Avamar 7 SP1 is More Than a Service Pack …

It’s a Cornucopia of Backup and Recovery Goodness

Avamar Cornucopia

As we come into the holiday season, it’s a time to be generous and thankful.  EMC has certainly taken this to heart, as they have been the generous ones providing a cornucopia of capabilities in the latest release. I know we are all thankful this season for so many things, and I am certainly thankful for being part of the industry’s very best deduplication backup software and system team. So let’s take a peek into the basket.

Avamar 7 SP1, a key component of the Data Protection Suite, provides full support for VMware vSphere 5.5. Of course this means that you get the fastest backups with variable length deduplication, proxy load balancing and multi-streaming, along with the fastest recoveries leveraging Changed Block Tracking on restore, and so much more!

Moving from one hypervisor to another, Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 is supported, plus Avamar 7 SP1 provides up to 5x faster backups through multiple backup proxies.  Don’t forget, Avamar also delivers federated backups in Cluster Shared Volumes.

While on the topic of Microsoft, the latest releases of Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server (on 2012 R2) are now supported.

Hey Mac Users, we have just released support for OS X 10.9 (‘Mavericks’… sounds much cooler).  So if you are on the latest MacBook, be sure your company is using the best laptop backup solution (Avamar 7) for the enterprise!

There is a whole “bunch” of other updates to operating system support provided by Avamar 7 SP1, so be sure to read the Software Compatibility Guide.

And for the last piece of fruit in this basket, let’s talk Bare Metal Recovery (BMR).  Avamar 7 SP1 provides enhancements across the spectrum with Windows BMR supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1. And yes, now you can do a Bare Metal Recovery from Physical to Virtual (Hyper-V VMs) in addition to vSphere VMs.

Take a few minutes to watch Alex Almeida’s demonstration of EMC Avamar 7 SP1 backup and recovery for Microsoft Hyper-V VMs that are part of an Azure private cloud:

demonstration of EMC Avamar 7 SP1 backup and recovery for Microsoft Hyper-V VMs

Demonstration video shows centralized protection for Microsoft Azure private cloud VMs through the EMC Data Protection Suite (EMC Avamar 7 SP1).

Well there you have it, just one more thing to be thankful for this year: Optimized backup and recovery for Azure Private Cloud VMs. For more information, please read my last BLOG on the EMC Data Protection Suite for Microsoft and @DavenportSherry ‘s BLOG More Than Microsoft Support – EMC NetWorker 8.1 SP1.

From the EMC Family to Yours … Happy Thanksgiving.

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.

11/22/2013: When Data Center Tech Entered The Living Room

Xbox One-AlmeidaThis will come as no surprise for those of you who have been following my twitter feed these past few weeks, I am obsessed with the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One! The Video Game entertainment industry is exploding! Recent gaming releases have raked in revenue that rivals the biggest Hollywood blockbuster ticket sales. So, it’s no surprise that the level of investment entertainment companies continue to make in games is increasing.

While which gaming system to get is a religious war to a lot of folks, I think whether you go with Sony’s Playstation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One, you are walking into a world that quite frankly will raise the bar when it comes to the immersion level in these games. Case in point, the ability for game developers to leverage APIs that can talk to an app on your smartphone to actually call you. That’s right, your virtual smartphone rings in the game, and the smartphone sitting next to you rings!

So aside from resolution up-scaling controversies, and number of “pixel shader” unit debates, there are a lot more subtle aspects which I feel are crucial to making this new generation of video game entertainment great.

What excites me more about Xbox One, is what is under the covers, and where the underlying technology Microsoft is using originated. It came from Microsoft’s Windows Hyper-V and Windows Azure components. One can think of it this way, essentially there are pieces of enterprise data center technology sitting next to your television. I’ll even stretch the definition and say that it could be considered a mini Hybrid Cloud!

