Idera May Trigger Badly Needed Backup Market Shakeup

The backup market badly needs a shakeup in the wake of the virtualization revolution, and Idera Software may be the vendor to drive it, writes Wikibon Analyst John T. McArthur in his latest Professional Alert, “The Backup Market May be Ready for Disruption”.

The problem with the backup market is that pricing and products that made sense in the old physical reality world, in which a server ran an application that had one instance, do not fit today’s increasingly virtual reality in which applications run on VMs that move from one place to another, multiple instances of the same application pop into existence when needed and are closed when unneeded, and workloads transfer constantly across the data center and into and out of the Cloud.

Idera, which has a strong track record with its Server Backup for Service Providers (formerly R1Soft), has announced a new product, Idera Server Backup Enterprise 5.0 designed to meet the backup needs of the modern, virtualized data center. It offers several features including support for Windows and Linux physical servers and VMware, HyperV, and Xen virtual servers. However the disruptive part, McArthur writes, is not the technology but rather the pricing model.

Idera CEO Rick Pleczko describes the product as the Toyota of enterprise backup, emphasizing its reliability and affordability. It has a four-step licensing model for virtual machines ranging from 50 VMs for $995 to an unlimited site license for $49,995, and a similar four-step program for physical servers ranging from a five-server license for $995 to an unlimited site license for $49,995.

What makes this disruptive for virtual systems is the low price of the unlimited site license. The problem with traditional licensing models in virtual environments is that the number of VMs is constantly changing and, in many environments, growing, making it very difficult for the CIO to know how many VMs he actually needs to support. The low price unlimited license eliminates the problem, while the low prices on the other three stages makes it practical for SMBs with very limited budgets to buy a license that becomes a “not to exceed” number with a safety margin above the maximum number of VMs the company will need at one time.

Idera, McArthur writes, has eliminated one impediment for most organizations seeking a backup solution (backup software license fees) and simplified another (software license administration). He recommends that companies in the market for a new backup solution take a close look. Competitors might also want to consider adopting its pricing model.