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Recovery in the Cloud : How Soon? (from John Morency)

by Roberta J. Witty  |  February 8, 2010  |  4 Comments

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?

Category: bcm-and-it-drm-research-coverage  

Tags: availability-risk  bcm  bcp  business-continuity-management  disaster-recovery  it-disaster-recovery  recovery-planning  

Roberta J. Witty
Research VP
11 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Roberta Witty is a research VP in Gartner Research, where she is part of the Compliance, Risk and Leadership group. Her primary area of focus is business continuity management and disaster recovery. Ms. Witty is the role specialty lead for… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Recovery in the Cloud : How Soon? (from John Morency)

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Roberta J Witty and Cloud Blogs, Toshio Matsuda. Toshio Matsuda said: [Gartner] Recovery in the Cloud : How Soon? (from John Morency): The delivery of cloud services for IT operations … […]

  2. Joshua Geist says:

    The momentum towards Cloud Recovery has skyrocketed exponentially in 2010 and since this blog was posted many of the worlds largest brands in data management and recovery have all launched or are looking to build out Cloud based Recovery solutions.

    It has been amplified by the recent economic events which have highlighted the ever sought after sweet spot of small and mid market customers as enterprise customers consolidate, reduce and merge to create a more efficient IT environment.

    Recovery as a Service (Raas) which is being tagged as one of the next “killer apps” for the cloud is absolutely a fantastic value added application to layer on top of the existing storage and compute infrastructures that are in market today and being launch daily by almost every Cloud focused vendor and supplier.

    An interesting blog posting on the birth of RaaS can be found here.

  3. John Morency says:

    Hi, Joshua,

    While I would certainly agree that market visibility and the number of RaaS provider offerings have significantly increased over the course of 2010, it’s also important to point out the following:

    – Most of today’s RaaS offerings only support Windows
    and (in some cases) Linux platforms. In general RaaS
    is not a solution that is equally applicable to
    mainframes, IBM i-series, Sun Solaris, HP-UX and
    many others.

    – In many cases, RaaS customers need to have SANs
    that are compatible with those supported by the
    provider (typically either NetApp or EMC);

    – Prospects need to understand how the cloud
    provider supports failback to the customer’s data center
    once recovery operations have completed;

    – Provider operations controls, especially those specific
    to managing data privacy within the cloud, are being
    increasingly scrutinized during the customer due
    diligence process. An increasing number of privacy
    management and data breach notification laws, as well
    as increased organizational visibility when data
    breaches do occur (e.g. )are
    some of the key reasons.

    – To what extent can recovery SLAs (i.e. RTO- and RPO-
    specific) be consistently maintained by the provider for
    each customer as the number of customers grows into
    the hunrdeds or thousands?

    None of these considerations by themselves necessarily constitute show stoppers. However, it is important to realize that, given the still
    early state of RaaS, these and related considerations need to be carefully assessed by the RaaS buyer prior to signing on the dotted line.

  4. […] cloud is going to happen, big time. I’m not the only one seeing this, judging by what I read from Gartner, Forrester, IDC and others. I spent a few days at VMware Partners Exchange last week (more on that […]

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