Analyst Briefs & Awards

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009

Tier1 Research: “Geminare has stealthy SaaS approach to DR that’s gaining converts”






Geminare has stealthy SaaS approach to DR that's gaining converts

Enterprise and Mass-Market Hosting



By Jim Davis, senior analyst

Tier 1 Research

September 29, 2009



Geminare is a small software firm tucked away in Toronto, Canada, whose technology is powering business continuity services for companies like CA Inc, Bechtle AG and now Bell Canada, with more to be added soon. The company's SaaS model and use of cloud services is enabling partners to bring disaster recovery services to the SMB market.


The technology


Geminare's core technology is a software platform called HUB that controls application processes from ordering, provisioning and billing to control and management. The firm currently offers two services on this platform – a server replication offering for business continuity, and a cloud storage service.

The Business Continuity Service (BCS) offering offers failover and failback for Windows applications like Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Oracle 91 or 10g, and Microsoft IIS. Geminare has built a private cloud for the service using VMware.

Geminare's Cloud Storage Service is available as a stand-alone managed service or as an add-on to BCS. The service uses Amazon S3 for continuous data protection. Geminare uses server replication to capture changes on file servers, and then compress, archive, and encrypt the data for storage.




Other disaster recovery and business continuity services have come onto the scene, which focus on a wider audience of enterprise customers. T1R has recently covered Simply Continuous, to name one example. Geminare also goes up against the IBM and SunGard vanguard, of course, while Dell's MessageOne is an example of a competitor in the application failover space.


Reseller partners


Bell Canada is the first telco to publicly offer server replication services using Geminare's platform. Geminare expects several other telcos will announce services using its technology by year's end. While Geminare has built up its service using space from colocation providers, one interesting possibility is that the firm's software could run on a telco's cloud infrastructure inside their own datacenter. In this model, Geminare licenses the software and also aims for a revenue share agreement.

CA is an example of a reseller partner that should help Geminare scale its services dramatically; its Instant Recovery On Demand services is being sold through CA's 13,000 channel partners. For customers like CA, Geminare is managing the service for partners, though it can still be hosted in partner datacenters.

Managed hosting firms are another target for Geminare; executives say they are in conversations with a number of potential partners.


T1R take


DR services no longer are exclusively the domain of specialist technology firms. Telcos, managed hosting firms and systems integrators are all going to be vying to supply services to the SMB market. Partnerships with companies like Geminare are a good way to dip into the market and understand customer preferences and price sensitivity.

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