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DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its inaugural 160+ page DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 80 features on more than 60 different backup appliances from 13 different storage providers. This Buyer’s Guide addresses the growing demand that organizations of all sizes have for purpose built backup appliances that are specifically designed and tuned to protect consolidated physical and virtual IT infrastructures.

Backup-Appliance-Buyers-Guide-Logo-500x500.jpgThe demand for purpose built appliances is most evident in the rise of purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) over the last few years. A recent market analysis performed by IDC found that worldwide PBBA revenue totaled $2.4 billion in 2011 which was a 42.4% increase over the prior year. IDC further estimated that PBBA revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4 percent through the end of 2016.

Yet what this IDC forecast fails to fully convey is how two different types of PBBAs, backup appliances and deduplication appliances, have emerged. While the differences between them may be subtle, they are critically important for organizations to understand as these two PBBA types address distinctly different data protection challenges within the IT infrastructure.

DCIG chose to examine these two types of PBBAs separately as they address difficult challenges in IT infrastructures. Backup appliances specifically combine server and storage hardware with backup software and are sold as a single SKU.  Conversely deduplication appliances are primarily used as a disk-based backup target and complement backup software that is already present in the organization’s environment.

The most notable difference in these two PBBA types from an organizational perspective is that ideally a backup appliance, as is defined and covered in this Buyer’s Guide, will have no dependencies on any pre-existing backup and recovery processes. As such, organizations may implement one of the backup appliances covered in this Guide without any need for any other backup software or hardware to make it work. This is rarely if ever the case with deduplication appliances.

The growing complexity of IT infrastructures further contributes to the value that backup appliances have to offer. As organizations consolidate and virtualize their infrastructure, their IT environments inevitably become more complex with the aspect of data protection becoming one of the most difficult aspects to manage. Unfortunately for many IT staff, they are frequently asked to support a growing number of applications of which backup is just one of the many that they need to manage with no more time to do so.

This is where backup appliances come to the rescue. They provide organizations the “silver bullet” that many seek in the form of a bundled data protection solution. This solution, when appropriately chosen, enables them to quickly, easily and confidently implement it so they may then proceed to bringing and keeping backup and recovery in their environment under control.

Equally important, backup appliances should negate the need of IT administrators having to become experts in backup software and its underlying hardware. Now their buying decision becomes theoretically as easy as looking up what backup appliance solutions are available and then picking one that best matches their particular needs.

This DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide should help organizations quickly ascertain what backup appliances are on the market, what features they possess and then expedite their decision making and buying process. 

The DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance top ten products include (in alphabetical order):  RackTop EBR-FE, Symantec NetBackup 5220 Backup Appliance, Symantec Backup Exec 3600 Appliance, STORServer Enterprise Backup Appliance 800, 1100, 2100 and 3100, and Unitrends Recovery-822, 823 and 833.

One new aspect of this Buyer’s Guide is that DCIG introduced a new ranking of “Enterprise.” In addition to its usually high mark of “Recommended,” DCIG chose to highlight how the STORServer EBA 3100 clearly stood out above and beyond other competitive offerings. Products also noted as Recommended include: Symantec NetBackup 5220 Backup Appliance and the STORServer EBA 2100, 1100 and 800 models.

In doing its research for this Buyer’s Guide, DCIG uncovered some interesting statistics about backup appliances in general:

  • 94% support deduplication in some form
  • 93% support bare metal restores
  • 80% support some form of removable disk storage (RDX, thumb drives, etc.)
  • 74% support VADP
  • 70% support single controller configurations
  • 60% integrate with VMware vCenter Server
  • 30% offer dual controller configurations
  • 20% support SSDs
  • 9% support internal tape drives
  • 6% scale to over 100 TBs of raw capacity

As with prior DCIG Buyer’s Guides, it accomplishes the following objectives for end users:

  • Lists each backup appliance model by vendor
  • Lists out features of each backup appliance showing key features supported or not supported by each product
  • Scores the features most relevant to end users
  • Provides “at a glance” reference for companies evaluating specific backup appliances or backup appliance features
  • Provides a backup appliance ranking showing how vendor products compare across similar products on the market
  • Offers recommendations as to which backup appliance rankings and products best align with their specific backup and recovery objectives
  • Provides 66 backup appliance data sheets from 13 different vendors so organizations may compare systems for one or many technology providers. 
  • Facilitates and accelerates the process of organizations obtaining bids on competitive products

The DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide is available immediately and may be downloaded for no charge with registration by following this link.

Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc.

Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

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