Five Strategies for Making Resolutions Stick in 2013

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.

Is Backup Transformation one of your 2013 resolutions? Watch the video and read the blog for strategies to improve your chances of success.

According to Jeremy Dean, a research psychologist at University College London, “most resolutions are too vague, too hard and too spontaneous” and that’s why we often struggle to keep them.

However, there are things we can do to improve our chances of success, even two weeks or more into the New Year. Specifically, Dean says five strategies can help:*

  1. Balance good and bad. Be sure to consider obstacles as well as positives.
  2. Focus on process.  Identify the steps you’ll need to take. Don’t just focus on the end goal.
  3. Think “if/then.” Avoid vague resolutions. Link actions to common situations and consequences.
  4. Replace don’t erase. Replace bad habits with better ones. Don’t just terminate them.
  5. Keep on repeating. Practice makes perfect. It’s habit-forming.

If you have been following us on The Backup Window or emc.com/BackupLeader, you’ve heard us echo these same strategies across our pages when we talk about backup transformation:

  1. Balance good and bad. Recognizing that backup is a business bottleneck is a good thing. Deciding you’re going to move to a services-oriented model, even better. But doing so blindly can cost you momentum and dollars.  Continue reading…“Why It’s More than Okay to Say ‘No’.”
  2. Focus on process. Whether you’re looking to shed 20 pounds, run your first 15K or accelerate business with better backup, you’ve got to think about – and detail – the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal. You’ve got to have a plan. Find out more… “What’s Your (Backup) Game Plan?” and “Changing the Game Is A Process.”
  3. Think “if/then.” If you’re goal is backup nirvana, start off with the plan to replace tape systems with disk quarterly to improve backup performance or, as EMC chief oracle architect did, eliminate resource constraints by backing up a database from a storage clone. Find out more…“EMC’s Chief Oracle Architect Speaks Out.”
  4. Replace don’t erase.  Backup transformation isn’t about ripping out architectures or processes. Remember, transformation is all about building a scalable, flexible service offering that delivers what your organization needs when it needs it. Find out more… “Do You Want Chaos with That?
  5. Keep on repeating. Start with one application or one team, see what works and repeat.

If you’ve made a resolution around backup this year or backup transformation is already part of you 2013 plans, let us know how it’s going. What’s working, what’s not? And if you don’t, please watch this short video (link above) in which Stephen Manley explains backup is key to business acceleration. Oh, and be sure to check back, I’ll be sharing parts II and II of this three-part video series in upcoming posts.

* To read the full descriptions of each strategy, click here: .

 

Converged Infrastructure…Is Only As Good As Your Converged Backup

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).

By Chandra Jacobs, Senior Marketing Associate, EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division

We all have been following the trends over the last ten years towards a converged infrastructure, and the many features and benefits pertaining to it. According to Wikipedia, converged infrastructure can serve as an enabling platform for private and public cloud computing services, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS),Software as a Service(SaaS), and Backup as a Service (BaaS) offerings. And according to Wikibon, by 2017 2/3 of IT infrastructure will be deployed through converged offerings. Check out the below Wikibon infographic for a brief overview of converged infrastructure and the key companies involved in this market:

What is the Enterprise Stack?
Via: What is the Enterprise Stack?

Capabilities such as these enable us to pool IT resources, to automate resource provisioning and to scale up and down capacity quickly to meet the needs of dynamic computing workloads. By moving towards a converged infrastructure, we empower application owners and end-users to dynamically optimize environment resources and improve performance. The benefits are clear.

But do we typically think of backup and recovery as a core part of convergence? We don’t, but we should.

Both Wikibon and Forrester define convergence as ”an integrated set of compute, storage, and networking components,” but they have not included backup and recovery, which is proving to be a critical must-have technology in this stack.

While backup can be lumped into the “server” genre, since cloud backup implies backing up to remote cloud-based backup servers, it shouldn’t be. By lumping it into a generic overarching category we trivialize and minimize its importance in the grand scheme of what we’re trying to accomplish in the first place with converged infrastructure.

What good is a converged infrastructure when an application gets corrupted and can’t be recovered? Or when hardware fails? Your converged infrastructure is only as good as your converged backup.

Consider the following statement by William “BJ” Jenkins, Former President, Backup and Recovery Systems Division, EMC:

“As enterprises transform their data centers using converged infrastructure systems, new requirements arise for advanced data protection solutions that provide high performance, tight integration and simplified management. VCE has chosen to integrate Avamar and Data Domain into its Vblock systems, enabling optimized VMware backup and recovery that provides unmatched performance, reliability and scale to meet the demands of a highly virtualized environment.”

And that’s exactly why we’re recommending setting up a Data Protection environment for your Vblock System environment right from the beginning. The strength of your converged infrastructure lies in your ability to protect it.

