A difficulty in analyzing the mid-market or the mid-range in any area of information technology is that the mid-range often doesn’t work as one uniform category. This year, for example, we decided to subdivide the mid-range storage landscape into two. Now we’re doing it again for this year’s backup software Vendor Landscapes (VL).
We’re calling the two VLs homogeneous and heterogeneous backup.
- Homogeneous focuses on vendors that provide backup primarily for Windows and Linux systems. It is homogeneous in that these are all industry standard x86 systems. Typically, customers are at the small to mid-range of the SMEs. Champions: [withheld].
- Heterogeneous backup focuses on products typically in the mid-sized to enterprise space that support a range of architectures. While x86 remains a critical component here we are also looking to support for proprietary UNIX systems up to mainframes. Champions: [withheld].
As with our unified storage array landscapes, we find that solutions in the small to mid-range come from multiple antecedents and tend to overlap in terms of market coverage. In storage, for example, you have traditional enterprise solutions, typically based on Fibre Channel networking, that have come down market to the mid-range. Then there are the iSCSI and NAS players that started in smaller-end and grew up-market.
Similarly, in backup, there are products that began in larger heterogeneous enterprises as far back as the 1980s and then there are more recent entrants that catered to the smaller, primarily Windows-based, end of the market. When x86 servers became a data center staple the former big iron titles expanded their reach. The former Windows backup titles expanded their capacity. Now they’re all playing in the mid-range and there is considerable overlap for potential mid-range customers.
Treating the mid-range as one market can be problematic for product differentiation, particularly for vendors that have multiple product offerings. In storage, if Dell is a leader, is it for Dell EqualLogic, is it for Dell Compellent, or is it for both? In backup, is Symantec being evaluated for Backup Exec or for NetBackup?
On the other hand, there are vendors that have one product whose sweet spot is precisely in the middle of the mid-range, right in that overlap zone of small-to-mid and mid-to-large. CommVault is such a vendor and product in the mid-range backup space. Its lineage is in Windows backup, but it has grown up to take on the enterprise titles at the larger end.
We hope having two backup VLs rather than one will improve the clarity of our industry view. If that isn’t enough, we’ve recently published a third VL on virtual infrastructure backup. Effective backup of virtual machines is becoming critical as more server infrastructure is virtualized. In addition to the big system/little system predecessors to modern backup, there is also a group of players that come from a pure-play virtual backup realm (Veeam, Vizioncore, PhdVirtual).
For more information, please see:
- Vendor Landscape: Windows/Linux Backup for SMEs
- Vendor Landscape: Backup Software for Heterogeneous Environments
- Vendor Landscape: Virtual Backup Software