So what on earth am I talking about? Well, as demonstrated, the Xbox One can quickly and seamlessly switch between various entertainment modes. You can go from driving the Lotus E21 Formula One Car in Forza Motorsport 5, to watching ESPN live through your cable provider in seconds. Then, if you decide, you can switch to Netflix in seconds all while the video game and ESPN keep running in the background. So what is the enabling technology enabling this feature? It’s Hyper-V, arguably making the Xbox One a mini private cloud.

Now, you aren’t running a full blown implementation of Windows Server 2012 R2 with Windows Azure Pack inside of the box, but rather through intelligent code re-use, the ability to run 3 different OSes simultaneously on the Xbox One hardware is clearly where using Hyper-V technology makes sense.

Xbox-live-logo-2013

So where is the “public cloud” component of my hybrid cloud statement? Well it’s essentially Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming platform.  It isn’t a secret that Xbox Live is leveraging Microsoft’s Azure public cloud infrastructure. According to Microsoft Xbox Live utilizes 300,000 servers globally deployed in Azure. Leveraging Xbox Live services in the cloud, compute power of the Xbox One doesn’t stop at the console hardware.

Windows Azure LogoJust like in an enterprise data center, you can augment the processing power available to you by leveraging public cloud resources. In the case of Xbox game developers coding to the Azure Development Platform, they now have the power of programming in-game capabilities that can off-load certain compute functions to the public cloud. This is where the possibilities can be limitless.

Launches like this only come around every 7=10 years. But this particular console refresh cycle to me is different and more exciting since I am seeing enterprise technology that I directly work with in my day job not simply making people productive, but bring fun and joy to life as well.

Happy Gaming!

Read More at ExposingTech.com

Alex Almeida

Alex Almeida

Technology Evangelist, Data Protection and Availability Division
My passion for technology started at an early age and has never stopped. Today, I find myself immersed in data protection. Yep, I live, breathe and tweet backup, availability and archive. In fact, nothing short of fully understanding how things work will keep me from digging deeper. But when I’m not evangelizing on the benefits of backup or technology in general, I can be spotted at a New England Revolution game, behind the lens of a camera or listening to my favorite albums on vinyl. In addition to blogging for The Protection Continuum, you can find me on the EMC Community Network. Also, I'm a member of EMC Elect 2014, and I'm active in the New England VMware User Group (NEVMUG) and the Virtualization Technology User Group (VTUG). Let's get technical!

Users, Enterprise IT & CIOs: You Can Have Cloud & Control

162049206They say you always remember your first car, but in this industry I find that also holds true for your first computer. Do you remember yours?  Mine was a clone of an IBM XT, the first PC to come factory-equipped with a hard drive.  While IBM’s XT came with a paltry 10MB drive, my mighty clone came with a massive 20MB!  I also remember my first IT-provided computer: a Compaq Portable, known at the time as a “luggable” because it tipped the scales at a hefty 28 lbs.

Fast forward to today, and things couldn’t be more different. My phone has roughly 1,000 times the capacity of my first computer.  We shift from device to device—many of which are no longer owned and managed by the IT department—working whenever and wherever we want or need to. And while this way of working has a whole lot of good to it, it also brings new challenges.

Socially, we navigate the perils of texting drivers, and “always on” lifestyles.  Professionally, this paradigm raises new challenges (and opportunities) for managing and protecting our information.

As IT attempts to manage and protect the data moving among all these devices, “accidental architectures” can inadvertently spring up comprising a mix of consumer cloud services, as well as business-grade on-premise solutions. Even then, important corporate data lives beyond the reach of the IT department, unmonitored and lacking any form of corporate control or protection.

However, just as the environment has evolved, so has Mozy. Over the years, we have launched an enterprise version, a mobile access solution, better upload technology, better interfaces and improved our restore function. And, today, we’re launching the next generation, which not only adds great new user features but will also help organizations deploy a flexible protection storage architecture for powerful, scalable integrated data protection.

