DCIG Backup Appliance Guide, Unitrends Backup Appliances, and Car Dealers

by Patrick Redknap on April 1, 2014

This post today is another guest post from Unitrends CTO Dr Mark Campbell!

DCIG just announced the availability of its DCIG 2014-2015 integrated backup appliance buyer’s guide.  You can download it here.  Drumrolls…and the tension builds…and that Unitrends as a vendor with its top of the line flagship Recovery-943….is number 2?


Look – there’s no doubt that Unitrends dominated the DGIC 2014-2015 integrated backup appliance buyer’s guide.  Unitrends backup appliances took ten of the top twenty spots.  We absolutely crushed Barracuda backup appliances.  We dominated Symantec NetBackup 5230 and Symantec Backup Exec 3600 backup appliances.   Even our entry-level desktops eclipsed Dell AppAssure (slapped on top of a PowerVault DL4000) and EMC Avamar as well as EVault.

But as the folks at Lexus used to say – we’re pretty deeply into the relentless pursuit of perfection.  We hate being second at anything! How in the heck did this happen?  Well, it turns out, that there’s a bit more to the story than our being number 2.  If you’re into backup appliances – and if you’re handling any type of IT infrastructure, I strongly recommend that you should be – then this gets kind of interesting.

The methodology used by DCIG was to use a pretty exhaustive and intricate rating system to rate each feature of each appliance of each backup appliance vendor.  I honestly thought it was one of the best rating systems I’ve seen.  I only had one difference of opinion with the survey, but in my opinion it’s an important one.

DCIG applied the term “integrated backup appliance” to not only integrated backup appliance vendors – but to OPS vendors as well. OPS is a term we use that stands for “Other People’s Software.”  Throwing one vendor’s software onto another vendor’s hardware makes life interesting for those who have to manage and support it – and for those who have to buy it.  And therein lies the rest of our story – the tale of integrated pricing.

The vendor ranked at #1, who incidentally is an OPS vendor, beat our Recovery-943 by 4.46 points out of 119.24 total points, specified their system as being priced starting at $50K to $75K.  Our Recovery-943 was specified as being priced starting at $100K.

So I called my friendly neighborhood reseller and asked what it would cost to buy the other system.  I specified a pretty small environment I wanted to protect.  Lo and behold – the price was hundreds and hundreds and hundreds – and hundreds – of thousands of dollars.  I got the quote.  It turns out that the starting price – DID NOT INCLUDE THE BACKUP SOFTWARE.

Now – I know that many car dealers suffer from reputations of “bait and switch” – they bring you in for a low base model price and then they try to sell you the fully loaded vehicle.  But I’ve never had a car dealer try to sell me a car without a steering wheel or seats or an engine.  When I think of “car” – I think of all those things integrated into a single package.  And that’s what I think of when the term “backup appliances” is used.  And that’s what Unitrends is passionate about offering to our customers.

What do you think?  Raw deal – or caveat emptor?  As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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