Transformation Will Happen… With or Without You

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.

“We are no longer in a period of rapid change! We have now entered a unique period of time, unlike anything any of us have ever seen, that can best be described as transformation.”

Powerful words from Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research, in his recent blog Transform Now … or Struggle to Survive.  While I encourage you to read the full post, the gist is this:

  • We’re reached an inflection point, resulting from years of massive technological advances in processing power, digital storage and digital bandwidth, which necessitates a dramatic change, or transformation,  in the people, products, processes and services that drive and support our organizations.
  • The rules of business have changed from finding out what your customers want and giving it to them to giving your customers what they want before they even know they want or need it. As examples, Burrus cites two: Apple giving its customers the iPad before they even knew they wanted and Blockbuster asking customers to tell them what they wanted to make their store and shopping experience better. One transformed a market; the other limited a business.
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  • Transformation is a must-do not a nice-to-do if your organization wants to “survive and thrive.” As Burrus reminds us three things: 1) Transformation will happen, 2) If it can be done, it will be done, and 3) If you don’t do it, someone else will.
  • When I first saw Burrus’ post on LinkedIn, my team was in the final prep for our Data Protection launch. Stephen Manley and I were mapping out the final parts of his latest blog series The Right Architecture Is Priceless, and I had had just wrapped up production on the EMC Backup and Archive Game Plan eBook, which details the why, the what and the how of backup transformation, including the transformative role and components of a Protection Storage Architecture.

    So, I was curious, to say the least, to hear what he had to say about transformation at an organizational level and how it would align with our messaging at an IT and data protection level:

  • Data protection has reached a breaking point, resulting from massive data growth, infrastructure complexity, poor visibility and related budgetary issues.
  • The rules of data protection have changed from thinking of data protection as a cost center to thinking of it as a strategic investment in your business’s future. Backup, in particular, has transformed from a “low-value, high-cost insurance policy” to a “business accelerator.”
  • Backup transformation is a must-do not a nice-to-do if you want to accelerate IT transformation and maximize opportunities.

Looks like we’re in synch. So, what about you? What’s holding you back?

If backup is, be sure to watch the recording of the on-demand webcast of our special event Backup to the Future to learn why backup is now the long pole in the tent of IT innvoation.

The Future of Backup Is Now

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.

Our esteemed CTO, Stephen Manley, has been talking a lot about the importance of having the right architecture (Part I, II, III, IV, and V).  The question is – what are we doing to help you get there?   Today, we answered that question with a new generation of EMC data protection solutions.

Specifically, today EMC announced:

  • New Data Domain systems and Expanded Application Integration
  • Enhanced EMC Data Protection Suite with Avamar 7 and NetWorker 8.1

Read more on Pulse  or view the launch event now!

The Perfect Suite for Your Business

Mark Galpin

Mark Galpin

EMEA Product Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
As a product marketing lead based in Guildford, Surrey, I'm often seen presenting to EMC’s partners and end users at various events across Europe. I have over 20 years experience in the storage market, largely gained in the financial and legal sectors, including PaineWebber, part of UBS, and Clifford Chance, the international legal practice, where I was the storage manager for a number of years. But I've also held had product marketing stints at Quantum and previously at EMC. I'm married with two children and live in Guildford, Surrey.

The next time you pass a furniture shop, have a look in the window. Do their collections of lounge furniture all consist of different types of chairs or does each chair in the suite complement each other?

I am glad to say complementing products extends far further than lounge furniture. Take Data Protection for instance, what are you trying to protect and where are you trying to store it? “Next Generation Data Protection” should give you the ability to backup or archive your applications to the desired platform as a seamless, fully integrated process. This week @EMCbackup takes the next step in bringing together three of its major product lines.

Data Domain, Avamar and NetWorker all undergo major enhancements in this launch, giving existing and new customers more choice with their Data Protection strategy. To read the full post on our sister site Though Feast, click here.

The Future Is Now: Data Protection Worthy of Your Data

Lady Backup

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.

