Asigra, Inc., the technology leader in agentless backup and recovery software for enterprises and service providers targeting the growing managed storage services market, today released key selection criteria for determining the appropriate outsourced backup service provider. Given the growing number of service providers offering online/managed backup services, selecting the appropriate provider can be a confusing process for the increasing number of consumers, small and home offices (SOHOs), small and medium businesses (SMBs), and enterprises looking to outsource their backups.
In a recent survey of 550 organizations by THINKstrategies, a strategic consulting services company, 54 percent of respondents stated that they are using, planning to use, or are considering online/managed backup, with growth anticipated to increase 13 percent by 2008. While large enterprises are more likely than small ones to use managed services, online backup service providers report escalating demand from consumers and small companies as well.
“Finding the right managed backup service is critical for any company,” said Jeff Kaplan, founding analyst with THINKstrategies. “With so many choices available in the backup services space, finding the right one can be trying. SMBs and enterprises must have a clearly defined checklist of requirements to ensure the appropriate choice is made. Service providers that offer outsourced backup should be prepared to respond to such a list by making sure the features they offer and the services they deliver are clearly specified.”
Organizational Size Affects Selection Criteria
Backup service providers typically focus on a certain market segment, such as consumers/SOHOs, SMBs or enterprises, and offer distinctly different service levels that are only appropriate for the market segment they target. More importantly, these user categories have different requirements when it comes to backup services.
Consumers and SOHOs (1 to 5 machines) generally have one site to protect; run Windows or Mac systems; have less than 15GB of data to back up at one time, mostly in the form of files; and a maximum recovery time objective of about one week. This group typically needs only email support and is very price conscious (under $20 per month); in fact, price is usually the primary motivating factor in selecting a backup service.
SMBs (6-499 employees) can have as much as 3 Terabytes (TB) of data to be backed up, including files, applications (usually Windows-based), and network data. The data being backed up is mission-critical and its loss can have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line. Many SMBs use major platforms, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Novell, and these systems need to be included in the backup process. Recovery time requirements for this group range from 24 to 72 hours, a significant differentiator from the consumer/SOHO group. SMBs demand both phone and onsite support and typically look for service fees balanced against business value. This group most often selects service packages between $150 and $500 per month, depending upon their environment. Price is only one factor this market considers in selecting a managed backup provider: the service provider’s reputation and references also play a key role in the selection process.
The needs of mid-market (500+ employees) and enterprises (1000+ employees) limit the number of managed service providers that can realistically address this market. Large enterprises need everything that SMBs need and then some. The data load is typically no less than 3 TB and oftentimes in the hundreds of terabytes. All network data and enterprise applications (Oracle, MS-Exchange, Lotus Notes, DB2, MS-SQL, SharePoint, GroupWise, VMware, SAP, etc.) must be backed up. Enterprises typically have 10 or more remote locations and a recovery time objective of less than 24 hours. The data being backed up can have an enormous financial impact in the current regulatory climate, especially for public companies. Phone and onsite support are essential, as is local disk-based (onsite) backup for near-instant data recovery. Large enterprises also require consistent service in multiple languages, globally located backup vaults and offsite disaster recovery centers for relocation of personnel in the event of a catastrophe. Large organizations are willing to pay more than $500 per month to outsource backup and recovery operations, but the price depends on the IT environment and service level.
User requirements and conditions in multiple areas determine which backup service provider is appropriate for an organization. These include:
• Data load
• Content to be protected
• Applications to be protected
• Recovery time objective
• Platform coverage
• Number of sites to be protected
• Support level
“We realized that the backup services space was becoming confusing for those considering outsourcing their backup operations,” said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra. “Figuring out who can provide the right backup service level depends on a number of factors that may not be so obvious amid all the noise of various service providers’ marketing efforts. Leveraging over 20 years experience in the backup service software business, we pulled together selection criteria, making it easier for organizations searching for a service provider to narrow the selection process. Outsourcing backup may be the best decision a business can make to protect its information, and as a proponent of the industry, we want to make sure that companies make a choice that can satisfy their recovery requirements.”
Asigra is the award-winning leader in remote office/branch office (ROBO) online backup and recovery software for managed backup service providers and enterprises. The company’s flagship product, Televaulting, is used by global enterprises in the financial, insurance, legal, government, healthcare, and retail industries with more than four petabytes of data protected. Asigra technology is used by hundreds of service providers worldwide that offer managed backup services to companies ranging from small and medium businesses (SMBs) to Global 2000 enterprises. The agentless remote site backup and recovery solution provides simple, centralized management of the data protection process while eliminating the capital and operational expenses associated with agent-based solutions. Founded in 1986, Asigra is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with partner offices around the world.
Asigra, the Asigra logo, BLM and Televaulting are trademarks of Asigra, Inc. All other brand and product names are, or may be, trademarks of their respective owners.