Cloud Control to Major Tom

Howard Rubin

Howard Rubin

Consultant Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection and Availability Division
My name is Howard and I’m a marketing guy. There I said it! Admitting to it is the first step right? Truth be known, I started “life” as a phone support guy then got promoted to Sales Engineer due to my good looks. That role dragged on far too long. Hanging out in data centers at 3am installing and troubleshooting ATM and Frame Relay gear got old; just like that technology. When I’m not marketing tech stuff, I’m either playing with my own tech gear at home or travelling to some exotic destination with my incredible wife, Mary. Fifty/Fifty chance it’s a shopping or exotic beach destination next time you get my out-of-office message.

By Howard Rubin, Product Marketing Manager, Backup and Recovery Systems

For any enterprise to consider the outsourcing of IT operations to the cloud, the organizational and operational benefits have to be financially vetted. Handing over long-standing IT business practices can cause angst and concern all the way up the IT food chain. Some of the most cited reasons that organizations shy away from public cloud adoption include:

  • Data privacy concerns
  • Belief that cloud computing needs to mature more
  • Performance concerns
  • Regulatory or compliance concerns
  • Loss of control and visibility

The last bullet, loss of control and visibility, is key to helping alleviate the concern with cloud computing.  With the right service portal features, proper education, and customer validations, cloud service providers can overcome the real and the perceived barriers.   A common method of initiating cloud computing for organizations that have concerns is by using it to augment their existing computing environments.  Enterprises may start by offloading certain applications to an as-a-service (aaS) model (such as Backup as a service), or by experimenting with adding compute or storage capacity in the cloud instead of buying additional on-site equipment.  When delivered along with impactful financial reporting and a user-friendly self-service portal, IT organizations will likely attain a comfort level before committing wholeheartedly to a larger cloud-based deployment.

What are your cloud hesitations or misgivings?  Is your data too big to backup?  What will it take for you to move part or all of your process to the cloud?  Team up with an EMC trusted cloud partner and take control of your journey.

Don’t Listen to Me – I’m Biased. Listen to Our Customers!

Phil George

Phil George

Avamar/VMware Guru, Data Protection and Availability Division
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.

By Phil George, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Avamar

Don’t Listen to Me – I’m Biased. Listen to Our Customers!

Customers Love EMC Avamar and They’re Talking About It…

Faster VMware Backups and Recoveries, $avings, Scalability and So Much More

Backup and recovery is a must-have technology and is often the unsung hero for saving a business by recovering critical documents and databases.  The fundamental requirements are reliability and performance.  We want to know that our backups always complete successfully and that we can always recover reliably.

Of course, we need high performance for both the backup and (even more so) for the recovery.  Now, extend these requirements into a dynamic highly virtualized environment with many workloads such as databases, file systems and applications, and now you are challenged to meet your SLAs.

As virtualization continues to dominate IT transformation, EMC Avamar continues to be the leading backup and recovery solution optimized for VMware environments. I’m biased – I know it.  I love this stuff. So don’t listen to me ramble on, listen to our customers.  EMC regularly places customer success stories into our resource library. Take a moment to read a few of these stories and see which one relates to you.

In the EMC newsroom is a press release featuring Cal-Israel Credit Card Ltd, St. Charles Health System and Teklinks. Read what these customers had to say about using Avamar for VMware backup and recovery.

Cal-Israel has 1,000 virtual machines protected by Avamar where they get a 97% deduplication rate, daily full backups (typically under 4 hours) and restores in minutes. St. Charles Health System uses Avamar for their VMware environment and reduced backup time by 3x. They estimate a $130K yearly savings. Teklinks, a leading IT service provider, is handling 1,000 daily backups to Avamar with just one administrator.

Companies of every size and in every industry use Avamar and they love it.  Here are the hyperlinks for Cal-Israel, St. Charles Health System and Teklinks. so you can read more about their successes.

Yearly customer surveys show they would all purchase again and recommend to a friend.  They often wonder why they stuck with their older traditional backup solution and all the workarounds needed.

As I started this BLOG off … don’t listen to me, listen to our customers.  Here’s a video of Mike Chrystal, Senior Technical Specialist of Storage and Servers at St. Charles Health System:

Click on the photo to play the video or click on this URL:

http://www.emc.com/collateral/demos/microsites/mediaplayer-video/st-charles-health-system-emc-avamar-data-domain.htm

What’s Your Digital Universe Readiness Index?

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.

The new IDC Digital Universe study is out, and the numbers are big, real big!

With a projected digital universe of 40 trillion gigabytes of data by the year 2020, organizations can expect to face some great rewards —and challenges — in coming months.

How your IT organization prepares for these changes — the data it creates, consumes and analyzes; the tools and technologies it invests in; the processes it establishes and the relationships it builds with internal and business teams — will be critical. In fact, for many organizations, the prosperity and longevity of its business will depend on its IT department’s ability to transform itself.

So, as we wrap up 2012 and look to the New Year, I encourage you to watch this short IDC video in which IDC analysts John Gantz and David Reinsel discuss the pressures and opportunities the Digital Universe presents and start thinking about your “Digital Universe Readiness Index.”

How fit is your organization? How competitive is your business? What’s holding you back? What’s your fitness plan? And let’s chat in 2013, if not before. Happy holidays!