment. The recovery console provides many functions that give Acronis' customers service control management, reporting and analytics for both their cloud and on-premises data and server protection.

Cautions: A self-service offering only that allows customers to configure and monitor their recovery environment through a Web console. Acronis professional services and Acronis channel partners are able to offer DRaaS as a fully managed service. Acronis has limited experience in managing large enterprise recovery configurations.

axcient
Axcient

Strengths: Axcient's per-server or per-virtual-host pricing is simple and all-inclusive, and its self-service model makes its pricing competitive. Axcient owns its technology, and therefore isn't reliant on third parties for innovation. Administration of Axcient's GUI is simple and easy to use.

Cautions: Axcient remains primarily the provider of a self-service DRaaS solution. Customers requiring a broader range of management services can turn to Axcient's large partner community. Axcient's own professional services capabilities are somewhat limited, though it will assist with some services such as quick-start implementation.

bluelock
Bluelock

Strengths: Bluelock received a high reference customer satisfaction score for its ability to meet target recovery time objective (RTO) SLAs. Bluelock Portfolio allows customers to track and manage service costs and RPO realization. Support for both intracloud and intercloud hybrid recovery configurations is available with Bluelock. In-cloud data backup is standard with Bluelock.

Cautions: Bluelock has limited, but growing, experience with hybrid recovery configuration support and managing large enterprise recovery configurations. No support is currently in place from Bluelock for bare-metal restore of non-VMware servers or storage area network (SAN)-to-SAN VM replication.

Columbus Business Solutions
Columbus Business Solutions

Strengths: CBS's operations availability service-level commitment is 100%. CBS was well above the provider median in terms of the number of actual disaster declarations that had been serviced. Services are monitored 24/365 by the CBS network operations center, which is equipped with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform that can promptly identify patterns and events that may qualify as a potential threat or security incident.

Cautions: The pending acquisition of CBS by Cable & Wireless Communications could create uncertainty about long-term service support. CBS's customer management portal for DRaaS was recently developed and is not as robust as some competing portals. CBS's regulatory compliance (PCI only) is not as broad as that of many of the other providers.

databarracks
Databarracks

Strengths: All Databarracks' customers have a commercial account manager from the sales team, a technical account manager, and escalation paths to the Service Delivery Management team. Databarracks' flexible compute and storage capacity management processes facilitate ease of resource bursting. Databarracks allows clients to test as many times as they want during a year without additional cost.

Cautions: Databarracks is hesitant to provide proofs of concept for prospects and, in addition, requires payment upfront for onboarding new client projects. Databarracks requires that any resources used above the reservation are paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis of five-minute increments. Although physical to virtual server conversion is supported using PlateSpin Protect, Databarracks DRaaS VM support is currently limited to just VMware.

ibm
IBM

Strengths: IBM's three service tiers support different levels of test frequency, declaration costs, recovery targets and service pricing. Clients can initiate premises-to-cloud failovers no later than one hour after issuing a disaster declaration. IBM offers one of the most comprehensive sets of related professional and managed services of any of the providers in this Magic Quadrant.

Cautions: IBM DRaaS may not be the appropriate choice for cost-conscious organizations looking for a self-managed service. Reference customers cited the need for improvement in IBM's service billing transparency. Reference customers cited the need for improvement from IBM in supporting recovery time SLAs.

iland
iland

Strengths: The account management focus of iland is the maintenance of a sound, long-term customer relationship. Target response times for all iland customers' questions and incident reports is 15 minutes or less. Customers of iland can test operations failover and failback without restrictions at no additional charge.

Cautions: Iland has limited, but growing, experience with hybrid recovery configuration support. Iland's physical data center security was not as robust as that of other participants in this Magic Quadrant. Perimeter network security protection and monitoring was not as well-defined by iland as by other participants.

NTT Communications
NTT Communications

Strengths: NTT Com's DRaaS portal is highly functional and very easy to use. The NTT Com portal enables users to define, configure, set up and monitor virtually any level of service. NTT Com's DRaaS service supports virtual and physical servers in multiple geographies, which facilitates global support for hybrid configurations.

