The cloud backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market remains in growth mode. BDR- and business continuity companies like Axcient, Datto, and Intronis have surfaced on the Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest-growing privately held companies. Managed services providers (MSPs) are leveraging those and other types of BDR services to protect customer data. But I keep thinking the BDR market will blend with the file syncing and sharing market. At the same time, I think MSPs need a real business alterative to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iCloud. Here's why.

When we launched Nine Lives Media (MSPmentor's original parent) in 2008, I certainly wanted to make sure files on my business laptops and desktop were safely backed up to "online" services. Over time, those online services became cloud storage and BDR systems. I still need those services. But I'm ultimately interested in universal file access -- I want to make sure all my devices (smartphones, tablets, computers) have access to all of my synchronized content.

One obvious choice is Apple iCloud to store, sync and protect all of my content. Then, there's also...
  • Amazon Cloud Drive
  • CX
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft Skydrive
  • Trend Micro SafeSync for Business
  • SugarSync
  • Syncplicity
  • And plenty of others

Opportunity Knocks

Somewhere within all the choices there's a huge opportunity awaiting the MSP market. No doubt, Axcient, Datto, Intronis and other storage companies will continually evolve to introduce new services. But the giants are evolving too. Anybody else notice Carbonite Labs developing Currents (currently in beta), LogMeIn launching Cubby and  Mozy testing Stash?

A year or two from now, will BDR be about business continuity? Or will the real focus involve storing all your files on a public cloud, while syncing them across each of your devices? Before you answer that question check out some of the recent work over at Anchor.

I don't know how this story will play out. But I do know this: MSPs need to find a business alternative to Apple iCloud, which has incredible consumer mind share. Whatever the solution, I hope it involves a solid channel partner program to go along with it.