Today marks an important day in the history of our division and for EMC as we announce new capabilities across major parts of our protection storage and software portfolio. While the launch headline is “Backup to the Future,” I’m taking it a step further to include archiving as well. As you know, LadyBackup is equally as passionate about archiving as backup. What does it mean – the future is now? Continue Reading…

Real Life Solutions for a Real World Architecture

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).

aprimo banner final - liveThe Protection Storage Architecture is EMC’s North Star for data protection. With loosely integrated modules for protection storage, data source integration and data management services, it provides the road map for the journey to backup transformation. It guides our product development. It anchors our customer discussions around backup transformation. We have Protection Storage Architecture pictures, posters, t-shirts, and refrigerator magnets. I’m considering buying a face tattoo of the architecture… for one of my employees.

Therefore, it’s a great day when we deliver product that fills in the Protection Storage Architecture. That’s why we’re excited to announce new releases of EMC EMC Data Domain, EMC Avamar, and EMC NetWorker. In doing so, we build out all layers of the Protection Storage Architecture.

  • Protection Storage: Data Domain is not merely making bigger, faster Purpose Built Backup Appliances; it is defining the new class of storage that will finally meet the industry’s need for scale – Protection Storage. In the last decade, backup performance has fallen so far behind data growth that we need an entirely new approach to scaling.Therefore, we’re proud to announce the new Data Domain systems with 4x performance and 10x capacity of their predecessors. More important, however, is that the systems redefine protection scalability. Instead of simply storing traditional backup images, Data Domain now consolidates storage for all protection data. Key benefits include:
    • Versioned Replication – full data center support for incremental forever backups (synthesized into full backups).
    • Archive – support for over 20 leading applications, with the ability to store dramatically more objects/files at an even lower cost.
    • Disaster Recovery – instantly access VMs off the Data Domain in the event of a disaster, and storage vMotion them to primary storage at your convenience.
  • Data Source Integration: We’re not merely “supporting” all backup sources; we integrate deeply into their data and management layers. The data sources have both the intelligence to optimize protection performance and the user interfaces through which their users want to view their protection. This is especially important as we move into Big Data and Cloud. Therefore, we have extended our “application direct” backups to Data Domain to include SAP, SAP HANA and Oracle Exadata. Further, Avamar has extended its industry-unique NAS backup optimizations to Isilon – delivering backup performance that scales with the largest NAS environments. Finally, we have developed a vCenter management plugin that connects VMware’s vSphere Data Protection Advanced(VDPA), which is built on Avamar technology, to our full Avamar and NetWorker solutions. Built on the same technical foundation, customers have a natural migration from VDPA to Avamar or NetWorker.
  • Data Management Services: We are changing the way protection storage management, catalog, policy management, and consolidated is done and providing unmatched visibility:
    • We simplify protection storage management in two ways. First, all Avamar data center backups (VMs, applications, files) can target a Data Domain. While customers can continue to use their Avamar Data Stores, they no longer need to have two protection storage solutions for Data Center Protection. Additionally, NetWorker can now run Data Domain BOOST-optimized backups over Fibre Channel, simplifying the management of the protection storage environment.
    • We enhance the protection storage cataloging with the ability to track storage-layer protection (VMAX snapshots, VNX snapshots, RecoverPoint) and Oracle Flash Recovery Area (FRA) Backups. Therefore, if an Oracle DBA runs an FRA backup, NetWorker can automatically discover, catalog, and enhance the policy around that backup.
    • We deliver policy management for protection. Customers have struggled to ensure all their VMs are protected. Now, when a VM is created, it will automatically inherit a baseline backup policy – ensuring that everything is protected, without picking up the phone or sending an email to the backup team!
    • We are simplifying the management of backup. In this release, you can see the common VM protection capabilities between Avamar and NetWorker. That is no accident. This is the most concrete technical proof that EMC is bringing together our backup software into a unified offering.

Providing Real Customer Value

How can these solutions help you? How do they shift entire markets? Where do we go from here? Check out this link to watch our special webcast event and this  link to get answers to all these questions and more from our team of experts, customers and analysts.

By the way, if you want to sign up for that tattoo of the architecture, let us know – #backuptothefuture, @EMCBackup. We’ll get you some counseling… after we take a picture of the tattoo and post it on Twitter. Join us in our journey to backup transformation with the Protection Storage Architecture.