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As-as-service: The new digital reality

23 Dec 2014

Backup and disaster recovery lend themselves well to as-a-service offerings. Charles Clarke, Veeam Software APAC technical director, offers some pointers.

As-a-service is not new. Hosting and managed service providers have been suggesting rental models for years. But, as novelist and essayist William Gibson said in 1993, "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed". As-a-service is distributing fast, and will permeate 2015. 

The growth of the cloud has both enabled and fuelled the massive growth in services and pay-as-you-go models. This is a good thing for end users; it allows them to react better to market conditions and be more agile without requiring capital outlay. There is a drive towards short-term, cloud driven sourcing that springs from the modern data centre.

This is an opportunity too for the channel, as it allows organisations to better focus on customer service and the outcomes their customers are driving towards. The user experience is paramount. Customers are now only a moment away from selecting the competition. Resellers need to treat them well and deliver a great service.

Backup and disaster recovery (DR) lend themselves well to as-a-service offerings. Customers are keen to get their valuable data offsite, but are equally keen to have recovery time and point objectives match the requirements of today's 'always-on' business. 

In many cases, legacy solutions and archiving to tape simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Backup and DR-as-a-service allows the channel to provide those vital recovery services utilising their own infrastructure or bursting into public cloud. Opportunities exist from simple storage-as-a-service to hosted recoveries and full DR hosting and testing.

So where should channel partners start?  The good news is channel partners don't need to spend $200 million building a DR-as-a-service data centre if they don't already have one. 

Public providers like Microsoft and Amazon have already done the hard work and it's easy to leverage their compute and storage resources. There are plenty of local New Zealand providers who can help too. 

Bridging from a customer’s on premise environment to the an 'as-a-service' solution is easy by using tools like Veeam Cloud Connect, which negotiates low-bandwidth, high latency internet-style links with minimal configuration making it cost efficient, easy and quick to deploy. 

However resellers must keep in mind that they are providing a service and not a product offering. Backup or DR-as-a-service requires well thought-out and careful recovery planning that should be tested regularly and kept up to date. Not only will this build credibility  and trust with customers, but it will also give channel partners the confidence to reassemble their customers’ environment in the event of a catastrophe.

As-a-service is the new digital reality for the channel. Better service means more market flexibility and more opportunities for New Zealand organisations to exploit in the global marketplace. Backup and DR-as-a-service gives customers a stable, yet agile backbone upon which they can innovate.