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Recovery Management: Change Is in the Air

Backup/restore software continues to be a key foundation for protecting data for business continuity purposes. However, it is widely accepted that companies are best served by focusing on overall recovery management, which encompasses high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) in addition to preserving their data. And although backup/restore is a key component for the centralized administration of recovery management, backup/restore has to work with other software capabilities to ensure quick recovery for high availability-focused solutions, such as continuous data protection (CDP) and disaster-recovery strategies, such as replicating data from a local to a remote site.

CA (formerly Computer Associates) is a leading supplier of recovery management software tools -- including CA ARCserve Backup, CA XOsoft High Availability, and CA XOsoft Replication. So it should come as no surprise that CA recently sponsored a research study of trends in recovery management. TheInfoPro, a well-known supplier of market intelligence for the IT industry, conducted the custom study to examine and clarify current trends in the recovery management market, as well as address specific issues related to market drivers for recovery management solutions. Web-based multiple-choice questionnaires were administered to 205 survey participants in four geographic markets: United States/North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil.

The most startling response was to the following question: "Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 'You would consider switching your backup solution to one that integrates with your replication solution.'" Approximately, 70 percent of the respondents either agreed (well over 50 percent) or strongly agreed with the statement. This response is especially notable considering another question: "How confident are you that you can recover your data using your existing backup product to meet your business needs?" A little less than 80 percent said they were confident (nearly 60 percent) or very confident, with only a very few percent not confident.

In other words, while a large majority of participants expressed confidence in their existing backup products, a number nearly as large would consider switching to an integrated solution. Continuing in that same vein, another study question asked if respondents would agree or disagree with the following statement: "You would consider using your replication vendors' backup software instead of your current installed backup software vendor." About 63 percent either agreed (about 51 percent) or strongly agreed.

Since the overall willingness of so many study participants to change was a bit surprising, the question is what would motivate them? When asked what threshold of backup integration pain would convince them to switch backup software vendors, respondents answered: integrated continuous data protection with backup and integrated replication with backup.

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