Disaster Planning Promises Big Channel Profits

Disk-to-disk backup systems are now at the heart of many disaster-recovery solutions.

Surprisingly, small and enterprise businesses have started to implement true disaster-recovery solutions, while midsize businesses apparently lag in this regard. Small businesses tend to rely on VARs for advanced disaster-recovery solutions, while enterprise-level businesses use their internal IT departments. Midsize businesses potentially have more to lose in a disaster than their counterparts. They tend to be too complex to be quickly relocated like a small business, but also lack the internal IT staffs that large companies have to rapidly bring key business processes back online. Those facts create a stellar opportunity for VARs offering business-continuity services in the midmarket.

Solution providers favor off-site backups as the primary method for protecting data, with 58 percent selecting that style of protection as their preferred route. Remote and off-site backup solutions often can be set up as managed services, allowing solution providers to garner ongoing revenue via service contracts. What&'s more, those services place solution providers squarely in the storage management arena, creating even more potential for deeper customer relationships.

With storage technologies in mind, many solution providers are turning to disk-to-disk (D2D) backup as the capstone of a disaster-recovery solution. CRN research found that 29 percent of those polled feel D2D has come of age as a valid replacement for tape, while 54 percent feel D2D will replace tape-backup methods within two years. Solution providers entering or promoting the disaster-recovery market should take those numbers to heart and look to D2D as one of their primary technologies.

The business-continuity market can become a major profit center for most solution providers, especially when one considers the hardware, software and services required to craft a comprehensive disaster-recovery plan, not to mention the ongoing maintenance associated with that strategy.

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The need to keep disaster-recovery blueprints up-to-date as technologies and customer needs evolve also offers solution providers a steady source of product and service revenue.