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Interview with Marc Langer, Recovery Point Systems

Volta caught up with Marc Langer, the founder and President of Recovery Point Systems, a Gartner Magic Quadrant DR as a Service provider rated highly for both Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. We asked Marc a few of our questions about his career and the future of IT and Disaster Recovery. Check out our interview with Marc Langer of Recovery Point Systems.

Q. You got into the DR business in 1982. I’d expect things were a lot different back then?

A. Very different. Back in 1982 everything was on reels and there was no internet, so there was a lot of courier activity to transport the tapes to the data center. Our first client was a government agency. In the early ‘80s a successful recovery would take about a week.

Q. Wow – a week! That wouldn’t fly today. Do you see any end to the relentless demands for ‘always-on’ IT?

A. No, no end to it in sight. In the past, there were certain industries, such as banking, which had stricter requirements for data retention and availability. Now pretty much all industries have zero tolerance for data loss and zero tolerance for downtime. As Gartner says, we have moved from recovery to resiliency as the standard. This has been partially driven by the intense competition in the tech industry. If you go to a car dealership and you are looking to buy a mode of transportation to take you from here to there, an old jeep would do the job. But then they bring out a faster, nicer-looking sports car and why wouldn’t you choose that if you could?

Q. One of Recovery Point Systems’ differentiators is its ability to handle hybrid environments. What’s the oldest system you are currently supporting?

A. That’s tough – hardware or OS? We have mainframes, ES/900, Z9. About 15-year-old technology. We have a 3490 tape drive and still read tapes. But about 90% of our hardware is within 7 – 8 years old. We do keep a lot of antiques. Recently we had someone contact us. Their business was involved in a lawsuit where they had to provide data from SDLT tapes. Another company was going to charge them $20,000 to read them. We dusted off our old tape drive and got some software from Arcserve which would read them. We keep everything and have a big attic.

Q. Sounds like you’re like the Smithsonian of IT! You have data center locations in Germantown and Gaithersburg Maryland, Mt. Prospect Illinois, and Kenosha Wisconsin. I guess you look for locations near a big city but far enough away to not be a strategic target for anyone. Which of these is your favorite? Which has the best restaurants nearby?

A. Kenosha is the most bucolic but also the coldest. I’d have to say Germantown is my favorite. It’s closest to home.

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