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Backup and recovery Magic Quadrant shows cloud significance

Representatives from vendor leaders Rubrik, Cohesity, Veeam and Commvault give their impressions of Gartner's 2020 Magic Quadrant for backup and recovery products.

With an emphasis on cloud-based data protection and management, the leaders in this year's backup and recovery Magic Quadrant feature a mix of veterans and a couple of newcomers.

Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, Dell and IBM were all leaders in 2019 and again in 2020 in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions." Cohesity and Rubrik, after appearing as visionaries in last year's Magic Quadrant, moved up to the leader position this year.

"The move toward public cloud, heightened concerns over ransomware and complexities associated with backup and data management are forcing [infrastructure and operations] leaders to rearchitect their backup infrastructure and explore alternative solutions," Gartner said in the Magic Quadrant report released in July.

Acronis moved from niche player to visionary, joining Actifio in the spot that features high completeness of vision, but lower ability to execute than the leaders. Arcserve and Unitrends remained in the niche player area, which has lower completeness of vision and ability to execute than the leaders. Like last year, Gartner had no challengers in the backup and recovery Magic Quadrant.

Gartner also cited Clumio, Druva, HYCU and Zerto as honorable mentions. Micro Focus was the only vendor to drop out of the Magic Quadrant.

Quadrant promotes competitors Rubrik and Cohesity

Rubrik had a drastically different reaction to this year's Magic Quadrant versus 2019, when the vendor slammed Gartner after its placement in the visionary category. In a blog post, CEO Bipul Sinha called the 2019 backup and recovery Magic Quadrant "seriously flawed," and said there were inaccuracies and a potential conflict of interest.

This year, Gartner praised the scalability of Rubrik's Cloud Data Management product, as well as the vendor's ransomware detection and remediation in its Polaris Radar offering, and its database recovery. Gartner positioned Rubrik furthest for completeness of vision.

Rubrik president Dan Rogers said the company enjoyed the engagement with Gartner this year.

Headshot of Rubrik's Dan RogersDan Rogers

"It was great to see Gartner acknowledge our scale and credibility," Rogers said.

Gartner lists three cautions in addition to three strengths for all vendors in the Magic Quadrant. For Rubrik, Gartner cited limited integration with storage array snapshots, higher operational costs for public cloud application backup, and weak Active Directory support.

Rogers said Rubrik will keep hiring and aims to improve in such areas as cloud workload coverage and operational intelligence. When asked for comment on the 2020 Magic Quadrant, Sinha did not directly address Rubrik's change in status, but sent a statement:

"We will continue to innovate to help our customers modernize and automate their data protection, manage their data for a multi-cloud world, and get more out of their data through cybersecurity and data governance applications," Sinha wrote.

Cohesity, a major competitor to Rubrik, also became a backup and recovery Magic Quadrant leader for the first time. Gartner slotted Cohesity slightly behind Rubrik in completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Gartner cited Cohesity's centralized monitoring and management in its SaaS-based Helios product, heterogeneous cluster support, and service and support capabilities as strengths.

Global customer adoption, revenue growth tied to its transition to a software subscription model, and innovation in data protection and management were all factors in Cohesity's improved showing, according to Ross Camp, vice president of corporate communications.

"It is rare for any company to become a leader in only its second Magic Quadrant appearance," Camp wrote in an email.

Gartner listed release cadence and code quality, reporting and limited presence in emerging markets as Cohesity's cautions.

"Many of our customers want the earliest possible versions of our software so they can begin to take advantage of the latest data management capabilities," Camp wrote. Cohesity has "made significant investments in test coverage, and [continues] to evaluate processes that can optimize our release cadence."

Veeam, Commvault solidify leader standing

Veeam made the leader category for the fourth straight year. Gartner positioned Veeam as having the highest ability to execute.

Veeam was the only vendor to move higher in both ability to execute and completeness of vision in the backup and recovery Magic Quadrant, said CTO Danny Allan.

Headshot of Veeam's Danny AllanDanny Allan

Gartner praised Veeam's monitoring, reporting and diagnostics in its Veeam One offering, licensing portability, and backup and recovery for Microsoft Exchange and 365.

Gartner recognized Veeam's ability to not just perform backup and replication for the data center, but also SaaS services like Microsoft 365, according to Allan.

"I thought it truly represented where we are in the industry," Allan said. "I always look for every opportunity to improve."

Gartner cited large-scale deployment complexity, cloud-native application backup and immutable backup storage as cautions.

Veeam will satisfy the bulk of those issues by next year's Magic Quadrant, Allan said. He noted that Veeam has had about 15 product updates since this year's submission deadline.

Commvault, a major competitor to Veeam, made the leader category for the ninth straight time.

Gartner said Commvault's strengths are cloud-native data protection, subscription licensing and broad ecosystem support, including databases, public cloud environments and NAS systems.

"As of March 2020, Commvault protects the largest number of public cloud VM instances among all vendors evaluated in this research," the report said.

Commvault's backup and recovery Magic Quadrant placement "is a testament to our continued innovation and response to market needs such as broad ecosystem support and support for new use cases, including cloud data management, and flexible pricing options for customers," CMO Chris Powell wrote in an email.

Cautions were deployment complexity of Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery, its HyperScale appliance built on Red Hat and not a proprietary file system, and availability of HyperScale as a subscription only.

In July, Commvault unveiled a revised and expanded product set, including the HyperScale X appliance that uses Hedvig file system technology, replacing Red Hat Gluster.

"While the subscription licensing was listed as a caution specifically for HyperScale X, it was also one of the three components where Gartner recognized us as being on the forefront of customer needs," Powell wrote. "Our customers are looking for overall ease of use and the subscription model allows that."

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