2009 Channel Contenders: Data Protection Software3:00 PM EST Fri. Jul. 24, 2009
Solution providers said better product performance and better support were the top two reasons they choose an alternative vendor, in preference to leader Symantec/Veritas, in the data protection software space. Here's a look at 10 companies that meet that criteria, according to the 2009 CRN Channel Contenders survey. The research sought to identify the top vendors that solution providers choose as alternatives to market leaders.
CA enjoys the title of top Channel Contender in the data protection software market because it, like leading vendor Symantec/Veritas, is a major software vendor not tied to any specific hardware offerings. While VARs have said CA's channel programs have been inconsistent over time, the company has recently focused more on long-term benefits. CA's data protection software, especially ARCserve, has consistently been a favorite of solution providers.
Hewlett-Packard is a strong data protection software Channel Contender because of how closely that software is tied to sales of HP's server and storage hardware. HP solution providers say the company's Data Protector software is a solid offering despite being somewhat less sophisticated than software from vendors such as Symantec and CommVault. HP's acquisition last year of LeftHand gave it software that can be used to create virtual storage appliances.
Not surprisingly, IBM and HP are close as data protection Contenders, as both vendors' data protection software sales are tied to their hardware. IBM's Tivoli data protection software has been around for longer than many storage vendors have, and is part of the vendor's overall Tivoli management offering.
Security appliance vendor Barracuda Networks' acquisition this year of data protection software developer Yosemite and its acquisition last year of online storage developer BitLeap is paying off by making it another Contender in this category. Barracuda's high showing demonstrates the power of focusing on the SMB market with a solid, well-priced offering.
EMC has become a channel data protection software powerhouse thanks to a string of good acquisitions and a proven commitment to working with solution providers. Its status as a Channel Contender results from a very solid SMB storage software offering that is sold as stand-alone products and in conjunction with the company's Clariion midrange and Iomega SMB storage hardware, in addition to a range of software that complements its enterprise-class arrays.
Microsoft earned Channel Contender status for its Data Protection Manager software, which solution providers can use to provide continuous data protection for Microsoft applications and file servers. And, since many third-party data protection vendors work with Data Protection Manager, channel partners have opportunities to work with the software in a variety of customer environments, making it a strong channel contender.
Double-Take is a strong Microsoft partner, making it a popular choice for solution providers looking for alternatives to larger data protection software vendors. The company's data protection software, while also available with support for Linux and VMware virtual server environments, offers a full spectrum of protection for Microsoft applications that form the backbone of most SMB customers' computing environments.
Data Domain is high on the list for solution providers because of the tie-in between its software and its best-selling line of data deduplication appliances. Data Domain offers software for data replication and disaster recovery, long-term retention of data and virtual tape libraries, as well as for interfacing with Symantec Veritas NetBackup.
NetApp's status as a Channel Contender is for its software that goes with its full line of SAN and NAS arrays, the majority of which are sold through solution providers. Unlike many of its larger hardware competitors, NetApp uses the same storage operating system across most of its product line, making it relatively easy to offer data protection across a wide range of its products.
NovaStor has done well in the channel both in terms of selling stand-alone software and in offering partners the ability to sell Software as a Service. Its position on the Contenders list reflects that it has been a storage service technology provider with a channel focus for much longer than other similar companies.
BakBone has done very well as an alternative to Symantec and other larger vendors in the SMB market because of the thorough job it's done in integrating related technologies into its data protection software across Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac environments, including centralized policy management and protection of e-mail for compliance purposes.