What Hurts Us Does Make Us Stronger…IT Too

181907694It’s funny how chance meetings can impact our lives… change our perspectives.

Three specific occasions immediately come to my mind.

The first occurred, of all places, on a cruise ship to Alaska. My wife and I were playing cards in one of the lounges when in comes a large group of service men and women—all ages and nationalities. As it turns out, there was a veterans meeting taking place. We hung around to listen. People literally from both sides of the conflicts in Afghanistan to Hiroshima to Hamburger Hill.

Continue reading on our sister site Reflections>> 

Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.

The Payback from Backup Transformation – Part 2

Lady Backup continues with Part 2 in looking at a recent IDC analysis that shows the business benefits from backup transformation with EMC.

As we reviewed in Part 1, there is a clear financial benefit from modernizing your dated backup infrastructure with EMC. In fact, companies in a recent analysis from IDC saw a 5-month payback from their investment into EMC.

In total, IDC shows a reduction of nearly $3 million per year in benefit to the business, measured in in three key areas:

  • Hard costs:  More than half, or $1.7 million in annual savings, came from reducing backup infrastructure costs. This includes $627,000 from eliminating tape-related costs and $909,000 from reducing backup storage capacity requirements with deduplication.
  • IT productivity improvements. The IT team is a big winner in this transformation.  On average, 37 hours per week were spent on backup and recovery related issues, including lengthy restores, restarting failed backups, and physically managing tape.  After backup transformation, 9 hours are spent per week on backup and recovery related tasks, a 75% improvement.
  • End user productivity improvements.  In the “before” scenario, users spent an average of 54 hours per year waiting for recoveries.  Doesn’t sound like a lot?  That’s more than a work week of annual productivity wasted.   Now, they wait only a matter of minutes – 13 minutes on average in an entire year, according to IDC.

I’ve included a graphic to show you the distribution in annual cost savings.

ROI Infographic

What does this tell us? It says that a modern backup infrastructure provides better service to the business at less cost.

In the final part, we’ll look at what companies changed in their backup environment.

All of the details about this study can be found on a dedicated Web page.  And we invite you to join the conversation using #IDCROI.  LB

Lady Backup
Lady Backup’s career in IT dates back before the time of the Spice Girls. Initially I started in high tech journalism in the US and eventually transitioned to become an industry analyst. My analyst years also coincided with my education – during this period of my life I was working on my MBA. After 7 years of going to school at night, I graduated with distinction with an Information Age MBA degree from Bentley University (at the time it was still Bentley College) located just outside of Boston. With degree in hand, what’s a restless girl to do next? This is where networking with fellow classmates led to a job at EMC. Starting our Hopkinton headquarters, I moved outside of the US with EMC International when I felt it was time for my next change. Today, Lady Backup is an American on the loose in the world. Living outside the United States has been a fascinating experience. For the moment I call England home. But I’m feeling my next wave of restlessness coming. Here are two hints: I love sunshine and I’m improving my Spanish.

What the CxO Says…

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My recent TBW post “Business Execs Are from Mars, IT Execs Are from Venus” is sparking some good conversation and social sharing on Forbes, and it’s got CxOs talking on LinkedIn.That conversation is copied below.

Take a quick read, and chime in. Do you agree?  From your vantage point, what’s causing the disconnect and, importantly, what is your business doing to try to narrow the gap. And how concerned are you and your biz/IT counterparts?

  • Comment by CIO | CTO | IT Director:Thanks Heidi. Some of the disconnects in perception are startling. 

  • Q: What’s the biggest disconnect you’re seeing?
  • Comment from CEO:

    Organizations trying to move IT beyond being a cost center find it easier to put together a cost model than they do a business value or revenue model. In many cases they are limited by the legacy ERP they are still stuck with, which lack activity based management features. They struggle with IT Billing and the allocation of costs across a revenue or performance hierarchy, which can get very political as well as technically complex. Consequently, trending costs is an easier fallback position. That may explain some of the effects pointed to in the article.

  • Comment by CIO | CTO | IT Director:

    The thing that jumps out to me is the disconnect about the progress in delivering IT as a service (“Reality Check” graphic) especially the 30% of IT folks who think it’s already operating as a service compared to 18% of their business peers. If you look at the trends in that chart, early on the business is ahead of IT in their perception of progress, but later on IT is ahead of the business.

    I interpret that to mean–in general–business is more the driver here, with IT following somewhat reluctantly. IT seems to be slower to get on board, and quicker to assume completion compared to their business peers. That matches with my experience in real life.

  • Q: Do you find that certain teams within your IT organizations are more business-minded than others? Who are the laggers? What are you doing on a people, process and technology level to move things forward? Where does data protection factor into the equation, if at all.

