What’s Changed: Gartner’s 2016 Disaster Recover as a Service Magic Quadrant Report

2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant Disaster Recovery as a Service

“By 2018, the number of organizations using disaster recovery as a service will exceed the number of organizations using traditional, syndicated recovery services.” – Gartner

Enterprise technology analysis and research firm Gartner Inc. released the latest iteration of its Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) this week.

In the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise DRaaS, Gartner evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of what it considers leading vendors in the enterprise DRaaS market and provides readers with a graph (the ‘Magic Quadrant’) plotting the vendors based on their ability to execute, and completeness of vision. The graph is divided into four quadrants: niche players, challengers, visionaries, and leaders. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications.

This is the first time Gartner has released a Magic Quadrant (MQ) for DRaaS since they introduced DRaaS as a category in 2015, and there have been some changes in vendor positions, as well as the addition of new players, and the removal of some others.

The 19 vendors included in Gartner’s report are IBM, Axcient, Sunguard Availability Services, iland, Microsoft, Bluelock, VMware, Recovery Point, Verizon, TierPoint, Acronis, Peak 10, Carbonite, Evolve IP, Data Barracks, Infrascale, NTT Communications, Unitrends, and Datto.

We read the report and pulled a few of what we consider the most important takeaways and key changes from last year’s DraaS Magic Quadrant.

How to read Gartner's Magic Quadrant.

How to read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

What is DraaS?

Gartner defines Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) as, “A service as the scenario when the service provider manages virtual machine (VM) replication and, optionally, physical machine (PM) replication from the production data center into the cloud, VM/PM activation inside the cloud and recovery exercising within the cloud.”

Why DRaaS? Gartner predicts market growth in the billions. “In recent years, IT disaster recovery (DR) as a whole and DRaaS specifically have gained momentum for small and midsize organizations due to improved affordability and functionality. Gartner estimates the DRaaS market will nearly triple in the next three years to a revenue point of $3.4 billion by 2019.”

Movements on the Chart

Though the market as a whole has been steady, there have been significant gains in placement for individual vendors on the Magic Quadrant since last year. Here are the major movements for vendors on both the 2015 and 2016 DRaaS Magic Quadrants:

Vendor, iland gaining on IBM, Sunguard Availability Systems: IBM has lead the pack for two years running, but iland has been inching towards their competitor, Sunguard Availabilty Systems, and was finally able to surpass Challengers quadrant to join those leaders. Gartner praised iland for it’s “high customer reference scores in a number of areas, including effectiveness of onboarding process, secure operations, service quality, quality of technical support, quality of professional services and service feature innovation,” but warns that Iland has, “limited experience with hybrid recovery configuration support”.

NTT Communications looses points on ‘ability to execute.’ The vendor dipped from the ‘leaders’ quadrant in 2015 into ‘Visionary’ positioning in 2016, with a significant loss in ‘ability to execute.’ Gartner warns that “Reference customers cited the need for improvement in both the flexibility of NTT Com’s service contracts, as well as in the initial service on-boarding process.” but notes that NTT Com’s DRaaS portal is highly functional and easy to use.

Axcient rises in ‘ability to execute.’ Rising from the visionary ranks, Axcient has made its debut in the leaders quadrant, for the ability to execute vision. Gartner explained the shift due to the vendors expansion of service delivery data centers, now offering one in the U.S. one in Canada, and now expanding presence in Europe and Asia in 2016. Yet, warns that, despite expanding professional services organization, “its size is not yet that of several of the other provider participants.” However, Gartner reported finding that customers, “Ranked Axcient highly in service quality, secure operations and service cost-effectiveness.”

Vendors Added and Dropped

The most significant change from one Magic Quadrant to the next is always the addition (and removal) of vendors. Here are the biggest change-ups in this year’s report:

Vendors Added:

Microsoft, Recovery Point, TierPoint, Carbonite, Evolve IP, Infrascale, Unitrends, and Datto added. Gartner added these eight vendors based on the provider’s services having positive attributes in addition to being determined by Gartner to be a significant player in the market regarding market presence and/or technology innovation.

Vendors Dropped:

Columbus Business Solutionsdue to being acquired by Cable & Wireless Communications, Seagatebecause the business was acquired by Carbonite, and Windstreambecause its DRaaS business has been acquired by TierPoint.

Will Axcient Join IBM as next years Market Leaders?

Gartner defines market leaders as vendors who “combine an insightful understanding of the realities of the market, a reliable record, the ability to influence the market’s direction, the capability to attract and keep a following, and the capacity to lead.”

Given Axcient’s large leap from visionary to leader, it’s easy to imagine that a company in motion, may stay in motion and make that push for completeness of vision to join IBM next year in the Magic Quadrant’s coveted throne.

Though Gartner identifies market leaders, they are careful to point out that large market leaders are not always the right choice for a business. “A focused, smaller vendor can provide excellent support and commitment to individual customers,” according to the report.