The annual rite of passage is here again — the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions. Based on our experience, it’s been on again, off again in the last few years, but I’m very pleased that the Gartner analyst team is back on a regular schedule. Why?

Well, most folks immediately think of the Magic Quadrant for the famous graphic — and of course, we’re super proud of the fact that Cohesity has moved from being named a Visionary in our first year in 2019, to a Leader in just our second appearance.

However, the Magic Quadrant is much more than placement in a quadrant. It’s a comprehensive look at the market landscape and the changing dynamics in IT and technology. And boy is there plenty to talk about in terms of change this year!

The Rise of Software-Defined

From our point of view, a look at the last handful of Magic Quadrants reports clearly demonstrates a tectonic shift in backup and recovery architecture. Just five years ago, many vendors positioned as a Leader were companies with solutions that were based on 10- to 20-year old architectures. In our opinion, with the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant, we’re now seeing a shift away from monolithic solutions tied to proprietary hardware to solutions that are software-defined.

We believe there are many reasons for this shift, one of the most obvious tied to total cost of ownership. As noted by Gartner in a recent report, “Some Gartner customers report up to 40% TCO reduction with infrastructure SDS that comes from the use of x86 industry standard hardware and lower cost upgrades and maintenance.”1 We also believe customers are looking for modern backup solutions, and data management platforms, that provide unparalleled choice – such as multi-vendor, heterogeneous clusters–  flexibility, and performance.

Our own performance data shows this to be the case. Cohesity saw a 100% percent increase in software revenues in our fiscal year 2019, and individual orders of $1M or more surging 350%.

SaaS-based Centralized Management—It’s About Time

The tectonic shift that we’re seeing in backup and recovery also pertains to ease of use and simplicity. According to our own research, backup environments for many organizations often include five or more point-products from different vendors. No fault of IT, the myriad integrations and multiple points of management has caused a significant time sink for most IT teams, who are already overburdened, and the problem is exacerbated when you think about protecting data at the edge and in the cloud. No wonder this is the first call out Gartner makes in the transformation of the market in their Market Overview description!2

While there’s no single pane of glass (an overused term by vendors) in IT, it IS time for a single management interface for backup and recovery. That’s exactly what Cohesity provides with Helios. As a SaaS offering, Helios provides the benefit of new features across a customer’s entire management domain without the need for software upgrades. We’re pleased that centralized management provided by Helios has been called out as a strength. And more than a simple dashboard, Helios provides monitoring, alerts — and will even raise its own support cases for proactive maintenance, which we believe also contributed to Gartner recognizing Cohesity.

Ransomware Defense is Table Stakes

Unfortunately, we’re hearing almost daily about the latest organization to be hit by ransomware. Not surprisingly, given the steep increase in attacks, from our perspective ransomware plays a prominent role in this year’s Magic Quadrant report. It’s in the opening subhead, and appears 17 times in the document, as well as being the second market transformation mentioned in Gartner’s Market Overview.2 We are sure, that’s why the importance of a strong anti-ransomware defense and rapid recovery has also shifted the Magic Quadrant landscape.

Cohesity brings a powerful set of capabilities that reduce the attack surface, prevent backup from becoming a ransomware target, utilize machine learning to aid in detection of attacks on primary sources while providing actionable suggestions, and when needed, rapidly and predictably empower organizations to recover from an attack to reduce downtime.

Final Takes

This market is long overdue for modernization. Organizations deserve the protection and recovery for their most critical business asset—their data—in a solution that provides the simplicity achieved in so many other areas of modern IT.

Between becoming a Leader in this Magic Quadrant and being recognized as a Customers’ Choice in the Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions report,3 we are confident our radically simple approach to backup, recovery, and data management is resonating in the marketplace.

Ready to learn more?

Get your own copy of the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions.

1 Hype Cycle for Storage and Data Protection Technologies, 2020, Gartner, July 6, 2020
2 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions, Gartner, July 20, 2020
3 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions, March 13, 2020

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