In-Depth

7 Data Recovery-as-a-Service Platforms Gaining Speed

There's no shortage of software, hardware and cloud providers adding Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) if Hyper-V Replica isn't enough for your requirements.

If Microsoft's Hyper-V Replica doesn't meet your service-level requirements, there's no shortage of providers of software, hardware and appliances that suppliers are making available for cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Many are offered as appliances, others as pure software and services solutions.

Some suppliers run their own cloud services, others are in the process of enabling partner networks of local and regional managed services and hosting providers to deliver those services. A number now also offer the option to use both local services providers and large ones such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Others are still looking into doing so. Here are seven providers that have recently updated their offerings:

DRaaS Coming to Veeam Availability Suite in 2015 via Cloud Connect
The newly released Veeam Software Data Availability Suite v8 looks to enable customers who have used its virtual machine-focused backup and recovery software to implement disaster and recovery capabilities via secondary datacenters or using a cloud services provider. CEO Ratmir Timashev says that Veeam is on pace to post $500 million in booked revenue (non GAAP) this year and is aiming to double that to $1 billion by 2018. To get there, Timashev sees the growing DRaaS business as a key catalyst of that growth.

Timashev says Veeam can reach those fast-growth goals without deviating from its core mission of protecting virtual datacenters. The new Data Availability Suite v8 incorporates the company's new Cloud Connect interface that will let customers choose from a growing network of partners that are building cloud-based and hosted backup and disaster recovery services.

Released last month, the Cloud Connect component initially only supports backup and recovery with DRaaS replication promised early next year, Timashev says. "From the user perspective, they are just going to see in the interface, ‘Do you want to also backup up to cloud?,' and then they can select, ‘Yes,' and then they can go directly to our Web site for the services provider they want to use. We have a simple registration and certification process for them to become a services provider who is using the Cloud Connect. So customers will be able to select in different countries the services providers in their cities."

Because Veeam Cloud Connect just became available, the company has only formally announced a handful of providers offering the service. They Include Cirrity LLC, iLand, NewCloud Networks, OffisteDataSync and Phoenix NAP. Veeam says it aims to have 1,500 services providers available in the coming year.

The new v8 suite offers a bevy of other features including what it calls "Explorers" that can now protect Microsoft Active Directory and SQL Server, and provides extended support for Exchange Server and SharePoint. Also added is extended WAN acceleration introduced in the last release to cover replication and a feature called Backup IO, which adds intelligent load balancing.

Unitrends New Offering Links Appliances and Cloud Service
The new Unitrends DRaaS offering uses the company's own cloud network, which it believes offers higher service levels than larger cloud services providers such as AWS Inc., Microsoft and Google. Though the company hasn't ruled out partnering with such players or others in the future for certain capability, the DRaaS offering lets customers use its appliances to conduct on-site backups of servers and virtual machines (VMs) and utilize its continuous data replication technology for data, systems and applications to the company's No Limits Cloud service, which the company says offers 24x7 telephone services and the use of its newly acquired optional Reliable DR disaster recovery testing tool to meet compliance and governance requirements.

Either live VMs or physical servers are spun up in real time to the cloud, providing recovery of those systems in the event of unplanned downtime or a disaster. On-premises appliances range in configuration from 1TB to 97TB and the company also offers software-based virtual appliances for instant recovery of both physical and VMs.

"We take it one step further and provide what we call deep virtualization, meaning we can go into the application that sits on the virtual machine," says Ubo Guha, Unitrends vice president of product management. "There may be an application like Exchange or custom apps that need to have a lot more deeper management of the operating system, the application, and you might want to adjust things."

Vision Solutions Adds DRaaS to DoubleTake
The new DoubleTake 7.1, released last month from Vision Solutions Inc., dons a number of improved migration and high-availability features, but also provides disaster recovery for Windows hybrid cloud environments. It's suited for DRaaS, thanks to a new metered usage feature available for cloud and managed services providers deploying the product.

DoubleTake 7.1 is also now fully API-enabled and designed with full server data replication and is container-based rather than volume-based. It supports the new Microsoft virtual hard drive format VHDX and its Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), says Tim Laplante, director of product strategy at Vision Solutions.