What’s New…

Since Mozy joined the EMC backup portfolio at the beginning of this year, we’ve been steadily improving its enterprise capabilities.  This summer, we announced the “Foundation Release,” a fundamental update in the technology that underpins the Mozy service. As a result, Mozy is now designed from the ground up to provide enterprise manageability for corporate customers and their users’ ever-changing array of devices.

Today’s release builds on that foundation to deliver the next generation of people-centric features, including:

  • Greater cloud administrative tools for Enterprise IT: Enhanced storage management saves time and money involved in provisioning and managing backup across thousands of users and devices.
  • Enhanced end-user experience: An integrated Mozy Sync folder keeps files updated and available across multiple computers and mobile devices. Mozy also introduces new functionality, which ensures faster initial backup times and greater bandwidth efficiency when backing up large files.
  • New Partner resources: New API support enables partners and resellers to manage Mozy with their preferred Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) or Professional Services Automation (PSA) systems.

All wrapped up in the unprecedented cloud security and controls that businesses have come to expect from Mozy—and that’s enough to make any CIO sleep easier.

In addition, MozyEnterprise now becomes the public cloud component within the EMC Data Protection Suite. This means EMC customers and partners can extend their individual Protection Storage Architectures to include cloud data protection for desktops, laptops, mobile devices and remote offices.

What This Means…

As with the rest of IT, the ways of doing backup are evolving. Customers are looking for more visibility and control into the protection of their data, wherever it lives, and they are requiring new levels of flexibility in how they deliver protection services within their organizations.

Increasingly, customers are turning to hybrid approaches to backup, where some data is protected locally, while other data is better suited for the cloud. Others will want to build and manage their own private cloud, and still others will want to leverage the efficiencies of the public cloud.

Whatever the scenario, the challenge for IT is to avoid the “accidental architectures” that can result from traditional backup when disparate unconnected protection tools are deployed with no central oversight or cost control to meet SLOs.

Smart businesses know that the best way to do this is to take control of the cloud services used in their organizations. And when that’s achievable with one comprehensive approach to data storage and protection, it’s even better.

Russ Stockdale

Russ Stockdale

Vice President, Core Technologies at EMC
I’m kind of a ‘change junkie.’ I love this industry because it’s always changing, providing something new to learn and cool new problems to solve. But I’m also very much a people-person, so I’m drawn to that point in the technology adoption curve where something is about to get broadly adopted by lots and lots of people: Windows in the early ‘90s, email in the late ‘90s, a series of internet startups over the next 10 years, and now cloud-based data protection. As Mozy GM, I get excited by taking technology that is pretty raw and messy, and making it very accessible.

How Large Is Your Digital Shadow (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post, I wrote about the “Digital Shadow” and provided some examples of all of the data that is being created about you or on your behalf, in addition to the data that you create.

Here, we’ll walk a few activities in a typical day, and identify some (but definitely not all!) of the digital shadow that’s being created.   On the left side of the table is a listing of activities, with a discussion on the right noting the digital data that’s being left behind.

Wake up, turn on my phone to check for new texts and emails, surf the web for news and read email in my personal email account. The cell phone carrier has a record of my phone contacting the local tower when it is turned on. knows that I logged into my account and has information about my location based upon my IP address (tracked for security and other purposes).   Since I’m logged into email, my email provider keeps track of my searches (I can turn this off).  My ISP (the cell is often on WiFi for data when I’m home) has information about the sites that I visit.  My browser locally records my history, and the sites I visit may be leaving or updating cookies and/or capturing my IP address along with some unique identifiers on their own servers.

 

Later, I start my work day, logging into the corporate VPN and checking and responding to email messages. The VPN system has information about my log-in, and some of my activities are preserved in email including replies and new messages that I create.  The recipients of my email messages also have a copy, and each copy may be replicated many times for email archives and data protection (backups, etc.).  I don’t think my company tracks my location, but it could.

