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Channel and Service Provider Opportunities in Protecting Virtualized Environments

As VMworld kicks off, I wanted to share some insights from ESG’s recently published "Trends in Protecting Highly Virtualized Environments" report. In a new research brief that ESG published this morning, we look at the ‘skills gap’ for data protection and virtualization. Click Here to check it out.

As IT organizations move from 20% to 50% to 80% virtualized, self-taught virtualization protection knowledge and assuming that one’s data protection tools are protecting virtualized platforms effectively are no longer enough. With so much collaboration and shared-dependencies between IT administrators, today’s data protection professionals must be more virtualization-savvy — not just "how to back up hypervisors" but truly have some level of genuine virtualization knowledge on its own, so that they can partner with the full-time virtualization admins to ensure agile recoverability of their shared systems.

So, how will IT organizations fill their knowledge gap? Feel free to read the brief.

The challenge is that for those folks that intend to "hire additional virtualization-knowledgeable data protection folks" is that there aren’t that many to go around. For those that will try to grow the skills of their existing data protection professionals, most folks don’t have the bandwidth to learn a second IT discipline (or at not as fast as their IT organizations need them to).

And wherever there is a skills/time gap in IT, there is an opportunity for channel partners and service providers. Considering that 5 of the top 6 virtualization-protection challenges are due to visibility issues (e.g. instrumentation, insights, etc.), if SPs and SI’s offered broader remote monitoring by genuine data protection experts, IT organizations would almost assuredly have more successful RPO/RTO SLAs, and candidly recognize the TCO/ROI that they were expecting when they actually ought their current data protection solution.

Meanwhile, while lots of integrators and SPs are looking to offer more services to their customers, launching a BaaS/DRaaS offering should not be taken lightly. Instead of advocating that their customers throw out existing backup solutions, integrators and SPs should think about offering "Monitoring of" backups as a service MBaaS — enabling IT staff’s to protect and recover smarter through better monitoring and filling that skill gap of protecting complex infrastructure.

As always, thanks for reading.

[Originally posted on ESG’s Technical Optimist.com]

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