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Are native cloud migration and DR tools so ideal or why do independent vendors still exist?

AWS acquired CloudEndure, GCP bought Velostrata many years ago, Azure has Azure Migrate. If those tools are so good why are there plenty of other tools to migrate to a cloud or build a disaster recovery solution?

A CEO of one of the leading global backup solutions once told me an interesting phrase, which I still remember: ‘If you want to ruin a technology, sell it to a huge corporation like Amazon.’ We were discussing the AWS / CloudEndure M&A. And, unfortunately, I agree with that in the majority of the cases.

CloudEndure had a good technology, established process and a nice customer base. After the M&A they removed other target clouds except AWS, consolidated their customer care departments and terminated their sales & marketing teams as the product became free for the migration use case. The majority of the engineers who developed and know the product quitted or relocated to other departments. Velostrata had a similar scenario. And it brings significant issues with cloud native solutions…

Customer support

As the support teams were merged together and you are emailing or calling to get assistance with your migration or DR, you could reach a person who supports dozens of cloud native services and is not an expert in your question. The best thing you can get here is that they will create a ticket and it will take some time (usually, a few days) to respond. When you deal with vendor solutions, you get a professional response much quicker.

Product development

As there are just few engineers left after a few months product development becomes lame, you won’t get new operating system support in time, no new features coming in a timely manner. In some cases you won’t even notice that if you have a list of Windows 2008 or RHEL6, but if you want to migrate from another cloud, it may be a problem.

Product capabilities

Let’s be honest. CloudEndure or Azure Migrate / ASR are not the best products from the capabilities perspective. CloudEndure doesn’t have external replication, orchestration, on-premise deployment; VMware support and failback capability are weak. And nothing will significantly change in the next few years because of the reasons mentioned above. Vendor solutions are constantly being developed adding more new capabilities so customers get better experience.

Professional services

Public clouds will not provide you with professional services or A-Z service if you are not a strategic customer. They would point you to a partner who may help. But partners have the same issue — they are not the product and technology owners, they are trained but don’t know all the corner cases (or, if yes, they cost a lot). On the contrary, vendors usually know how to run migrations or DR better, they can assist and significantly save your time and money.

In general, if you have a small project, you really know what you do and don’t expect that you need any support or professional service  —  just go ahead and use cloud native disaster recovery or cloud migration solutions. But if there is a risk that you may need help, the project looks complex or you don’t have an option to fail or delay it, you’d better go to professionals and product owners who will significantly increase your chances of success.

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