 

One of my emails includes a file sharing link to a folder for content.  I add this link/file to my folder, and make changes to one of the presentations in that shared area. When I add the link, a copy of everything in the shared folder is made on my laptop, and the information about the link is logged by the system.   This process is replicated for all of the accounts where this app is installed (cell phone, tablets, etc.)   As I change and re-save the presentation, everyone sharing the folder receives the update (and this information is logged and distributed as “news” to other sharing the folder).

 

I grab a quick lunch at my favorite sandwich shop, and while waiting I check in on Facebook, make a few posts and re-tweet a message on Twitter The shop tracks my purchase (and thus my location at that time) with my loyalty card.  Facebook and Twitter both have new content from me that they time-stamp and (unless I’ve turned it off) also know and save my location.  My location is tracked by my phone.  As with every purchase I make today using a credit card, data about my purchase is tracked and available to me online; it is also stored and shared within my credit card company as permitted.

 

I finish my blog post and push “publish”. The post is published to one of our company blogs.  This automatically triggers a tweet about the posting from a few company accounts (and I send my own Tweet), which in turn generates additional data through re-tweets.  My tweet may include my location (this can be turned off).  The blog is captured and republished by several “automatic” online news sites looking for compliance stories – so now it exists on their servers, is backed up by them, and sometimes even re-distributed to hundreds or thousands of subscribers as part of a newsletter distributed in email form.

 

I’m flying later today, so I visit the airline’s site to view the status of my upgrade request and check-in.  I rent and download a movie to my tablet for the trip The airline’s systems capture my log-in and my check-in information.   iTunes records my purchase (as does my credit card company) and the movie is downloaded to my tablet for later viewing.

 

A client calls and we talk for a few minutes.  Then I attend a meeting remotely by phone and web conference.  I call my client back with some additional ideas and leave her a voice message. “Metadata” on both sides of the call is recorded by the carriers – start time and number, end time, etc.  I log into the web conference with my browser and use a password, so that system records my IP address, along with everyone else including the owner of the account. The duration of the conference and the time at which individual attendees “drop” the conference is probably saved.  The voice message system now has a log of my call (time, duration, phone number) along with a recording of the actual message, which might be transcribed and sent by email (e.g. Google Voice).

 

On the drive to the airport, I use a social GPS phone app to check traffic The GPS app uses my location so it knows where I am, and is combining that information with thousands of others to update traffic information.   My cellphone carrier is also creating records as it switches cell towers along the way.  The toll pass on my windshield notes the time and my account (i.e. me) as I electronically pay my fare on the highway.  My car has dozens or hundreds of sensors recording information that will be downloaded at a later date when it is serviced.

 

As I park my car at an offsite location, I send a quick text to a friend. My parking service uses a card reader that registers my entrance to the facility. My carrier creates a record of the text I send, as does my friend’s carrier.  The texts are also stored on each phone (and possibly some tablets and other devices if linked to the same account).

 

At the airport, I check my bag and head through security. My airline knows that I’m at the airport and has data about my luggage, too.  Since I’m in the TSA “Pre” line, TSA’s systems know and record my location on check-in.

 

Waiting for my flight, I buy a cup of coffee and take a photo of an item that may make a good gift. My credit card company registers the time, date, location and amount of my purchase.  The photo that I take is stored, and it tags itself with location info using GPS (unless I turn off this feature….), all of which is stored on my phone, which replicates to a cloud and then across other devices.

 

During the flight, I work on a spreadsheet and a presentation. Okay, this didn’t really happen because there’s no room in the cramped plane – but if it did, I now have new documents on my laptop, which will also be replicated and backed up soon.

 

Upon landing, I reclaim my luggage, pick up my car rental and use my GPS app to drive to my hotel. The airline tracks the location of my bag and the time that my flight arrived.  My rental company records the time and location of my rental, and of course the GPS app knows when and where I left the airport, along with the hotel where I stay.  The hotel keeps information about my check-in, and my credit card company knows that I’m there, too.

 

That night I log into the hotel wifi, check some emails and call it a night. The hotel’s wifi system maintains information on my log-in for billing (and possibly security) purposes.  I may have forgotten, but my trusty DVR at home remembers to record a few of my shows, which are stored on the DVR’s drive.

