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Dell Looks to Disrupt Data Protection MarketDell Looks to Disrupt Data Protection Market

Backup and recovery seems to be one of those software categories that refuses to consolidate. In fact, thanks to the rise of the cloud and advances in the areas of replication and image-based backup and recovery software, there are more backup and recovery vendors than ever.

Michael Vizard

August 14, 2014

3 Min Read
Dell Looks to Disrupt Data Protection Market

mvizard.jpeg.crop-display.jpgBackup and recovery seems to be one of those software categories that refuses to consolidate. In fact, thanks to the rise of the cloud and advances in the areas of replication and image-based backup and recovery software, there are more backup and recovery vendors than ever.

How long all those vendors can compete is anybody’s guess, but Dell did send a message this week that strongly indicates that it would like to force the issue. Since acquiring Quest Software and AppAssure in 2012, Dell has three different data protection offerings in its portfolio.

This week Dell pulled together its AppAssure, NetVault Backup and vRanger data protection products into a Dell Backup and Recovery Suite that, when deployed in volume, is priced at roughly $2,250 per terabyte. Michael Grant, director of software product marketing for Dell Software, said that by combining all three offerings in a single suite Dell is making it easier for IT organizations to deploy both file and image-based backup solutions for physical and virtual server environments as they see fit.

In fact, Grant said that by using all three products in tandem Dell partners can deliver capabilities that approach near-zero in terms of both recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO).

Ever since it went private Dell has vowed to be a lot more disruptive in all the markets it competes in. With the bundling of all three data protection offerings in a single suite, Grant said Dell is making a play for additional market share while pledging to protect channel partner margins.

Obviously, most of the backup and recovery software opportunity in the channel involves replacing legacy technology with more modern data protection software. Naturally, the rise of cloud computing has made storing all that data less expensive. But the introduction of the cloud makes managing the data protection process more complicated, especially when it comes to recovery. The end result is an increased demand for modern data protection offerings that in many cases now are being managed by solution providers rather than the internal IT organization.

Dell is not anywhere near being a market leader in the data protection space at the moment. But it does sense weakness among incumbent vendors such as Symantec (SYMC). Obviously, Dell will need a lot help from its channel partners to entice customers to switch their loyalty to Dell. As backup and recovery becomes more a utility, Grant said Dell sees an opportunity to disrupt the data protection market in a way that favors its channel partners.

At a time when many relative upstarts in the data protection category have managed to gain a fair amount of share in the market by making more sophisticated data protection software available to small-to-medium (SMB) customers using innovative pricing models, Dell clearly sees that a fair amount of the data protection market is up for grabs. In the case of Dell, the strategy obviously includes a lot variety of approaches to data protection coupled with a bigger brand, feet on the street, and some good old-fashioned bundling to create an offer that promises to be difficult to ignore.

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About the Author(s)

Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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