BMR is a technology that never had the enormous buzz of other technologies such as deduplication. However the adoption and growth of BMR has been impressive and fast. Companies like Cristie and Acronis, essentially came to market with BMR only solutions and quickly gained a foothold in the stomping ground of the traditional backup software players.
I recall as VP of BakBone software many years ago discussing at an executive meeting whether we should approach Acronis (a then small start up) with a view to purchasing them. Specifically we wanted to take their BMR technology and use is as an add on/agent to our established enterprise class backup software. I don’t recall if the approach was ever made, but I do recall that a just a few years later, if anyone was in a position to purchase it would have been the other way round with Acronis having become a much bigger company than BakBone, largely on the back of sales of a simple and low cost BMR product.
For Cristie, we found that building a functionally unique and superior BMR product enables us to partner with much bigger backup software players, who choose to partner with us and integrate our BMR offerings into their larger total backup and DR solutions.
If you know BMR then you will understand the strength of the technology is to recover a PHYSICAL machine to another PHYSICAL Machine in just a few minutes. In a disaster situation, BMR is one of the most cost effective Recovery Time Objective (RTO) technologies you can buy.
Note I have highlighted the word PHYSICAL above. BMR is a technology designed for a world before VMs and Cloud, so is it still relevant today?
I work for a company that is 100% focused on machine migration and recovery, underpinned by BMR technology, as a result I encounter this question on a daily basis.
A year ago when I was asked this question, my answer was different to today. I would concede that most hypervisors have excellent recovery capability and a BMR tool may not add much advantage in the recovery process for a Virtual Machine.
However things move very quickly and today I am seeing a wave of requirements for our BMR solutions specifically for Virtualised environments. The reason being that most companies are no longer standardising on a single virtualised platform. Many companies now use multiple hypervisors and in addition want to be able to move compute power around. It can be from physical onto VMware, VM back to physical, into cloud, or from cloud back on premise into Hyper V based VM.
The point is that companies need to be able to move or recover machines to a vast variety of physcial, virtual, cloud and software defined platforms. BMR based products are the one technology that enable an IT manager to use one single tool to move or recover machines across the variety of compute platforms.
So far from spelling the end for BMR technology, the new software defined age, breathes a new life into it. Products will evolve to meet this need, as an example Intronis just made an interesting announcement about cloud based BMR and my own company Cristie has used the concept of BMR to create a flexible migration product called Clone Manager.