Alternative Vendors: Data Protection, Backup, Recovery Software

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Solution providers identify Symantec Corp. as the dominant player in the data protection market with products such as the Backup Exec data backup and recovery software it gained through its 2005 acquisition of Veritas Software. But a significant number have identified vendors they consider viable alternatives to the market leader.

The list of alternative suppliers of data protection software includes some of the industry's biggest names: CA Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and its Tivoli software, and Microsoft Corp. But a number of smaller vendors also make the list, such as CommVault Systems Inc., FalconStor Software, LeftHand Networks Inc. and NovaStor Corp.

While product price, margins and other criteria certainly are factors, product performance and a vendor's ability to innovate frequently top the list of what resellers are looking for.

Microtrends, Calgary, Alberta, resells data protection software from NovaStor because of the product's performance. "It was so simple. I just thought, 'Wow, that's a great little product,' " said Lorne Reimer, IT sales executive for corporate accounts at Microtrends. And innovation doesn't always mean complex whiz-bang features: Reimer said he was attracted by how easy NovaStor's products are to use and maintain, as well their ability to work in multiple environments.

Chi Corp., Cleveland, sells data backup products from Symantec, FalconStor, CommVault and others, said Vice President of Marketing Greg Knieriemen. There are enough differences between the competing products that Chi will sell one vendor's software over another based on the customer's specific needs. If a customer is backing up data in remote offices on-site, for example, Chi will likely stick with Symantec. But if the customer wants to replicate data from those offices to a corporate data center, Knieriemen said he'll go with FalconStor.

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