DRaaS? Really?

CenturyLink dives into disaster recovery with DataGardens buy

Continuing its cloud-related shopping spree, CenturyLink is buying DataGardens for its disaster recovery expertise. (Or, if you’re fond of awful acronyms, you can call it DRaaS for Disaster Recovery as a Service.)

Terms were not disclosed. By dint of M&A, CenturyLink has fashioned itself into a cloud provider, starting in 2011 with its $3.2 billion buy of Savvis. It purchased PaaS vendor AppFog in June 2013 and Tier3, which offered IaaS and PaaS from its data centers, five months later.

[company]CenturyLink[/company] had already partnered with Edmonton, Alberta-based [company]DataGardens[/company] but now hopes to accelerate a product roadmap to bring cloud-based disaster recovery that works between public clouds as well as between public clouds and private OpenStack-based clouds, said Andrew Higginbotham, SVP of CenturyLink Cloud, in an interview.

CenturyLink Disaster Recovery as a Service
CenturyLink Disaster Recovery as a Service

DataGardens focused on public cloud technologies, and “we’re aiming to sync up with private OpenStack clouds as well,” said Higginbotham.

DataGardens offers integration with [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services and OpenStack clouds, although that capability is not yet generally available, the company said.

Clearly, disaster recovery is a key issue for enterprises — whether they deploy IT on-premises or in the cloud or any combination of both. But CenturyLink hopes to bring DataGardens technology to its small and medium business (SMB) customers as well, Higginbotham said.

The 15-person DataGardens team will remain in Edmonton and report to Jared Wray, the former CEO of Tier 3 who is now CTO of CenturyLink Cloud.

CenturyLink, with Tier3, has a well-regarded cloud portfolio but I wonder if the company, which is carrying a lot of debt — in excess of $21 billion for the most recent quarter — can sustain the spending needed to keep up with the AWSes and other cloud giants of the world. The company maintains it has a “very solid capital structure and generates strong cash flows” that support that outstanding debt.