 

 

I intentionally created a very small amount of this data – the blog post, the photo, and some changes (one copy!) to files that I edited, along with some email and a few pieces of social media content.  Yet my activities generated dozens and dozens – if not hundreds – of discrete data chunks, some of which will be preserved for a long duration.

 

All of this data poses interesting questions, most of which have not been clearly answered:  Who owns and controls this data?  How much of it is / should be subject to privacy requirements?  Is this data available for: eDiscovery; compliance; other purposes?  Should I be made aware of the data that’s being created and stored?  Should I have the right to demand that the data is not retained for long, never retained, or never even created?  Would these answers be different if I lived in Europe?  What if I’m a US Citizen traveling there, or vice-versa?

It’s an interesting exercise, try it out yourself – you may be surprised by your results!

 

 

 

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.

Global IT Trust Survey Underscores Critical Tipping Point

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The results of a massive Global IT Trust survey are in, and the data is startling, especially for the less mature IT organizations among us.

Of the 1,600 IT and 1,600 business leaders surveyed:

  • Nearly half of the respondents (45%) reported that senior executives weren’t confident that their organizations had adequate availability, security and backup and recovery.
  • 61% reported said they had experienced unplanned downtime, a security breach or data loss in the last 12 months.

Even more troubling is data associating these types of IT incidents with real-life business consequences—and what these numbers could look like in 12-24 months, if organizations keep marching to the same data protection tune.

Of the 61% who experienced downtime, a security breach or data loss within the last 12 months:

  • 45% reported loss of employee productivity
  • 39% reported a loss of revenue
  • 32% reported a loss of confidence/loyalty
  • 27% reported a loss in incremental business opportunity.

Folks, as we’ve been talking about on The Backup Window for the past many months, we’re at a tipping point.

The way your organization does IT and data protection is more important than at any other point, and that’s why Stephen and I have blogged about the importance of your infrastructure and the lasting dangers of accidental architectures, why Guy has been challenging our thinking in his “Know Yourself” posts and why Irina Simmons, EMC senior vice president and chief risk officer, is encouraging all of us “to pursue greater maturity in IT to protect intellectual property and reputations with customers, shareholders, and other public stakeholders.”

Accidental architectures are pervasive:  73% of Respondents lack centralized backup & recovery

Accidental architectures are pervasive: 73% of respondents lack centralized backup.

Traditional backup approaches aren’t meeting the challenges of enormous data growth and application performance, and they aren’t driving services-oriented business models. And this is a big deal.

It’s fueling concern within organizations not just about the readiness of the IT team to reduce unplanned downtime and data loss but also among business teams about IT’s very ability to move forward aggressively. And this has the potential to stall strategic IT initiatives around Big Data, cloud computing, mobile, etc., and can cost your business big dollars in lost revenue, lost business opportunity and lost productivity.

The higher your organization is on the maturity curve, the more likely they are to implement more strategic and leading-edge technology projects such as Big Data Analytics.

The higher your organization is on the maturity curve, the more likely they are to implement more strategic and leading-edge technology projects such as Big Data Analytics.

These have been consistent themes across our blog throughout the year, and now the IT Trust survey confirms our thinking on a global scale. How you do data protection does matter to your business.

 A ‘Biggar’ Perspective…

For years, my girls were competitive gymnasts, and whether they were level 2’s or level 9’s, their practices started with somersaults—and not just any old ones. Their coaches were very particular: tuck, roll, grab; tuck, roll, grab; tuck, roll, grab…and so on. I can still hear the sound of their hands slapping their knees.

Early on I didn’t understand the significance of the somersault, but as my girls advanced to more complicated skills on the floor, beam, vault and bars—free of injury—it became very clear. The foundation is critical.

Data protection is your IT foundation. Done right, it can and will help advance your business. However, done wrong, it can be a gating factor of success. It’s that simple.

So, tuck, roll, grab!

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.