Business Execs Are from Mars, IT Execs Are from Venus

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

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It’s a well-documented fact: men and women see things differently.

Indeed, the dissimilarities between the sexes have been the subject of countless self-help books over the years (perhaps most notably “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”) and remain key focus areas for the latest crop of psychologists and human behaviorists.

A quick Google search of “men + women + communication gap” yields tens of millions of results. Broaden the search to “men + women + communication” and the number increases another 30%.Yep, folks, we (still) have a communication gap!

Before you panic, no, The Backup Window hasn’t morphed into a relationship self-help site or I into “Dear Abby.” But relationship building—between men and women, business leader and IT leader, IT leader and IT administrators, and IT administrators and backup administrators—is as important to future business success as choosing the right technologies to deploy.

Yes, IT transformation is just as much about the people, process and priorities organizations set as it is the swapping out of old technologies for new ones. In fact, perhaps more than any time in history, business success is bounded by the strength of a company’s communication up, down, across, and within business and IT teams.

So, what do you do?

Identify the Gaps—Starting with Business and IT Leaders
No one ever said the road to “running IT like a business” (a.k.a., IT as a Service) would be without obstacles, and it hasn’t.In fact, according to a recent EMC- and VMware-commissioned survey conducted by IDG, while business and IT leaders agree running IT like a business is important, they don’t always see eye to eye on:

  • Benefits of ITaaS to the organization: IT leaders see cost-savings as the primary benefit, whereas business leaders point to productivity, efficiency and agility gains.

ITAAS Survey - Fig1 for Blog

  • Progress in delivering ITaaS: Eighty-one percent of IT leaders surveyed reported significant or moderate progress, compared to 64% of business leaders. Further, Twenty-seven percent of the IT leaders surveyed in the study said their IT operations ran like businesses today but only 18% of their business peers agreed.

    Source: Big Picture Global Survey:

  • Areas for improvement: According to the survey, IT leaders think IT is doing a better job of understanding and meeting business objectives than business leaders think they’re doing. Specifically, business leaders cite the need for IT improvement in:

    • Understanding the services the business needs/wants
    • Packaging IT services to meet these needs
    • Communicating a plan for future services

Clearly, this isn’t a scenario where agreeing to disagree is an option, or at least a business-viable one. For IT to run optimally as a business, business and IT leaders need to be in lockstep, and this requires communication and trust.

I’ll end this post with one more graphic from the survey. This one looks at the “Roadblocks Faced by IT in Implementing ITaaS” (asked of IT leaders only) and the “Roadblocks to a More Effective IT/Business Partnership” (asked of business leaders only).

ITaaS Survey - Fig 3

Source: Big Picture Global Survey: Dual Perspectives of ITaaS. Conducted by IDG on behalf of EMC and VMWare, June 2103.

Except for agreeing that IT technical expertise is a problem area, the lists are very different. What do you think?  Is this an accurate picture of your environment? How’s your communication? How big is the gap? Do your own assessment and tweet @biggarhb with your results!

(Note: Graphics leveraged in this post were from the “Big Picture Global Survey: Dual Perspectives of ITaaS.” Conducted by IDG on behalf of EMC and VMWare, June 2103.)

The Future Is Now for VSPEX with EMC Backup

Mark Doncov

Mark Doncov

I’ve spent most of the seven years I’ve been at EMC on backup. Currently, I work on category and solution marketing initiatives in EMC’s Backup Recovery Systems division. In short, this means I focus on the “why” for EMC Backup, not the “what”; I leave the bits and bytes to the product teams. Over the years, I’ve seen big changes in the backup world. I will be looking at these – and the even bigger ones that lie ahead - here on The Backup Window and other social channels.

We told you about it in July, and now it’s here.

Avamar 7 and the new midrange Data Domain systems that we announced with our Backup to the Future launch event are now part of VSPEX Proven Infrastructures.

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced, powered by Avamar, is also now part of VSPEX.  It’s the backup solution choice for 50 VM VSPEX Private Cloud, Exchange and SQL Server deployments when VMware is the hypervisor.

Why does all this matter?  Backup is broken.  Accidental architectures are spreading as application teams look for solutions, driving up cost and complexity. VSPEX with the new EMC (and VMware!) backup solutions offers a fast path to fix it all with simple, efficient and scalable backup.  It’s a perfect match and now available!

EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX Private Clouds

EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX End User Computing with Horizon View

EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012

EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft SharePoint 2013

EMC Backup and Recovery for VSPEX for Virtualized Microsoft Exchange 2013

EMC Backup and Recovery Options for VSPEX for Virtualized Oracle 11gR2

VSPEX Family

Oracle OpenWorld Wrap-up: Everyone’s a Winner (Except the Kiwis)

Caitlin Gordon

Caitlin Gordon

Data Domain Product Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have spent the past eight years focused on all things data protection, with a focus on backup and archive. Lucky for me, Data Domain Systems give me lots of good topics to discuss here. When I’m not blogging, I’m equal parts gadget geek and sports freak – always ready to chat about the latest IT rumor or celebrate/lament the latest Boston sports heartbreak/victory. You can also find me talking backup on Twitter and YouTube.

