nScaled, which brands itself as a Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) provider for the SMB market, has developed a new Free Cloud Recovery Account service to enable VMware users to discover new tools for recovery, backup and archiving. nScaled has been working closely with VMware since early 2010.

In its press release, the MSP claims to be the first RaaS provider to open access to its RaaS platform. Its new service allows VMware users to access its Recovery Console and gives them an interface to manage their private cloud environments. VMware customers can leverage this interface to do things such as manage events, create alerts and configure their resources.

nScaled has also released a new interface for its channel partners from which they can access the nScaled Recovery Console and create sub-accounts if they manage virtual environments for multiple customers. What's more, nScaled has updated its Recovery Console itself to include a resource center for its channel partners. The resource center includes sales tools, training programs, technical resources and co-branded marketing materials.

And speaking of branding and marketing, the nScaled press release mentions "Recovery-as-a-Service or "RaaS" several times. It made me think back to my earliest days of covering managed services when I was learning new terms every day. But I had never heard of RaaS before. So is it a new type of managed services offering, or had the term "RaaS" slipped by me?

After a little research, I found that "Recovery-as-a-Service" is a less commonly used version of "disaster recovery" or "data backup" -- terms that companies such as Datto, Axcient, Symantec and others use to describe their services. In fact, "Disaster Recovery" is actually a shortened version of "Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service," and there are others besides nScaled who use the elongated version. In a study that it published in early November 2011 about data backup in the SMB market, Gartner referred to the the service as "Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service" while predicting that "By 2014, 30 percent of midsize companies will have adopted recovery-in-the-cloud, also know as recovery-as-a-service (RaaS)."

So more specifically, "Recovery-as-a-Service" refers to data recovery in the cloud. Is the use of "recovery-as-a-service" a deliberate marketing effort by nScaled? Do other companies use the term as frequently? Does any of this matter or make a difference whatsoever? Who knows. But it's something to think about.