Fresh off an equity investment made by the venture capital investment firm Insight Venture Partners, Unitrends, a provider of data protection software, at the close of 2013 turned around and acquired PHD Virtual, a provider of data protection software optimized for virtual machine environments that is also primarily owned by Insight Venture Partners.
According to Unitrends CEO Mike Coney, the plan for Unitrends going forward is to make a series of investments in the data protection space that will create a company focused on delivering data protection software for small to midsize organizations that spans multiple platforms and delivery models.
Coney says that while Unitrends has primarily focused on backup and recovery software for physical systems, PHD Virtual adds support for virtual servers to the Unitrends product portfolio. While there’s clearly growing interest in virtual environments in using replication as an alternative to traditional backup and recovery software, Coney says the cost of using such services is usually beyond the means of the average small-to-medium-size (SMB) business. In addition, Coney says the time it takes to replicate a large amount of data across a network is usually beyond the timeframe most organizations really need when it comes to backup and recovery, a challenge that will only become more acute in the era of Big Data.
At the same time, Coney says that Unitrends is committed to working with third-party managed service and cloud service providers to provide a broad range of data protection offerings that can all be delivered as a service.
While data protection has always a major issue for IT organizations, things appear to be getting more, rather than less, challenging. With the rise of mobile and cloud computing, data is more distributed than ever. Big Data means there will also be a lot more of it. And these challenges will affect large and small organizations alike. The approaches IT organizations will take in 2014 to solve these problems will vary considerably. In fact, to do nothing about revamping an organization’s data protection strategy in 2014 is probably the surest path to disaster.