The Path to the Cloud Includes Backup

As VMworld 2013 nears to a close, your head is probably spinning with new knowledge about the cloud and cloud infrastructures. How could it not, right?

And, hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to learn more about the EMC cloud story, the three paths we offer—build your own, VSPEX and VCE Vblock Systems— and why backup is vital to all three.

3 paths to the cloud

If you deploy cloud infrastructure without thinking about backup, you’ll face some unwanted challenges. Not only is traditional backup struggling under the pressures of data growth but virtualization is stressing it too.

Left unchanged, backup can have a domino effect with your organization: Data owners (e.g., the storage, VM and app owners), seeing the old backup ways are breaking down even faster than before, will find solutions on their own. Soon, you’ll have protection silos and an “accidental” backup architecture for your new cloud environment. That means cost, complexity and risk—and that’s just what you’re working to eliminate! Forget about business acceleration.

A better approach is to address protection at the start. Because backup is built into both Vblock Systems and  VSPEX, your organization gets the performance and visibility it needs IT-wide. This eliminates silos and accidental architectures, and it will allow you to scale efficiently and simply as you grow.

So as you consider your next cloud moves, don’t forget backup. If you go with one of EMC’s three paths, you won’t.  Best of all, with EMC you’ll be able to defy one of the most common conventions in IT today– broken backup.

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.

Culling Your eDiscovery Costs

According to an informal recent survey, 79% of legal departments are performing their own eDiscovery collections.  Although that number is probably lower in the real world (the poll measured only those attending a special Law Department Roundtable at ILTA), it is an encouraging development.  Taking charge of eDiscovery collections can cut cost and risk, in addition to delivering better overall insight into the underlying litigation matter.

What about the rest of the eDiscovery steps in the EDRM — are those being performed in-house or outside?  The same poll revealed that only 31% did any culling before the data left the organization.  This seems like a missed opportunity since so much of the expense in the eDiscovery process – over 70% according to one survey — comes during the Review phase, and culled data won’t need to be reviewed.

So if you’re looking to cut some additional costs from your eDiscovery process, consider a few simple culling techniques:

  • Remove clearly extraneous email, such as content from,, etc.  In the right case, you might even be able to limit email further to just one external domain (i.e. the other party in the litigation matter);
  • Determine whether you can bound the information by date range.  In other words, is information before or after a certain date not likely to be relevant based upon the facts of the case;
  • If you are collecting “everything” from laptops, desktops and file systems, are there file types that can safely be culled — such as log files, videos, photos, music collections and executable files?  Some of these could be relevant in the right case so check to be sure;
  • De-duplicate!  This is both easier and more difficult than you might think!  Be sure that you understand the basis on which you are culling duplicative content.

Most cases will present you with opportunities to cull collected data before sending it outside for further work.  Having the right tools in place and adding a few steps to your eDiscovery workflow can help to uncover significant savings.

Live from VMworld 2013! Superior VMware Backup and Recovery, Powered by Intel and EMC

Phil George at Intel - VMworld

The most pervasive trends in the market related to the data center and backup include:

  1. Data growth … especially redundant data.
  2. Security – stronger network protection and better data protection
  3. Tougher SLAs being required – much shorter RTO since the pace of business requires much faster recovery
  4. The need for more system performance … thank you Intel.
  5. Better value => same budget for more capacity and performance.


EMC Backup Recovery Systems is addressing these challenges in 4 areas:

  1. SDDC –At the foundation of the SDDC is the automation that is needed within each of the technology areas (server, storage, network, data protection and security). By leveraging tools that not only provide granular management, but also can integrate with the virtualization platform, IT groups can begin to deliver more agile operations and automate repetitive tasks. We leverage the Cloud Operations functionality that is available with the virtualization platform. This will treat the infrastructure as pools of resources, allowing IT to manage demand and performance in a more cost-effective, flexible way.
  2. MCA – Mission Critical Applications are moving to virtualized platforms thanks to the performance delivered by Intel-based computing, and EMC-based storage. Pervasive applications such as Microsoft SQL and Oracle are growing in capabilities, and in-turn the size and number of databases are growing exponentially. Now that they are working in a cloud infrastructure you have backup and recovery challenges that can only be met with optimized solutions.  EMC has become the largest data protection company in the industry because we address the challenges, deliver the highest performance, and provide better visibility and control for application owners, VMware administrators and the backup manager.
  3. EUC – End User Computing, Virtual Desktop Initiatives, Business Process Desktops … there seems to be many names for the infrastructure that supports a virtual desktop.  Just as companies have seen numerous benefits after moving from physical servers to virtual servers, they are now moving to virtual desktops to gain similar benefits.  Of course traditional backup and recovery will not scale with this environment.  EMC first introduced NDMP Acceleration in 2006 and continues to be the leader for NAS Server backup – since NAS storage is often the basis for virtual desktop environment.  Now, what is one of the most important requirements asked for by end-users?  Really fast recoveries – or better yet- self-service recovery so they don’t have to wait for the IT staff. EMC provides an optimized business process desktop backup and recovery solution with end-user self-service recovery.
  4. Trusted IT - Trust is a key pillar of the EMC Cloud Infrastructure strategy that enables customers to take full advantage of the new opportunities for application and infrastructure. Trusted IT requires Continuous Availability, Integrated Backup and Recovery, and Advanced Security to take full advantage of new operational models. We see data protection as a continuum, where the foundation is backup and recovery optimized for VMware, and applies to 100% of your data. Now select your most critical applications and data and add the next layer of protection with continuous data protection. Finally, you can add in the technology for continuous data availability to avoid any disruption in the event of a disaster.
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.

