Storage: Top 10 Backup and Recovery Software Vendors2:00 PM EST Mon. Nov. 30, 2009
Backup and recovery software is still the bread-and-butter product category for solution providers with a storage focus, and there are a lot of applications from which to choose.
We recently surveyed storage VARs and integrators and asked them to select the backup and recovery software vendors they feel have the technologies and products that best meet customers' business needs. Here's a look at who they picked.
No. 1 on the list of solution providers' backup and recovery software vendors is perennial favorite Symantec.
Symantec is a mainstay for storage solution providers in large part because it is the publisher of not one but two of the top-selling backup and recovery applications on the market: Backup Exec for the small and midsize business market, and Veritas NetBackup for the midsize and enterprise market.
Ever since it acquired Veritas back in 2004, Symantec has stayed on top of the market with a combination of leading-edge technology and a commitment to the channel that perhaps doesn't completely satisfy all partners but nonetheless has kept it in touch with a loyal customer base.
As it does with many of the tasks customers do on a daily basis, Microsoft addresses the backup and recovery market with applications included in its operating systems, as well as technology that integrates with third-party applications.
This means almost every solution provider which helps customers with their servers and PCs runs into a Microsoft backup and restore product. VARs ranked Microsoft No. 2 on the list of vendors best able to deliver technologies and products that meet customers' backup and recovery needs.
Windows 7 has Backup and Restore, which can be set to automatically backup personal and/or system files per a user-configurable schedule.
Windows Vista lets customers choose from Automatic Backup of files and data, or Complete PC Backup, which also backups up the operating system and applications.
Windows XP has a Backup utility, which can be set to copy files, settings, or everything.
Finally, many of the most-popular third-party applications take advantage of some part of the Windows operating system, such as Microsoft's Volume ShadowCopy Service, which allows point-in-time copy capabilities to be integrated between the operating system and applications.
HP, like all the server vendors and many of the storage systems vendors, has its own backup and recovery application.
In HP's case, the software is HP Data Protector, an application which most of HP's channel partners sell either regularly with HP's hardware, or as the top alternative to more powerful third-party applications.
And for HP, with its No. 1 or No. 2 share of the various server, desktop PC, and mobile PC markets, that is a lot of systems with which to sell the software.
Solution providers for the most part like HP Data Protector, which they say does a great job when used with HP systems. However, it's not always their first or second choice because of the wide variety of vendors' technologies likely to be found in customer IT environments.
CA has had mixed relations with solution providers over the years, but less so in the storage business, where the company's primary go-to-market strategy has been through the indirect sales channel.
And its backup and recovery software, ARCserve, has been a channel mainstay for far longer than most.
CA is the second-largest of the independent backup and recovery software vendors after Symantec, and many long-time users and their channel partners swear by its flagship ARCserve offering as their favorite way of backing up and recovering their data.
EMC over the years has acquired several storage vendors and done a good job of keeping those vendors' products up-to-date with customers' changing environments.
The resulting wide range of applications EMC now offers, along with sales of its market-leading storage hardware and a channel program second-to-none, continues to impress solution providers.
EMC's offerings include the former Legato product line for a wide range of customer needs, Retrospect for small business users and Avamar's data deduplication technology.
EMC' storage hardware sales also give it the ability to sell storage software that works with the hardware's unique characteristics to handle many of the backup and recovery operations.
IBM ranks high on the list of channel backup and recover software vendors because of the close relationships the vendor has with its solution providers.
Almost every IBM Business Partner sells IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager software, which is its flagship data protection application.
Solution providers praise Tivoli Storage Manager both for its functionality and for how well it works in heterogeneous server and storage environments. For them, the software has long been their primary data protection offering.
7. (tie) Dell
Dell's acquisition early last year of EqualLogic gave it an instant pre-built storage channel that included solution providers working with the backup and recovery software related to the EqualLogic iSCSI storage appliances.
In addition, a big part of Dell's overall business comes from its reselling of products from a wide range of vendors, and that includes backup and recovery software.
Dell's product line includes backup and recovery software from companies like Symantec, CA, EMC, CommVault (shown), and Double-Take.
Many solution providers resell the software from Dell because the price they get is often lower than from other sources, especially in small quantities.
7. (tie) Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi Data Systems has a couple of very strong midrange and enterprise storage array lines that are sold directly to channel partners or through the channels of OEM partners such as HP or Sun, but when it comes to backup and recovery software the company calls on some OEM partners of its own.
These include Aptare's Backup Services Manager and CommVault's Data Protection Suite, along with its own line of data replication and archiving software.
The combination of OEM'd backup and recovery applications along with home-grown replication and archiving applications provides a data protection offering solution providers ranked among the best in terms of being able to meet customers' needs.
7. (tie) Sun Microsystems
Like nearly all the systems and storage hardware vendors, Sun offers a wide range of storage-related software with its hardware.
For Sun, this includes offerings such as the Sun Storage Archive Manager, which classifies and archives data, and Solaris ZFS, an advanced open-source file system which provides data integrity and manageability.
However, Sun's channel partners typically use Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation software suite to manage and protect data.
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.
The Double-Take software suite includes disaster recovery, high-availability and server and storage migration functions. It works in both physical and virtual data center infrastructures.