Disaster Recovery Service Providers Demystified

In a world where failure and downtime are no longer an option, resiliency is an increasingly critical priority. In fact, it was the no. 3 overall infrastructure priority moving into 2014. But how do we become more resilient organizations? Many companies feel that they do not have the required in-house expertise to run their entire DR programs--in fact, according to our latest Forrester/DRJ study, 42% of companies use some sort of outsourced DR service.

But how do you select a DR service provider partner? Forrester undertook this task with an update of our Traditional Disaster Recovery Service Provider Wave, and our first ever Disaster Recovery-As-A-Service Provider Wave evaluations. Vendors evaluated in this report represent today's top DR service providers vendors -- Axcient; Barracuda Networks; CenturyLink Technology Solutions; CSC; EVault; HP; IBM; iland; nScaled; Persistent Systems; Phoenix; Quorum; Recovery Point Systems; SunGard; and Verizon Terremark. What we found was a tight race, and a DRaaS market in which:

  • iland and SunGard lead the pack. Two vendors stand apart in this evaluation: iland and SunGard both excel in their current offering and their strategies. Both offer very flexible solutions that cover the entire resiliency spectrum and allow users to pick from an array of standardized offerings to ensure that their needs are met.
  • IBM, nScaled, EVault, and Verizon Terremark are hot on their heels. Just behind the top dogs, IBM, nScaled, EVault, and Verizon Terremark all demonstrated extremely strong solutions. High points for nScaled and Verizon Terremark are their security capabilities, while both EVault and IBM offer a wide range of recovery objectives at different price points.
  • Axcient, HP, and CenturyLink offer competitive options. Hot on the heels of the core Leader group is a cluster of worthy competitors: Axcient, HP, and CenturyLink Technology Solutions. Axcient did not actively participate in this research, but it was included because it excelled in its proven success and experience. By contrast, neither CenturLink nor HP have experienced client disaster declarations, but have tested extensively and show strong current offerings.

And a traditional DR service provider market in which:

  • Recovery Point, IBM, HP, and SunGard are the top dogs. These four vendors are in a close race, each with a broad suite of recovery capabilities and strong platform support. All four particularly excelled in their virtual recovery services offerings.
  • Phoenix and CSC have strengths in their particular areas. CSC’s consulting practice is extremely robust; however, because the company does not offer many add-on services, such as work-area recovery, quick-ship hardware, and business continuity plan (BCP) software, it was unable to compete with the top dogs in several areas. For companies in the UK, Phoenix can compete with the top dogs, but elsewhere, its presence is very limited.

For the full details of the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor, see The Forrester Wave™: Disaster-Recovery-As-A-Service Providers, Q1 2014 and The Forrester Wave™: Traditional Disaster Recovery Service Providers, Q1 2014.

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