Reaction to the InfoTech Report: Vendor Landscape: Virtual Backup Software

by Robert Payne on January 25, 2013

Last Friday we got some excellent and relatively unexpected news here at PHD Virtual. The InfoTech report Vendor Landscape: Virtual Backup Software hit our desks and we were ecstatic to learn that PHD was named in the Innovator’s category, and ranked as the # 1 product according to the InfoTech “Zones of the Landscape” (see zones below).

I say relatively unexpected because, while we were confident the good folks at Infotech would recognize our product’s excellent features and value like our 5,000+ customers do, we didn’t know just how much they’d recognize it. To be the #1 leading product in the Innovators Zone AND #2 in the Value Index (see graph below) is truly an honor. And it’s a testament to ALL the hardworking folks at PHD, and our amazing customer base.

As you may or may not know, PHD Virtual was a pioneer in the virtual-only backup space, or a “Point” Solution for VM backup, as the InfoTech report refers to us. We released our first product, esXpress, in 2005. Back then most folks were struggling with traditional methods (agents) to backup VM’s, which were exploding in adoption. Then PHD came out with a product that not only flipped the script on how VMs could be backed up (snapshotting the entire VM vs. only backing up files), but did so by only deploying a small virtual backup appliance in your environment. No agents. No proxy server. It was truly revolutionary.

Like many small start-ups though, PHD did go through some growing pains, and other companies joined this growing market with similar solutions. But none have embraced the concept of leveraging the virtual infrastructure for backup quite like PHD.

A couple of updated stats from the report:

-          58% of all server workloads in 2012 are virtualized

-          35% of organizations manage two or more backup solutions

-          52% are still using tape

So reading into those numbers – 58%.. woah! The last data we had is from Gartner in 2011 who said that 40% of workloads were virtualized, and they expected that to climb to 80% in 2016. Now obviously this is survey data from different sources that likely had different characteristics & parameters to their respective surveys, but even if the InfoTech number is in the ballpark, I doubt we’ll even need to wait until 2016 to see 80%! Virtualization’s reach continues to expand into every area it can, and only the most legacy of legacy applications and infrastructures remain physical.

35% of organizations managing 2+ backup solutions – I honestly expected this number to be higher. In my interactions with end users, a strong majority cite a few different solutions when I ask them what they use for backup. Many would like to have just one solution, the Backup Silver Bullet, so to speak, but there just aren’t adequate options in the market today.

And 52% still using tape. Oh tape. How can you be so annoyingly outdated yet simultaneously vital to an organization’s long term health and viability? That’s right. People need to retain data long term. You may never ever use it, but in that one case where there’s a lawsuit, or SOX audit, you need to be able to produce it. And tape is still the primary weapon of choice, like it or not.

But maybe not for long. The report also states that cloud will be the next differentiator.

From the report: “As backup solutions mature, and standards become more open, capabilities to integrate with public or private cloud will enable more flexibility in archiving and disaster recovery of their virtual infrastructure.”

That’s why I am extremely excited about the next release of PHD Virtual Backup, 6.2. We’re introducing a technology that will enable you to easy and seamlessly transfer data to public and private clouds for secure offsite copies of backups, archiving and even DR! Stay tuned, that release is due out in March 2013.

I’ll leave you with this. The report talks a lot about how our market is evolving, and capabilities that were once cutting edge (dedupe, app aware/consistent backups) are now the default. Support for VADP has become table stakes you should use other factors to differentiate between solutions. Namely, as the report states “focus on ease-of-use and how the solution fits within your current backup architecture to get the best for your requirements.”

Now let’s take a look at the 3 areas cited by the report where PHD differentiates from the competition:

  1. Ease-of-use
  2. Affordability
  3. Flexibility in backup and recovery modes

Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of backup tools out there for you to evaluate. And we’re all out there saying we do everything you need, and we do it better than the next guy. But if feature parody between all the options is (relatively) achieved, then how do you decide?

Well, according to InfoTech, you decide on ease-of-use, value, and best fit. And if you look at a product like PHD, ranked #2 on the value index, and recognized specifically for being easy to use and easy to integrate into your environment (we are one of the few with direct vCenter & XenCenter integration) – you see a solution that just might be the right fit for you. Best part, you can see for yourself. Try it today for FREE. Visit

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