Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) is giving mid-market businesses another cloud entry point with its new Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution.
Building on the cloud infrastructure footprint it gained from its acquisition of Hosted Solutions, DRaaS is a fully hosted and managed disaster recovery solution that offers replication and cloud technologies.
The drive here is about unburdening a business from having to build their own disaster recovery capabilities themselves. By handing these processes to Windstream, they can replicate and recover critical servers and data center infrastructure in the cloud at a lower cost.
But the new solution is not just about reducing costs. Rob Carter, Windstream's director of managed hosted solutions, said a "fully managed Disaster Recovery as a Service solution also reduces the burden of infrastructure tasks and expertise during the testing or real world enactment of disaster recovery plans on businesses."
DRaaS, which is available now, can address various business environments: host-based replication or storage-based replication for EMC and NetApp customers; remote NetApp systems with support for SnapMirror and SnapVault replication; managed recovery to public, private or hybrid cloud environments with recovery points for key business applications; and integration with customers' existing VPN or private network solutions.
While businesses still have concerns about using cloud services, a 2011 Forrester Research survey revealed that two-thirds of those surveyed said that they "considered Disaster Recovery to be of high or critical importance in the decision to adopt cloud services."
Being a relatively new player in the cloud and data center market, the new DRaaS solution will give Windstream another weapon to differentiate itself from not only its fellow telco competitors, including Verizon/Terremark (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), but also against aggressive colocation providers such as FiberMedia.
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