Simplify Now with VCE, EMC, and VMware

VCE BoothVMworld 2013 is in full swing. This year the VCE team is showing off multiple VCE Vblock™ Systems with experts on hand to engage and discuss how VCE is delivering simplicity in the data center with technology from VCE investors VMware, Cisco, and EMC.

Clearly, the virtualized world that VMware makes possible is why VMworld is so exciting as VMware Partners and VMware customers come together and share their stories. These stories are inspiring because many go back almost 10 years (sometimes more!) and are a testament to how instrumental VMware has become in the life cycle of today’s modern datacenter.

Of particular note is the number of occurrences of the word “replication” and “protection” and “backup” and “recovery” and “DR” and “RTO” and “RPO” if you look through the amazing agenda for VMworld 2013. Regardless of the size of a vSphere environment, attendees have sessions, panels, and peers providing deep insights into what works, what could work better, and the current state of the art in true application mobility and data protection — and where it will be in the future.

VCE Booth - VblockJust a few months ago VCE detailed updates and enhancements to Vblock Systems, VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software, including how VCE is enabling workload mobility and data projection using the latest generation of EMC Backup Recovery Systems enhancements for EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain. EMC’s backup and archive software are pre-tested, pre-integrated, and pre-configured on the Vblock System, which provides customers with a very speedy deployment and implementation. The integrated solution provides direct connectivity, high performance, and a single line of support for the product.

In addition to VCE experts in the VCE booth, the EMC team will be dropping by to detail the combined efforts between VCE, VMware, EMC, and Cisco to enable EMC Backup and Recovery for VCE Vblock Systems. Yesterday, Chandra Jacobs discussed Backup and Recovery Optimized for VCE Vblock Systems. She highlighted key facts about EMC’s backup and recovery – including Avamar’s Changed Block Tracking backup and restore, which only sends unique “changed” blocks across the network, allowing customers to recover 30x faster than traditional VMDK restore. Chandra will be speaking again today at 3:15 pm PDT, be sure to visit the booth to catch her presentation!

If you can’t make it to the booth, this YouTube video will give you a quick overview of how you can bring simplicity to your workloads and the protection of those workloads. In the video, Chandra explains the benefits of EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain solutions on a Vblock System, including the elimination of setting up a dedicated backup network and the reduction of network configuration.

Please come see VCE at Booth 1015 at VMworld and speak to one of our VCE team members about how VCE is working with the EMC backup and recovery team and VMware to deliver simplicity!

Jay Cuthrell
Jay Cuthrell is a thought leader within the Office of the CTO at VCE (A company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware, and Intel) working with service providers, systems integrators, ISVs, and media & entertainment companies to deliver converged infrastructure. He is a frequent industry speaker currently based on the West Coast of the United States. Previously, as a strategic technology consultant with he worked with service providers, startup companies, and investment groups in addition to writing for ReadWrite and Telecompetitor. He has held CTO, VP, and GM roles at Digitel and NeoNova (an Azure Capital and Bridgescale Partners portfolio company) and infrastructure consulting roles working domestically and internationally for Fortune 500 clients. He also served at Scient (formerly iXL now Publicis), Nortel, Analysts International, IBM, and NCSU College of Engineering. He holds a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University and grew up in Beaufort, NC. His blog can be found at

Five Reasons to Choose EMC Backup for VMware

future and pastAs much as VMware has been instrumental in the course of data protection over the past few years, all signs indicate we haven’t seen anything yet.

While backup and recovery performance will continue to be important, integration, application support, management and architectural flexibility will become the new measuring sticks for data protection in the software-defined data center and cloud.

So, it’s important to ask vendors about these metrics now. Get them to share  specific proof points of how their solutions are translating into IT and business benefits, and then compare.

To help you get started, below are five reasons to choose EMC Backup for VMware. (Oh, and if you’re a visual person, check out this infographic; the data points paint a compelling story.)

  1. Accelerated backup and recovery: EMC doesn’t just promise faster backup and recovery, we deliver it. Our software Data Protection Suite and Purpose-Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs) are proven to reduce VMware backup by 90%, speed recoveries by 30x, as well as provide VM Instant Access. Also, because our solutions identify unique changed blocks, we move less data, which reduces resource contention and network traffic. DR is faster and more efficient.
  2. Accelerated savings: We understand the importance of integrating with VMware, and we do it better than anyone else. Not only do we integrate with VMware vCenter and VMware vStorage API for Data Protection, but we’re also the only vendor to support VMware Changed Block Tracking for both backup and restore. Plus, because we integrate with  vSphere Web Client, we’re able to give VMware admins better visibility and control for deduplicated backup and recovery. You can expect to reduce storage requirements by 10-30x and administration time by 80%, netting a 7-month average return on investment. That’s savings your business will love.
  3. Accelerated transformation: No vendor can help your organization accelerate IT transformation faster than we can. Our Protection Storage Architecture provides a flexible foundation for years to come. Our PBBAs provide cost-optimized, consolidated storage for backup and archive data; our Data Protection Suite simplifies management and provides a clear, easy pathway for delivering data protection services; and integration with VMware and leading business-critical applications from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM. Plus, we can help you optimize your converged infrastructure—whether it’s VCE Vblock or EMC VSPEX—so you’ll see more benefits sooner.
  4. Market leadership: We are the largest backup company in the world, #1 in backup and storage for VMware and leaders in IT transformation. This gives us a distinct advantage in the market in terms of solution development and solution delivery. In fact, VMware’s vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is powered by EMC Avamar.
  5. Proven services: With hundreds of backup and recovery specialists and thousands of VMware-trained engineers across the globe and an extensive partner network, we have the expertise to optimize your environment. We’ll guide you every step of the way.

For more information about VMware backup, transformation and EMC backup and archive solutions, go to

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.