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What are the top disaster recovery trends for 2018?

Expect disaster recovery market trends to include consolidation and simplification. Vendors should also note that quick failover and recovery time remain top needs for customers.

Disaster recovery trends are constantly changing. In 2018, there will be a lot of changes -- some expected, some not.

From a business perspective, the major elephant in the room is the General Data Protection Regulation. This ruling comes into force in May 2018. Although it's not strictly DR-related, the two are often lumped together. Businesses need to be able to efficiently search and retrieve information from online data repositories, which brings a whole new class of categorization, search and recovery tools to large data sets.

In the virtualized space, just as the world of virtual servers is ever-growing, so is the virtual disaster recovery market. Virtual DR effectively uses this highly mobile environment.

On a technical level, there are several disaster recovery trends. Most virtual DR products have near-instant failover, where failovers can be measured in minutes. A lot of DR providers are now trying to bring cloud recovery into an equally fast failover, but the technology is not quite there yet.

I expect to see that failover gap decrease in the cloud environment as the technology becomes more mature. Currently, cloud DR vendors that use the major cloud services for data recovery -- Amazon, Microsoft and Google -- as their storage or compute provider are trying to manage their own costs against the recovery time and resource utilization they promise to provide.

New disaster recovery trends in this area include a large-scale simplification of on-site, cloud and hybrid environments from the likes of Rubrik. In other words, it's agentless backup at native speeds alongside mass simplification of management, which drives down costs. Other DR vendors will jump on the bandwagon with intelligent, simple-to-scale devices that can be added in as needed to complement the software offering. Any vendor that doesn't have agentless backup and DR is going to be left out in the cold.

As for the disaster recovery market in general, there will be a lot of consolidation. A number of large, legacy DR providers are now starting to worry as large clients with lots of spending power start to migrate away and more effectively manage their own testing and live failovers.

The one potential savior for legacy vendors regarding disaster recovery trends is that, while cloud may be suitable for a lot of businesses, non-x86 infrastructure on cloud is still in its infancy. There is a very narrow window of opportunity for providers to up their game and develop their offerings.

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