What a week and what a show!  This week San Francisco hosted two amazing Oracle centric events – the America’s Cup regatta and Oracle Open World.   As you probably heard, Oracle Team USA completed an epic comeback after being down 8 – 1 to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand on Wednesday.  This thrilling victory added to the buzz in the city that was already going full tilt up at the Moscone Center for Oracle Open World.

Oracle Open World Show Floor

Caitlin at the EMC Booth

If you ask me (okay, I’m a bit biased), the source of a lot of that buzz was the EMC booth where thousands of customers stopped by throughout the week to discuss EMC solutions for Oracle.

One of the hottest topics of the week was data protection – unfortunately it’s clear that DBAs around the world continue to struggle with backup and recovery.  With so many DBAs backing up directly to primary storage, there are a lot of efficiencies that can be gained by using Data Domain and DD Boost for RMAN.

We met many wonderful DBAs during the week and had a lot of great conversations about how they can improve Oracle backup while maintaining control.

Session

Of course the booth was just one of the many places EMC data protection was the topic of conversation.  On Monday, Jeff St. Cyr and I had a packed house where over 200 folks came to learn how they could “Make Oracle Backups 50% Faster with Deduplication and Oracle RMAN”.   In this session, we discussed the various options for backing up your Oracle databases and some of the best practices for each approach.

Keynote

The fun continued on Tuesday, when we kicked off the day with the EMC keynote starring Joe Tucci and Jeremy Burton.   One of the highlights of the keynote was Jeremy’s focus on how EMC is focused on making lives easier for DBAs.  This included a demo of DD Boost for Oracle RMAN – showing how DBAs can get faster, more efficient backup and maintain complete control by managing backups within Oracle Enterprise Manager.

theCUBE

A couple hours later, theCUBE featured a Data Protection Spotlight, with guest appearances by Guy Churchward, Stephen Manley, Darryl Smith (from EMC IT) and yours truly. You can check out the videos here – some great conversations on the state of data protection today and how it’s impacting database backup and recovery:

Caitlin's Cisco talk

In addition, on Monday and Wednesday, Cisco welcomed me to their booth to discuss ‘Backup and Recovery of VCE Vblock Systems for Oracle Applications’.  This was a great opportunity to touch on how Vblock enables the fastest path to the cloud and the different options to protect all applications in a converged infrastructure.

The week wrapped up with a bang on Wednesday night with an energizing performance by Maroon 5 and the Black Keys.  It was a great way to wrap up a fun and engaging week.

Party!

See you all next year!

Oracle OpenWorld: Tucci, Burton On EMC-Oracle Partnership

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Recap of Keynote

EMC and Oracle have forged one of the industry’s strongest partnerships. This was on full display at Oracle OpenWorld as EMC’s Joe Tucci and Jeremy Burton used the their keynote to demonstrate how this alliance is driving new value for customers. TBW Blogger Michael Wilke recaps from the show floor.

My Top 5 Reasons Why Data Domain for Oracle Database Backups!

Gene Maxwell

Gene Maxwell

Technical Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I am known by many as the creator of documentation that helps others easily understand technology. This is because I discovered that I myself was a visual learner as I worked in many different IT roles over the years. Prior to my technical marketing role, I was an EMC technical consultant for six years. I also have many years of experience as a customer in IT responsible for data center management & disaster recovery, including backups. My hobbies include building PCs, collecting movies (Casablanca is my favorite), singing and playing my guitar. I have a twin brother who is three minutes older than I am.

Thinking Man

For the sake of argument, let’s say that I am an Oracle DBA and some of my databases have gotten so big, it’s getting difficult to finish daily full backups within our available backup window.  There is talk that the backup admins want to change our database backups to weekend fulls and daily incrementals but I don’t want that because it will make database recovery more difficult, more time consuming, and less certain.

Unfortunately for me, our database backups are managed by the backup administrators so I really don’t have much control over what they do and when.   The other thing that scares me is the number of media and tape hardware problems I hear they are having on a regular basis.  I’m worried that when we really do need to recover an important database, we won’t be able to recover from physical tape and because I have no visibility into their backup results, I never really know if my databases are protected or not.  I’m also concerned about actually recovering our databases in a real disaster recovery situation.

This is an all to common scenario for many DBAs.  Fortunately, Data Domain systems can help to alleviate these pains.

Here are my Top 5 Reasons Why Data Domain for Oracle database backups:

  1. Backups with Data Domain and DD Boost are 50% faster giving me the speed I need to complete full backups within backup windows and providing some breathing room for databases to grow.
  2. Backups with Data Domain are more reliable because it eliminates unreliable physical tape media and physical tape hardware and the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture provides the best data protection available giving me confidence we will be able to recover when needed.
  3. Database recovery will be simple because we will always be recovering from full backups.
  4. I have control of all my Oracle database backups, replication to our DR site, and recovery from RMAN with full catalog visibility so I always know what’s going on without having to ask the backup admins.
  5. I am confident that I can recover my Oracle databases in a true disaster recovery situation because I know that my database backups have completed successfully, that Data Domain is protecting the integrity of the data, that the replication to our DR site Data Domain system has completed, and that I’ll be recovering from a full database backup.

Those are the top 5 reasons why I’d want Data Domain to protect my Oracle databases if I was an Oracle DBA!