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Enterprise backup-as-a-service options, benefits and use cases

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Decode the backup-as-a-service market

The rapidly growing BaaS market has gained steam in the past year. See why organizations are adopting BaaS and which providers they use.

The backup-as-a-service market has grown and become increasingly varied in terms of vendors and what their respective services entail. BaaS has an important role to play in data protection strategy and implementation for organizations large and small, across industries and regions.

The COVID-19 pandemic drove demand for backup as a service (BaaS). The shift in computing to edge environments has placed a premium on quickly deployed and easily scalable and managed resources that admins can oversee remotely. As a result, a public cloud-hosted BaaS model suits larger enterprises, in addition to the smaller companies that are typically its early adopters.

Evaluator Group's upcoming 2021 Hybrid Cloud Study found that 46% of enterprises are already using a cloud service provider's data protection services today, while another 41% either would consider, or are already considering, the use of a cloud service provider's data protection services. Only 12% of respondents indicated having no interest in this type of services.

The shift to edge environments has placed a premium on quickly deployed, easily scalable and managed resources that admins can oversee remotely.

BaaS simplifies management, supports critical apps

Cloud resources can host backup software or serve as the target for data backups and long-term storage. When an organization integrates the cloud for these functions, it supports initiatives to shift from Capex to Opex and adds redundancy. Fully managed backup services offer the additional value of offloading day-to-day admin tasks related to data protection to the service provider. Some managed backup services also offload other services, such as data lifecycle management, data integrity checks and compliance oversight.

Many of the early BaaS options specifically supported cloud-native apps such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce that are quickly moving into the enterprise. Apps such as these generate data that organizations must protect, which backup-as-a-service providers can offer.

There is a streamlined path to protect these business-app resources, with tools that, in some cases, enable app users to perform self-service recoveries.

New applications and the influx of individuals working from home due to the pandemic create new security vulnerabilities. Companies must shore up data protection, especially given the prevalence of ransomware and different compliance requirements. BaaS can address these requirements.

Major players and trends

The backup-as-a-service market and vendor ecosystem is broad. It includes cloud providers, such as AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure. There are BaaS vendors that started on the cloud, such as Clumio and Druva. Vendors adapting their portfolios through R&D and partnerships include Commvault, Dell EMC (which partners with Druva), HPE, HYCU, NetApp, Veeam, Veritas and Zerto (which partners with Keepit).

While these offerings would largely be considered SaaS, there are vendors such as IBM and NEC that have taken a managed services approach to BaaS. Companies such as Zerto also deliver their software through service provider partners that could add services on top of the software itself.

Backup-as-a-service market options are also evolving to add more coverage and support from a source perspective. For example, some services are adding support for additional elements of Microsoft 365, and for containers and Kubernetes environments.

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