Master of your Destiny

“You are the master of your destiny.  You can influence, direct, and control your own environment.”

–Quote from Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill is considered to be one of the greatest writers on success in history.  And, while this quote is specifically related to one’s ability to achieve high levels of personal success, the sentiment behind it is also a basic premise for the new VMware support announced as part of the enhancements to the EMC Data Protection Suite.

VMwareTo remain agile and flexible, data owners—in this case, VMware Administrators—have moved to their own processes and tools for protecting their environments.  This has contributed to the ‘accidental architecture’ discussed in Stephen Manley’s blogs.  This movement disenfranchises the backup team, making it impossible for them to ensure SLAs at a corporate level.

EMC recognizes this need and is addressing it through the Protection Storage Architecture. The Protection Storage Architecture enables an open and modular approach to data protection that, among other benefits, provides visibility and control for data owners, while also enabling IT to move closer to an ITaaS model.  There is almost no better example of what we are delivering than the tight integration with VMware vCenter™ engineered into both Avamar 7 and NetWorker 8.1.

Effectively, through the enhancements to VMware protection in both solutions,  VMware administrators have the ability to choose the policies, as set by IT, that best fits the vm’s or vm containers in their environment and apply them.  Further, they are using their own native tool, the vSphere Web Client, for the administration.  From the vSphere Web Client, via the EMC Backup and Recovery plug-in, they are also able to process image backup and recovery and run reports, among other activities.  Alternatively, backup administrators set corporate policy from their native UI and have the visibility to monitor and report on the corporate infrastructure.  Finally, the EMC Data Protection Restore Client web user interface enables any system administrator with privileges to run file level recoveries from the image backups.

vSphere Web Client

You can see how the tight integration with VMware vCenter in NetWorker 8.1 and Avamar 7 offers a best-of-both-worlds scenario and enables each administrator to literally be the master of their environment.  We invite you to watch the demo of how this works in NetWorker 8.1.  Or, if you prefer to read about the capabilities, please take a look at the complete Solution Overview.

Sherry Davenport
I started in the IT industry over 30 years ago — it sure doesn’t feel like that long! I worked my way through the ranks starting at the old Digital Equipment Corporation in software sales support, sales training, channel training, product management and, ultimately, marketing. My background includes digital imaging, team productivity software, Alta Vista (remember that?), storage management, storage networking and most recently backup and recovery software. While I love my job, I love cooking and wine appreciation even more.

Data Privacy: Coming To A Country Near You?

In the US, we do not tend to think much about data privacy in the workplace.  We generally default to a belief that our employer owns the network and devices, so it has  the legal right to store, process (and view) the content that we create – even email messages.  But those rules are not the same in many other areas of the world, particularly in the European Union.  And many organizations with operations outside of the US may soon find themselves in the middle of a clash of cultures.

In the EU, personal data – which is broadly defined — is subject to the EU’s data privacy directive.  Personal data cannot be processed or transferred outside the EU area, such as to the US, without an “adequate safeguard”.  In practice, this means that everyday IT operations such as archiving, backup and even transfers between data storage devices (such as tiering) must have an “adequate safeguard” if data is moving from the EU to the US.

Most organizations in this situation have relied on a relatively straightforward Safe Harbor self-certification to meet the “adequate safeguard” requirement.  But recent developments, including news of the NSA’s surveillance operations, have put the Safe Harbor at risk, with some calling for its repeal.  In addition, German data protection authorities are already limiting the Safe Harbor exception.  These developments may require many organizations to find a new safeguard from limited options:  either Model Contracts or Binding Corporate Rules, both of which are more complex and difficult to implement in practice.

Of course, many organizations have long relied upon a third option — the unofficial “head in the sand” exception where transfers are made without any recognized safeguard in place.  Generally speaking, enforcement of the data privacy directive has been sporadic. But even that may be changing, with proposed changes to the privacy directive enabling fines of up to 2% of global revenue for violators.  That threat could force many “head in the sand” users into strict compliance.

