Vendor Spotlight: Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Software

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Software

Industry analyst Gartner, Inc. has released the latest iteration of its annual Backup and Recovery Software Magic Quadrant (MQ) report.

This 2016, “Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Software” is an update to the “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances” that was last published in June 2015. The renamed Magic Quadrant and updated market criteria are in response to Gartner client requests to focus more on backup and recovery software for the upper-midsize to large enterprises that protect data center workloads managed by data center personnel. In the 2016 MQ for Backup and Recovery Software, Gartner evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of 9 vendors considered most significant in the market, and provides readers with a graph (the Magic Quadrant) plotting the vendors based on their ability to execute and completeness of vision. That graph is divided into four quadrants: Niche Players, Challengers, Visionaries, and Leaders.

Niche Players

In 2016, Vendor, Unitrends earned it’s spot within the quadrant for offering a complete package of hybrid backup to the cloud and DRaaS via integrated appliances or software-only offerings. Niche players are described by Gartner as, “Companies that focus successfully on a small segment, or are unfocused and do not out-innovate or outperform others.” Gartner acknowledges that Unitrends is strategically expanding its sales presence outside of North America, and throughout 2015, expanded cloud geographies in North America, Europe and Australia to strengthen its Cloud coverage, potentially setting the company up for a shift in quadrant for 2017? We’ll have to wait and see!


Gartner’s guide describes Visionaries: “They understand where the market is going or have a vision for changing market rules, but do not yet execute well.” Visionaries are typically smaller companies but have a very good awareness of how the market will evolve. Gartner uses “market understanding” as one of the evaluation criteria in positioning a backup and recovery vendor’s completeness of vision, along with offering product strategy, and innovation.

Gartner included 1 visionary on its 2016 Magic Quadrant: Vendor, Actifio.

Gartner realized Actifio, snuggled soundly center-stage of the category, because of it’s new approach to BUDR: “The solution uses application-aware plug-ins, to capture backup data with a “block-level incremental-forever method.” Gartner explains that the product’s efficacy resides in the way that backup data is stored; in the native format within a snapshot pool for very fast recovery, and “separately preserved in a deduplicated pool for local retention and remote replication.” Gartner warns that Actifio’s solution has the potential to break the bank, because of the high cost of storage, due to the fact that, the snapshot pool in Actifio’s physical appliances does not offer compression.


In 2016, Hewlett Packard Enterprise was the only BUDR solution included in the Challengers’ quadrant. Challengers are characterized as, providers who are working to develop products which address the foundational needs of the corporate market which also boast strong sales, and visibility. Gartner describes an important move that the company recently made which changed the tide, “In November 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise completed its split from its consumer products counterpart (HP Inc.) to better focus on the enterprise business.” Since, the vendor continues to try to better leverage its direct storage and server sales divisions, as well as promote a new product suite called, Data Protection Suite, which includes Data Protector, Backup Navigator for operational analytics and Storage Optimizer for unstructured data management.


To Gartner, leaders are defined as BUDR software that, “Are perceived in the industry as thought leaders, and have well-articulated plans for enhancing recovery capabilities, improving ease of deployment and administration, and increasing their scalability and product breadth.” Wouldn’t you know, the leader quadrant is saturated with vendors that fit the bill. Veeam, who offers backup and replication, is a reliable and function-rich data protection solution for VMware and Hyper-V environment, and hovers slightly above the visionary quadrant for such capabilities. Gartner suggests that Veeam is influencing the market with novel capabilities and pricing: “Veeam’s “instant recovery” function and socket-based pricing model have forced some major competitors to follow suit and to develop similar capabilities and pricing models.” However, competition in this area might have Veem fighting to stay within the leader boarders- emerging vendors are also aiming to simplify backup infrastructure management for the virtual server environment.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a culmination of research in a specific market, giving consumers a perspective of the relative positions of the market’s competitors.