"This provides more granular level of control and gives you that near CDP [continuous data protection), which is nice because it gives you the best of both worlds," Laplante says. "If there's a disaster and you need to execute your DR plan, it gives you the option at that point to say, ‘Do I need to go back to that exact point in time, or do I need to go back to 15 minutes ago because it was really just a virus or data corruption that happened, so I need to step back for a couple of minutes to the point that happened before then?"

Besides the metered usage, it's suited for DRaaS in that the DoubleTake 7.1 repository can replicate both physical machines and VMs on-premises to another datacenter, private cloud or public cloud. Likewise, recovery service can be anywhere in the physical, virtual and cloud mix, as well. Administrators can specify discrete repository server targets, so customers know exactly where a specific system and data is, which should appeal to those who have sovereignty requirements. "It's not that your data is in multiple zones," Laplante says. "You know exactly where that data is when you need it for compliance purposes."

With the new disaster recovery feature in DoubleTake, LaPlante says Vision Solutions will step up working with services providers to offer DRaaS. "It's a huge piece of where we see our growth," he says.

Zerto Virtual Replication Now Supports Hyper-V
Zerto, a 4-year-old company with headquarters in Israel and the United States that provides disaster recovery and replication software, until now has a following among VMware Inc. shops. The company has recently entered the Hyper-V world. The Zerto Virtual Replication now supports replication of Hyper-V hypervisors to other Hyper-V targets, as well as to vSphere and vice versa.

In short, the company says its CDP-based replication tool is now hypervisor-agnostic. Gil Levonai, the company's president of marketing, says its software offers recovery point objectives (RPOs) of seconds, and said it can provide consistent recovery of multiple VM applications. It doesn't use snapshots, just CDP, automatically orchestrates disaster recovery processes ensuring the consistency of applications and data, and generates reports.

"We took real hard enterprise-class replications from storage and moved it into the hypervisor," Levonai says. "You don't have to worry about where the VM is and you don't care about where the data is. You can move it between storage. We are agnostic to storage because we are replicating virtual objects, which can be VMs or volumes."

Dell Combines Backup and DRaaS in New AppAssure SuiteDell Inc. was one of the earliest players to offer DRaaS to enterprises and earlier this year said it has more than 1,000 managed services providers (MSPs) offering its AppAssure replication software. The latest release, AppAssure 5.4, offers multi-target and multi-hop replication, which the company claims makes it suited for multi-tier disaster recovery.

AppAssure 5.4 also lets customers set multiple data retention policies both for on-premises and off-site cloud and MSP facilities. Customers can customize replication schedules for each target, enabling them to throttle when needed and restrict speed in bandwidth-limited situations.

Dell is offering AppAssure as part of a new data protection that includes NetVault Backup and vRanger backup and recovery offerings. The company is also now offering a capacity-licensing model with a range from 1TB going as high as 250TB of data.

Acronis Enters DRaaS with nScale Deal
Known for its protection of Windows physical and virtual file server data protection wares, including specialty versions for SharePoint, Exchange, SQL Server and VMware environments, Acronis International GmbH in September jumped into the DRaaS mix with the acquisition of San Francisco-based nScaled.

Acronis says users of its Hosted Backup as a Service offering will be able to use nScale to extend that into a cloud-based disaster recovery offering. The company will enable its partners to offer the nSCaled DRaaS offering, which is designed to enable remote and local sites to failover via the cloud to ensure recovery within minutes of an outage.

Nasuni Adds Azure to DRaaS
Until recently Nasuni Corp. has relied on AWS as the cloud provider for its DRaaS offering, now the company has added the Microsoft Azure service as an option. Customers can now choose which provider they want their data replicated to, or if they prefer, can use both for contingency.

The latest version of its offering was released this summer. It includes the 6.0 release, which the company says adds file data virtulization that separates file data from storage hardware. It adds global file locking to utilize cloud storage architectures. With it is the new Nasuni Filer NF-100 appliance, the company says service is suited for providing recovery of blocks of data including CAD and BIM files.

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