The delivery of cloud services for IT operations backup, recovery and restart is a potentially significant market opportunity for a whole new generation of providers, in addition to the more established players such as HP, IBM and SunGard Availability Services. This is evidenced in the significant increase in the related client inquiry volume that we have been seeing along with the results from the polling conducted in several recent Gartner Data Center Summit sessions.
As a result, cloud-related research was a major topic during our most recent set of recovery and continuity content planning meetings for 2010. One particularly hot topic was the extent to which cloud services could become a one-stop solution for midsized business that are already stretching their in-house IT resources to the maximum.
Today, the recovery and continuity management approach of choice for many of these businesses is little more than the use of managed backup services. Coincidentally, this aligns very well with storage cloud providers’ sweet spots.
However, backed-up data is of little use if it cannot be restored. Compatible server and storage equipment, as well as a supporting data center, are also needed. This is one of the main reasons why so many small and mid-sized organizations feel that they are unprepared to fully recover. For this and other related reasons, recovery-in-the- cloud services that support managed backup, restoration, testing and operations failover can become one of the future bright spots in what is otherwise a largely dormant industry. One key reason is the “always-on” nature of the cloud, making both recovery and failover testing far more flexible and actionable than is currently the case with more traditional shared subscription services. However, this service segment is extremely nascent and unfortunately its potential benefits are currently shrouded by far more questions than concrete answers at this point.
Would this class of cloud service be of interest to your organization? If so, what service functionality, price points and provider maturity would be needed in order to get your attention?