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Technical Insight: Backup-as-a-Service Fundamentals

The market for backup-as-a-service (BUaaS) has been around for more than a decade. During that time, a couple of different types of BUaaS offerings have emerged.

  • Some BUaaS offerings are software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based. The backup software is hosted, subscribed to, and procured through the cloud (as opposed to the customer purchasing a perpetual license and deploying the software on-premises). Source resources residing both on-premises and in the cloud (including apps, containers, databases, and physical and virtual infrastructure) are connected to back-end retention storage (typically cloud-based or on-premises object stores). This paper, as well as Evaluator Group’s Vendor Comparison Matrix and product-specific coverage, focus on these offerings.
  • Other vendors offer “managed” BUaaS solutions. In this model, infrastructure is deployed on the customer’s site, hosted in a colocation data center, or hosted in the cloud. This model offloads even more of the planning, deployment and management responsibilities from IT, with the service provider not only deploying and managing protection infrastructure, but also managing all protection jobs for the customer to designated recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). The tradeoffs are that deployment time is typically longer, and these solutions might end up being more expensive than a more self-managed model.

BUaaS serves as the route to protection for workloads that can tolerate some downtime and some data loss (as opposed to disaster recovery-as-a-service, which leverages technologies like replication to provide business continuity). Core value propositions of BUaaS include IT infrastructure and management cost savings, ease of use, remote access, and scalability (we will explore these characteristics in more detail in the “Why Backup-as-a-Service” section of this report).

In-line with these value propositions, Evaluator Group has seen initial adoption of BUaaS offerings primarily “downstream” in the marketplace among small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and smaller-scale enterprises. These companies have more limited in-house IT expertise and IT budget. They also need to get their backup environment up and running quickly, and scale quickly as they grow.

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Related to this document:
Technical Insight: Backup-as-a-Service – Key Considerations, Technical Insight: Enterprise Backup-as-a-Service Product and Vendor Landscape, Technical Insight: Cloud Data Protection – Terms and Definitions

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August 19, 2020

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