Coaching Blindfolded?

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.

As a native New Englander, I have been lucky enough to enjoy the spoils of many great coaches in recent years including Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers and Terry Francona (yes, even Francona).  But do you think that the Patriots would have gone to 5 Super Bowls and won 3 (it hurts to type that ‘3’) if Belichick was coaching blindfolded?  Even with a Tom Brady behind center, a team needs a coach with the visibility and insight into the entire field of play.   Although it’s true in any sport, this is especially true in football with a roster of 53 players to manage.

As we discussed earlier this week, like any player or coach, an IT administrator needs visibility into their entire field of play to proactively manage their environment.  In the world of data protection, this centers on the concept of providing data management services to users through products like Data Protection Advisor and Data Domain Management Center.

Data Domain Management Center provides administrators a single view for aggregate monitoring and reporting of all Data Domain systems in the environment.  Below you see what I would call the Data Domain “playbook” – a customizable dashboard that shows the health, capacity and replication status of all systems in the environment.

While a playbook certainly makes for interesting reading, the real power comes when you call a play and share this information with the team.  That’s where the reporting functionality comes it, shown below in the Reports section of Data Domain Management Center.  This enables you to create customized reports that show status, capacity and replication of multiple systems. Best of all, you can schedule these reports to run on a schedule and be automatically distributed to a defined list of recipients.  That means you can set up custom reports for different sites and DD Management Center will automatically run that report on a weekly basis and send the results to only the folks in each site.

Although providing data management services isn’t going to win you a Super Bowl anytime soon, it goes a long way in making you a hero in your organization.

Want to take Data Domain Management Center out for a spin?  Download the free 90-day evaluation from my.datadomain.com today!

 

Unify Data Protection Management with DPA 6

Tom Giuliano

Tom Giuliano

Marketer and EMC Data Protection Advisor Expert
I love to listen to customers discuss their data protection challenges, their experiences and their needs, and I’ve had a lot of opportunity to do it. For the past 15 years, I’ve brought network and storage products to market through roles in sales, product management and marketing. When I’m not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching products, you’ll likely find me cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of my more interesting experiences in one of my posts from time to time.

For years, the saying in the business arena has been “it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.”

But that thinking has shifted, and today it really is what you know that matters more – whether you’re in management, IT, etc.

Knowledge IS power IF you can find it, organize it and leverage it. But too often organizations don’t have the visibility  they need to verify that their vital business data is properly protected, or whether they are in compliance. Centralizing management and providing unified visibility into and insight across these diverse and dynamic backup environments is HUGE!

In the backup world, visibility has been a huge problem for years, not just from a backup administrator perspective but increasingly from an application or end-user viewpoint. That’s why we’re excited about the launch of EMC Data Protection Advisor (DPA) 6 today.

DPA 6 provides unified visibility and insight into backup and recovery environments. Better stated, it provides real proof of data protection through comprehensive monitoring, analysis and reporting.

With DPA, backup and VMware administrators (and their bosses) don’t have to ask questions like, do I:

  • Know if my service levels are being met?
  • Know if my critical data is protected?
  • Receive information on the success/failure of backup jobs?
  • Reduce backup errors and identify issues?
  • Monitor across physical and virtual heterogeneous infrastructures?
  • Make proactive decisions about my backup and recovery environments and plan storage and media purchases.

Specifically, DPA 6 provides:

  • Unified visibility ensures to ensure data protection service levels: Gain clarity through DPA 6’s unified view so you can proactively report protection to stakeholders and compliance to auditors. The benefit is comprehensive understanding of overall data protection health, performance and reliability.
  • Rapid access to vital information: Customers can self-install DPA in just minutes. By using DPA’s new dashboards, they will make be able to make better decisions because they will have access to more information in a single location. Service providers and IT administrator can enable stakeholders to verify service levels or other data on their own based on privilege or preference-based self-service access.
  • Real-time monitoring and analytics: Get better predictability and assurance that mission-critical applications are protected. DPA offers fully-automated data protection processes. DPA 6 provides unified visibility and proven service levels for backup, which is particularly vital in rapidly-growing and changing environments.  Monitoring the protection of VM’s in real time is vital in service provider and enterprise environments where data protection is implemented as a service.DPA supports VMware vMotion, and can keep track of VMs as they move around the environment.  This capability is extremely valuable if a data set is not backed up, or even when a newly created VM is not covered by a protection policy.
  • Data protection management for multi-tenant environments: DPA 6 offers multi-tenant data protection management, providing the enterprise-level scalability and flexibility required in cloud environments. Savings with DPA’s new architecture come from supporting thousands of tenants on a single DPA instance, and it does this without performance degradation by non-disruptively adding new nodes into running clusters or the ability to partition resources. By combining chargeback or show-back reporting for backup and replicated data, DPA makes it simple for IT departments (or service providers) offering IT-as-a-Service to charge back the level of service to the line of business (or by location or some other metric).