  • Comment by CEO:

    Heidi, I don’t know what business minded means. Most people in business, no matter what they do, believe they are making a contribution, even if they focus exclusively on their craft. They are unable to articulate their value in financial terms, which is a problem given that financial management is one of the missing links between corporate strategy and IT investments. The move beyond cost centers and running IT as a business is largely affiliated with ITSM, which along with the corruption in the early 90s has placed a focus on governance. Like the cobbler’s children, IT lacks the tools to address these issues efficiently, in addition to the shift in mindset. To move things forward organizations need to do a much better job in processes such as financial, demand, service portfolio and IT asset management. We also need to find a way to better integrate project and service portfolios to meet the unbelievable expectations of the end user community, who think everything should happen instantaneously, even if they don’t have a clue what they want.

Be sure to check out my other posts on Forbes, including “Three Signs Your Company May Be Losing It’s Mojo” and a “Two-In, Two-Out Rule for Data Protection.”

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
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.

The Payback from Backup Transformation – Part 1

Lady Backup likes to deal with facts.  Instead of giving you generalizations about the benefits of backup transformation, I want to show you the facts – quantifiable facts.

In our latest project, EMC commissioned a study by IDC to do an in-depth analysis of backup transformation, looking at the “before” and “after.”  To do this, IDC analysts interviewed several leading companies in key industries like financial services and telecommunications across the Middle East and Turkey.

This study is the second such study we’ve commissioned, the first IDC study was a similar analysis of a dozen companies across Europe and South Africa.   Using a consistent methodology, the findings between the two studies are similar, which says these studies are good indicators for companies around the world.

Let’s start with the outcome of the financial analysis.  According to IDC, companies saw a 5-month payback from their investment into EMC solutions.

The math from the IDC analysis is pretty simple and compelling on why it makes sense to transform your dated backup infrastructure:

  • Benefit: Over a three-year period, companies saved on average $4.6 million in hard costs by replacing tape and reducing backup storage capacity requirements. If we include soft costs associated with productivity gains for both IT and end users, the total financial benefit was more than $8 million over three years.
  • Investment: In a three-year period, companies invested an average of $1.3 million into their EMC solutions, including the initial acquisition, deployment and annual maintenance costs.
  • Net Gain: IDC shows more than a $7 million gain over three years from replacing dated backup infrastructures with EMC.

If you would like to see how the picture looks over three years, I’ve included a chart from the IDC report.

ROI

What do these numbers tell use?  By investing into a modernized EMC backup infrastructure you are reducing costs of data protection while improving service levels to the business.  And your investment is paid for in a matter of months.

In the next part, we’ll look in more detail at the category of savings.

All of the details about this study are hosted on a dedicated Web page.  And we invite you to join the conversation using #IDCROI.

Read more at ThoughtFeast!

Lady Backup
Lady Backup’s career in IT dates back before the time of the Spice Girls. Initially I started in high tech journalism in the US and eventually transitioned to become an industry analyst. My analyst years also coincided with my education – during this period of my life I was working on my MBA. After 7 years of going to school at night, I graduated with distinction with an Information Age MBA degree from Bentley University (at the time it was still Bentley College) located just outside of Boston. With degree in hand, what’s a restless girl to do next? This is where networking with fellow classmates led to a job at EMC. Starting our Hopkinton headquarters, I moved outside of the US with EMC International when I felt it was time for my next change. Today, Lady Backup is an American on the loose in the world. Living outside the United States has been a fascinating experience. For the moment I call England home. But I’m feeling my next wave of restlessness coming. Here are two hints: I love sunshine and I’m improving my Spanish.

Can You See Azure Clouds on a Clear Day?

Azure CloudYou would not see them, but they are there. This is exactly how you would like your private cloud to operate – unobtrusively. The recent Microsoft announcements regarding the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack got me thinking. How would you comprehensively protect your Microsoft -based private cloud environment? I did not need to look far to find so MANY cool features and benefits from the EMC Data Protection Suite, and how it is optimized for Microsoft applications, Hyper-V and Windows Azure.  Thus, back by popular demand (may just be the voices in my head),

Here are my top 8 reasons why

EMC DataProtection Suite is best for Microsoft

# 1 Centralized Protection for All Microsoft Applications

EMC provides fully featured data protection for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V —leveraging Microsoft standards such as the VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) framework. Now you can use industry-leading deduplication—including Data Domain Boost software—to help protect your Microsoft data, all managed seamlessly by the Data Protection Suite.