For now, the Safe Harbor remains in place.  With the recent activity, it’s probably a good idea to run an internal audit to confirm your organization’s compliance.  As the EU becomes even more aggressive in this area, many organizations will need to strike a better balance between the lax privacy requirements of the US and an increasingly strong privacy regime in the EU.

Jim Shook

Jim Shook

Director, eDiscovery and Compliance Field Practice, Data Protection and Availability Division
I am a long-time “lawyer/technlogist”, having learned assembly language on a TRS-80 at age 12 and later a degree in Computer Science. But the law always fascinated me, and after being a litigator and general counsel for over 10 years, the challenges that technology brought to the law and compliance let me combine my favorite pursuits. I spend my days helping EMC’s customers understand their legal and compliance obligations, and then how to apply technology and best practices to meet them.

Backup to the Future with VSPEX

Our Backup to the Future launch event was awesome. More than 23,500 of you (and counting) have viewed the event since  July 10, and many of you have asked questions of our experts.

And what’s great is that all the products we announced, including the new midrange Data Domain Systems and the updates to EMC Data Protection Suite (Avamar 7, NetWorker 8.1) will be available with VSPEX Proven Infrastructures this quarter.

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Why is this important?

EMC backup supercharges the VSPEX value prop. You’ll be able to complete backups within windows (up to 90% less time required) and data will be recoverable (via our Data Invulnerability Architecture).

Without backup as a bottleneck (or worry), you’ll have the confidence to go full speed with virtualization – and do more. More virtualization… more app rollouts… more IT projects that drive revenue. And this means more free time for you. Win-win!

One last thing…

Customers who deploy EMC Backup see onaverage a 7 month payback and if they’ve consolidated backup and archive workloads on DataDomain, a 6 month or less payback.

That’s real money that keeps accruing to the bottom line after just two quarters. It’s a backup future anyone can like.

 

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.

Who’s the Conductor of Your Backups?

I am fortunate to have two musical children who are both very talented at their respective instruments. When they play or practice alone they are able to control the tempo and volume of the piece independently. However put them with others in an orchestra and suddenly they need to coordinate not only their tempo, but with that of their section and other instruments. This would be impossible without the conductor.

The conductor has visibility to all the scores of music, they are able to bring in and fade out sections of instruments to achieve a perfect balance. Much the same as a backup administrator should be able to do. The backup admin perhaps does not have the individual skill to backup the Oracle Database, or the Exchange Database. Or perhaps does not have the precise tool to backup the virtual servers.

To read the full post on our sister site Thought Feast, click here.

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.

A “Two-In, Two-Out Rule” for Data Protection?

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There’s a common operating practice in firefighting called the two-in, two-out rule. It’s a backup plan for firefighters.

Two-in establishes common operating procedures for firefighters inside hazard areas (e.g., firefighters operate must operate in a Buddy System); two-out pairs the inside team with an outside team for additional protection.

For the rule to work, communication between inside and outside teams is critical. Two-in teams have to maintain voice or visual contact with each other at all times, and one person on the two-out team is accountable for its two-in team at all times.

The other member can take on additional responsibilities at the scene but can’t take on tasks that are critical to the safety and health of any other firefighter.

There’s no room for communication gaps. The stakes are too high.

So, what if there was some sort of two-in, two-out rule for IT? What would the rules be? What would the teams look like? How would the rules affect common IT operating practices? What would the effects be on your business?

Over the next few posts, we’ll explore these questions. We’ll look at the communication gap that exists today between IT teams and, importantly, between IT teams and the business, we’ll define the teams and we’ll establish some rules of engagement in and among these teams.

And, lastly, we’ll look at some of the tools (products, architectures, etc.) organizations can leverage to help bridge some of gaps within their organizations.

Why do this? That’s simple: Transformation is going to happen with or without you.

So, who’s got your back?

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.