Why try a new approach to data protection management?  You’ll know in 60 days.

Backup and ITaaS – Your Business Depends on It

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).

While companies now understand that information drives their business, many have yet to consider the impact backup can have on their bottom line. IT organizations that drive a service-provider approach to backup can accelerate both IT and business initiatives. To deliver backup in an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model, however, the team must transform both their approach and their technology.

Backup Matters to the Bottom Line

Why does backup matter to the business?

From vision to execution. Backup teams can drive business value by shifting to an ITaaS-oriented protection storage architecture.

At a recent manufacturing conference, the head of a cosmetics factory lamented: “With my virtualized environment, IT can set up a new application in 48 hours. Everything is set up automatically in one hour… except backups. This delays everything, and that’s unacceptable.” Conversely, organizations with service-oriented backup teams innovate more quickly because everybody is confident that, even if something goes wrong, their data will be safe and accessible. Backup affects the velocity of IT and business.

IT organizations need a new service-provider approach. Unfortunately, legacy backup solutions tend to be architecturally monolithic, labor-intensive and absolutely centralized – the exact opposite of how to deliver anything as a service.

Continue reading on Reflections>>

Backup Game Day Is Back…The Transformation Continues

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.

How do you turn backup and recovery into an offensive strategy that delivers game-changing business results?

More than 4,000 of you tuned in last fall to hear the first part of the story, and on Monday, March 11, we’re back with the second chapter.

Backup Game II is all about giving application owners, end user and other stockholders, the visibility and control of the backup process they need to accelerate business.

You’ll learn:

  • Why federated management services are critical to backup transformation
  • How data protection management can help you improve service levels, lower costs, and avoid problems
  • How to manage backup at scale–simply and efficiently
  • How to deliver backup in an IT as a service model
  • How the completely redesigned EMC Data Protection Advisor 6 will help you go from vision to execution.

Register today, or catch us real-time Monday. It will be 30-minutes well spent.

Oh, and by the way, TBW bloggers Tom Giuliano, Michael Wilke, Caitlin Gordon and I will be on-line during the event.  So don’t forget to say hello.

Highlights from the VCE Launch Reel

Chandra Jacobs
I love creative and challenging projects in the emerging technology product space. I have a background in tech, innovation, and product development, especially as applied to web and mobile apps in the entrepreneurship arena, but have recently moved into marketing. In my role as a product marketer, I have gravitated toward digital marketing as well as analytics/data mining. It fits well with my techie geek bent as well as my cloud angle on The Backup Window. (Be sure to catch my posts on Innovation Station too!) Outside of work at EMC, I enjoy exploring Boston’s culinary and jazz scene (often in combination), and travel as much as I can (35 countries and counting).

One word for the launch – “wow!” Well done VCE!

I certainly hope all of our readers caught the Feb 21 VCE Launch, which you can replay here if you missed it (but watch it soon because it will only be available until May 23). People all over the world turned up for the virtual event, which featured VCE and EMC executives discussing high-level industry trends as well as announcing new product families.

As expected, VCE announced several exciting products (the Vblock System 100 and Vblock System 200), Vblock System 300 and Vblock System 700 family enhancements, as well as systems optimized for SAP HANA, plus the VCE Vision Intelligent Operations platform, a converged infrastructure management system. These new solutions all run on the EMC technology you know and love, and push VCE into the small and medium-sized business market, leveraging EMC’s VNXe small-business storage array.

In particular, according to the VCE press release:

  • Vblock System 100 extends business applications and other virtual desktop solutions to remote locations through a remote branch solution stack, targeted for availability in Mar 2013.
  • Vblock System 200 is designed for mid-sized data centers, but can also be used on-premise in a centralized service management configuration, targeting for availability in early Q2 2013.
  • Vblock System 300 and Vblock System 700 families now have up to twice the capacity and performance capabilities.

You can check out the entire range of VCE products and how they are positioned, now ranging from the SMB end of the spectrum all the way up to an enterprise class solution (Vblock System 300 and Vblock System 700).

 

The Data Protection Suite continues to be powered by EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain, which are optimized for highly virtualized and converged environments. You can learn more about these solutions from our recent webcast, and also download the white paper written by expert industry senior analyst Jason Buffington from the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). And, just posted, Jason sums up data protection of a virtualized, converged environment in a short video. Be sure to let him know how he did by tweeting him at @JBuff.

Congratulations again to VCE! We’re all expecting great things for the future, and are excited that EMC backup and recovery products continue to form the foundation of VCE’s converged data protection strategy.

Did you watch the launch? We’d love to hear what you thought here.