Centralized Protection for All Microsoft Applications

# 2 Comprehensive Windows Protection

EMC Data Protection provides the industry’s top protection of Windows and Windows Server. This support is fully integrated with Data Domain systems using Client Direct and DD Boost – providing the industry’s leading deduplication. Forever incremental Windows file system backups, Windows block based backup, and optimized backups for Windows Server 2012 deduplicated volumes take backups to new levels of performance and scalability.  EMC Data Protection also offers integrated Windows Bare Metal Recovery (BMR), including from physical to virtual environments, to speed Windows server recoveries when disasters strike.

Comprehensive Windows Protection

# 3 Comprehensive Exchange Protection

Supporting the latest versions of Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013, the Data Protection Suite uses the Exchange VSS writer, so you can complete full storage group, database availability group or database backups. EMC Data Protection Suite provides Exchange Federated backups that dynamically adapt to changes in the Exchange DAG environment and always backup passive databases, resulting in no backup impact to mail operations. Both Avamar and NetWorker provide multi-stream backups to Data Domain systems and take performance to the next level. Believe me – it’s fast! But we all know what’s most important … recovery! Exchange Granular Level Recovery (GLR) allows virtually mounting and browsing of Exchange database savesets for mailbox level recoveries in minutes.

Comprehensive Exchange Protection

# 4 Optimized SQL Server Protection

Attention SQL DBAs … you get better visibility and control of your backups with the Data Protection Suite, and a variety of advanced recovery features. Plus, through integration to the SQL Server Management Studio, you can set priorities for Database Availability Groups. Now SQL database admins have better visibility and control of their SQL Server environment. And backups work on passive databases, thus removing any impact to the active database

Optimized SQL Server Protection

# 5 Full Range of SharePoint Protection

Start with easy setup through wizards that guide you through backup scheduling. For large SharePoint deployments, EMC provides VSS Federated backup – synchronizing across all servers in the farm and leverages variable-length deduplication for the highest efficiencies. The SharePoint VSS interface provides information about a SharePoint farm (including the servers in the farm, and where the configuration, content and search databases, and files are located), thus enabling comprehensive recovery. With SharePoint GLR, backups for entire SharePoint farms can be mounted in seconds to allow data recovery by the SharePoint application owners.

Full Range of SharePoint Protection

# 6 Comprehensive Hyper-V Protection for Microsoft-based Private Clouds

EMC Data Protection Suite provides a full range of backup and recovery services for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2.

Comprehensive Hyper-V Protection for Microsoft-based Private Clouds

# 7 Leading support for Hyper-V Cluster Shared Volumes

There is full support for stand-alone Hyper-V servers and also Hyper-V servers in a cluster using Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs). Support for Hyper-V clusters is ‘federated’, in that backup schedules are set for the entire Hyper-V cluster and the Data Protection Suite will automatically find VMs wherever they are located. We all know they do tend to move around. Hyper-V Proxy Backup means the virtualization administrator can choose which nodes in the Hyper-V cluster are used for backup, which means the performance of the Hyper-V servers hosting virtual machines are not impacted by backup. Our new support for multiple Hyper-V proxies means additional scalability for large Hyper-V deployments. Lastly, Hyper-V GLR means VM backups can be mounted in seconds to allow for file-level recoveries from image backups.  MUST HAVES for Microsoft-based private clouds!

 Leading support for Hyper-V Cluster Shared Volumes

Watch the Whiteboard Video to learn more about Hyper-V Proxies.

# 8 Flexible Recovery

EMC Data Protection Suite provides the ability to recover complete virtual machines to the same Hyper-V Server, an alternate Hyper-V Server, or just recover the virtual machine files to allow the user to manually provision a VM. In the case of a DR recovery of the complete Hyper-V Server, the Data Protection Suite will also recover the Hyper-V Server configuration database files. “Now that was easy.”

Flexible Recovery

EMC and Microsoft have teamed together for more than 15 years to bring our mutual customers a complete, strategic solution that streamlines data protection. We are committed to excellence. I am sure you will see that our alliance continues to be a “suite” relationship … I couldn’t resist ;- )

 Data Protection Suite Top 10 List for Microsoft

Well there you have it, My Top 8 reasons why EMC Data Protection is best for Microsoft  - clear as azure clouds on a clear day. Please visit http://www.emc.com/backup-and-recovery/data-protection-suite/index.htm for more information, and be sure to contact EMC Backup Recovery Systems Specialists.

Follow me on Twitter (@vPhilGeorge) … and let me know your favorite(s) from the list above.

Phil George

Phil George

Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC
Working with customers and partners (like VMware) to develop leading backup solutions makes every day very interesting; helping them optimize their backup architectures for virtualized environments is what really energizes me. Over the past 25 years, I’ve held senior engineering, marketing and sales roles within the technical software industry. This gives me a good vantage point to recognize technical challenges, see emerging trends and propose new solutions. I hold a BSEE from Cornell University and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Boston University. I currently reside with my wife and two children in Massachusetts.