Sungard Availability Services: Features & Support

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Bottom Line:

When customers shop for DRaaS, they obviously value reliability and stability as the single most important factor. Given this fact, Sungard Availability Services (AS) stands out as a strong contender: it has offered disaster recovery services for decades. With DR as a core competency, it has a track record that others envy.

Furthermore, its DRaaS offering runs the gamut, from a simple compute platform to a company’s complete infrastructure. Additionally, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help users manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability.

On the downside, Sungard AS isn’t inexpensive. Then again, this level of offering can command a higher price. For any non-x86 workloads in North America and EU, it should always be a candidate.

Service Description:

Sungard Availability Services DRaaS solutions begin with data protection, and extends to recovery of an environment or compute infrastructure. It offers complex, hybrid systems for cloud and on-premise that can scale up and down based on needs. They address a full range of recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs/RPOs). They are primarily fully managed, although some partially managed options are available. SLAs are guaranteed. Either Sungard AS facilities or AWS can be used as a recovery target.

Sungard AS’s Recovery Execution System (RES) platform automates reservation of resources as well as recovery of hybrid recovery scenarios using third-party orchestration technologies. It also provides a real-time view of the recovery at the task level and the application/server level.

Cloud Recovery – Sungard AS has partnered with AWS for public cloud recovery. It has a 4 hour Recovery Time Objective SLA. Workloads can be hosted on-premise or within another AWS region.

In addition to server-level recovery, application recovery support is offered via a Managed Recovery Program (MRP). Combined with network capabilities, Sungard AS can provide fully managed, multitiered, application-level recovery for hybrid environments across Sungard AS data centers, customer premises, and public cloud environments.

Also available: Various other cloud services, managed AWS, managed hosting, security services, business continuity management, recovery management. Colocation services, network services, workplace recovery, application management services.


Workloads Supported:

Physical and virtual x86, UNIX (AIX, Solaris, HP-UX), IBM i, and IBM Z.

Recovery Presence:

Eleven DRaaS recovery locations (not including AWS), four in the U.S., two in Canada, two in U.K., and one in Ireland, France, and Sweden.


Over 1,000 server images, two recovery locations, four recovery tiers.


  • Can act as a single point of recovery for virtual machines and data in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Replication services can deliver a fully-functional copy of an environment in a ready-to-use state within 4 to 12 hours.
  • Near-real-time recovery point objective (RPO) guards against data loss. Includes additional “point-in-time” snapshots every 10 minutes, every 1 hour and every 1 day over a 30-day rolling data retention period.
  • Maintain uninterrupted live block level data replication while testing, so you have up-to-date data changes captured.
  • Replicate and recover to any AWS regions to meet your distributed workloads


Automated orchestrated failover and failback.

Recovery time:

Full range of RTOs from 15 minutes (for AWS), otherwise within 4 hours.


Fully and partially managed services.

“Sungard AS is very responsive, helpful, and to a certain extent expert in products they offer. They have a good mixture of expertise that can help at different levels that vary from sales to implementation, testing, and continuous support,” said a Network Admin in the finance industry. “Implementation and testing were great with minor delay which was resolved promptly.”


Sungard AS provides encryption and many other security safeguards to any data under its protection.


Full support options are available. Support can be very good but premium support may cost more. Users report support as inconsistent with limited self-service functions. Lower users scores than many of the others for support.

“Project management and overall implementation was well executed after initial assigned project lead was replaced after not being a fit for the overall scope of the project. Key point here is that Sungard listened to our needs and quickly made adjustments to drive our implementation to a successful conclusion,” said a Director of IT Infrastructure in the transportation industry.

Key Markets and Use Cases:

Organizations that prefer fully managed DRaaS for complex environments, and require global support for both x86 and non-x86 platforms.


High. Customers often cite the services being expensive.

Sungard Summary:

Workload Support x86, UNIX, IBM I & Z
Regions Covered North America, EU
Best RTO Less than 15 min
Delivery Fully/ partially managed
Key Markets Complex non-86
Analyst Eval Visionary
Price High
Key Differentiator  Legacy DR provider
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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