Q: What disaster recovery services can I offer?
I think there are a couple of opportunities for service providers in disaster recovery [services]. The first and foremost is for them to act as a trusted advisor to the companies that they've been working with, to help them formulate and map out which technologies can fill their requirements for recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives.
In many cases, those service providers have an opportunity from a professional services perspective to go in and help those companies understand their disaster recovery needs. Often just forming that bridge between the application owners and the technology groups, to draw those correlations, is a value-add they can provide.
Another area where we're seeing a lot of [disaster recovery service] opportunities for VARs and service providers is online backup. Specifically, this is the ability to go in and help, especially in the SMB market, where those companies are going from a tape-based backup to disk-based backup. Traditionally, service providers wouldn't have the opportunities to do this for clients themselves, because of the expense of disks and potentially the resources needed to make that conversion.
Instead, what we're seeing is a lot of VARs looking at that recurring revenue model of online backup. They're becoming MSPs and going to their companies and offering online backup so those companies can gain the benefits of recovering to disk, or backing up to disk. The pitch is that online backup is much faster and their clients can get incremental backups. Online backup provides an off-site location for a customer's data to be stored, and it also provides a means for them to rapidly restore their data.