Cautions: Because customer RTOs and RPOs are customizable in the DRaaS portal, it is the responsibility of NTT Com's customers to monitor their service-level compliance. Hyper-V recovery is not currently supported by NTT Com, although support is planned for no later than the end of the second quarter of 2015. Reference customers cited the need for improvement in the timeliness and quality of service of the technical support provided by NTT Com.

peak10
Peak 10

Strengths: Peak 10's data centers and cloud infrastructure have been certified for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 2.0 Level 1 and HIPAA compliance. Peak 10 prospects can review any and all facility and operations audit results under nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and through a controlled portal. A wide range of supporting security services are available to Peak 10's customers, ranging from basic firewalling to a managed compliance bundle.

Cautions: Peak 10's Recovery Cloud is utilized almost entirely by SMB organizations. Service delivery is very geographically focused (that is, in the southeastern U.S.). A formal recovery service-level target for DRaaS premises to cloud configurations is not currently supported by the company. Peak 10 does support an RTO SLA when target and source are located in its own cloud.

seagate
Seagate

Strengths: Seagate offers a solution-centric product that bundles the development of a recovery exercising plan, as well as provider assistance, with exercise execution. Guaranteed service tiers, with corresponding RTO- and RPO-based service-level targets, are available from Seagate. Virtual CPU and storage capacity can be burst up to 15% beyond the allocated capacity at no extra charge from Seagate.

Cautions: Because Seagate's EVault Cloud Resiliency is primarily provider-managed, few service manageability tools for customers are supported. There is little integration between Seagate's EVault Cloud Resiliency and its on-premises management utilities.

sungardas
Sungard Availability Services

Strengths: Sungard AS provides one-stop solutions for the integrated management of applications and data recovery previously supported by point services. Crash-consistent and application-consistent recovery across multitier applications (both physical and virtual) is supported by Sungard AS. Sungard AS has a breadth of data backup and application recovery professional services.

Cautions: Sungard AS's service manageability tools for customer usage are provided primarily in a portal. Because Recover2Cloud is a provider-managed service, minimal integration was required between Sungard AS's portal and on-premises operations management utilities. However, this is beginning to improve as a result of management portal integration with on-premises Enterprise Storage Replication (ESR)-NetApp, ESR-Actifio and ESR-EMC software.

verizonenterprise
Verizon

Strengths: Verizon has a broad range of VM and related production data replication mechanisms. Verizon's customers can burst as much additional CPU and RAM as they need, to support an actual disaster declaration, at no extra charge. Verizon received a very high overall reference customer satisfaction score for its support organization's responsiveness, timeliness of service problem resolution, and professional services quality.

Cautions: Verizon's DRaaS customers typically have one test per year as part of their standard contract. However, customers can require that additional tests are supported as part of their DR contract with Verizon. Because of the demand for provider-managed services from the enterprise customers Verizon serves, VDR is largely a managed service. Use of management portal capabilities is generally limited to internal Verizon staff.

vmware
VMware

Strengths: VMware's service pricing is very straightforward and easy to understand. A range of technical support is provided by VMware, including 24/365 support for Severity 1 issues. A service availability uptime guarantee of 99.9% is currently supported by VMware.

Cautions: VMware's own professional services are limited. Its support services team will onboard customers. Customers requiring a broader range of professional services can turn to VMware's large partner community. Because of its current support focus on just VMware environments, support does not exist for data center configurations that include Hyper-V, Xen, KVM or Open Virtualization Format (OVF). Today, vCloud Air Disaster Recovery only supports VMs. There are VMware partners who leverage vCloud Air Disaster Recovery as the core of a managed services capability and add support for physical systems and synchronous replication as needed.

windstreambusiness
Windstream

Strengths: Windstream received the highest overall reference customer satisfaction scores of the 14 providers discussed in this Magic Quadrant. Windstream's data center facilities are built to a 2N standard, meaning there are no single points of failure that could impact the main production infrastructure or its failover. Windstream supports a 100% uptime SLA for data center infrastructure components as well as the internal data center network.

Cautions: Only one service-level target between the premises and the cloud is currently supported by Windstream. However, an additional service level is supported for cloud-to-cloud configurations. The Windstream portal currently has limited reporting capabilities. External audits of cloud operations are performed just once a year with Windstream. Currently, Windstream does not offer unpaid customer trials.