By Tom Giuliano, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems
Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors….
Okay, I admit, it…this passage probably won’t mean much to you if you aren’t a Beatles fan, particularly of their 1965 song “Help”, which has been described as the “first crack in the protective shell” John Lennon had built around his emotions during the Beatles’ rise to fame.
So what does this song have to do with backups and confidence in data protection? I’m glad you asked. The parallel I’m attempting to make here is that from an IT organization perspective, the way backups and data protection are viewed today is dramatically different than it was a few years ago. No, I’m not talking backing up data in 1965…. But, a just few years ago we had fewer backup options, less data and smaller environments, and less cost, relatively anyway. IT organizations could handle all backup processes themselves. It was still hard work, but it was manageable. Fast forward to today – we have explosive data growth, many data protection solutions and options, and pervasive virtualization. IT organizations need help.
Quite often, small and medium sized organizations simply aren’t equipped to efficiently manage all the components across an expanding data protection environment. Even large IT organizations may notice that things aren’t getting done well, assets are poorly utilized, there’s poor compliance, etc. This is exactly why many companies look to experts to help manage and report on their backups. I’m talking about managed service providers.
Sure, service providers often use the same backup products as many IT organizations. And in many cases, a greater variety of them to ensure the use cases for EVERY one of their customers are met. They can effectively and efficiently share resources across customers, or carve off a cluster for a high-demand customer. And scale – oh the scale. Service providers should be able to add capacity (and customers) on the fly as data grows. They should also provide monitoring and reporting of status for all the services they provide to their customers, even offering their customers the ability to access and run reports of IT services provided.
And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before….
So how do service providers achieve this omnipotent, almost holy, IT provider status? Well, first of all they are VERY, VERY, VERY good at what they do. That’s why they are experts at providing Backup-as-a-Service. They also have an ace in the hole, a secret weapon of sorts. In addition to using the industry’s best backup and recovery solutions, service providers have access to data protection management tools to centralize and unify information across the environment, saving significant time, effort and money. One such tool is EMC Data Protection Advisor.
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down,
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh…
Data Protection Advisor (DPA) enables service providers and IT organizations to visualize data protection success, utilization efficiency, and infrastructure component status across the environment through built-in and customizable reports. Through policy-based protection, DPA provides an automated alert to administrators should something go wrong, or if it’s starting to go off track. You see, DPA is proactive, and will notify you if it calculates that you will run out of capacity in, say, 3 months on your current consumption rate. DPA also offers chargeback so IT organizations can actually make money from data protection.
Now, imagine (yeah, that’s another John Lennon reference…) if you had real-time monitoring and analytics, unified visibility and comprehensive reporting for the entire data protection environment. Imagine never worrying about the status of data protection or providing (or receiving) a specific service level. Imagine never worrying about proving compliance or that unexpected audit. Imagine knowing that all this information is just a click away. No worries. Ever.
You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.
Service providers offering Backup-as-a-Service are there to help make this a reality. Those service providers with a tool like Data Protection Advisor make it an easy decision.