It’s Time for Backup and Archive to Come Home


One thing I do when traveling on a plane is spend time just contemplating. With sleep deprivation and jet lag, my mind wanders in rather abstract ways. My favorite artist is surrealist Salvador Dali so perhaps I have heightened activity in this part of my brain.

On a recent trip, I started thinking about an old house of mine back in the UK. The house was built in the early 1800′s in North Yorkshire. It was originally designed as a clothing workshop but was converted to a residential property within 40 years. I wasn’t the first owner and I certainly won’t be the last, which led me to think, what’s the real difference between renting and owning a home? Even if you own a house, you are still just a tenant. Eventually, someone else will move in and call your house, home.

The first thing we do when we ‘own’ a house is make it OUR home. We upgrade it for our comfort but also with an eye on generating a return on the initial investment. Whether we sell the property or hand it down to loved ones, we hope that we made a smart buying choice and added upgrades that leave a good legacy. Not a gift that only provides pain for years to come.

I would contend you should think about your backup and archive exactly the same way you would think about your house. You are the tenant of your company and you have the fiduciary responsibility to make the smartest choice possible because bad stuff happens and we need a plan for the unforeseen.

So what kind of tenant are you? How many major decisions has your company made in the backup and archive space? Have you made decisions for your comfort or for the future? Do you need more than one hand to count them? Is this a good or a bad thing?

At EMC Backup Recovery Systems, we strive to deliver value today and flexibility for tomorrow. Buying into EMC’s Backup and Archive Portfolio isn’t just solving an immediate temporal need but laying down a lasting platform that has the ability to evolve and resolve challenges that your company might encounter tomorrow. The recently announced EMC Data Protection Suite enables our customers to deploy a variety of data protection software solutions, without buying a new point product each time a new challenge arises.

During my time at EMC, I have found the commitment to both the present and future to be deeply rooted in EMC’s DNA. In the backup and archive space, this approach is critical and it’s why we continue to invest so much in giving choice and best of breed… regardless of which solution you choose. This philosophy has led to our prolific client base and why, by any measure, we’re the largest backup company in the world. Let’s be honest, if you don’t invest in good plumbing then it doesn’t matter if you have nice drapes.


Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.

Are Deleted Emails Really “Gone”?

There’s an interesting new story from Ontario, where an ex-government staffer is being charged with the wholesale deletion of email, apparently in violation of provincial law.  The ex-staffer claimed he was just keeping his inbox clean and believed that all email was backed up and could be restored as needed.  That turned out to not be the case because government IT services did not have an archive and retained email server backups for just 24 hours.

A few interesting thoughts about this story:

First, if your organization is charged with retaining record content — as are many government agencies, particularly in the US, both for public records and on an as-needed basis for litigation – there is a great deal of risk in leaving that responsibility solely to employees.  Setting up an archive to enable and enforce the organization’s retention policy is the best practice, especially for email content.

Second, although the article seems to imply that the deleted emails are lost forever, that’s not necessarily the case.  But it won’t be simple (or inexpensive) to find them if that becomes a requirement, as it might in the US under applicable law or in an eDiscovery case.  Let’s first assume that the messages really are wiped from the ex-staffer’s mailbox on the server and his computer.  Some messages will still be stored with some of the other 90,000 governmental employees.  They will have messages that he sent to them, along with messages they sent to him or where he was a co-recipient.  Their copies of the messages might be on the email server, but if PSTs are permitted, they could be stored on laptops, desktops, USB memory sticks, file systems or even backup tapes (a PST is a local cache of messages enabled by Microsoft Exchange, the email system in this case).  That’s a lot of places to look — and more technical readers can think of a host of other locations.

Finally, although I’m an advocate of short retention cycles for backup media, a one day retention for email backup seems very aggressive and potentially risky.  I would first question whether that policy is really being followed, or if possibly full backups are being made (and retained) on some other basis.

So while it may be possible to get rid of most email — if you understand the systems at issue and are motivated — there are always a number of places to look.  The only limitations are time and money.


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.

Microsoft TechEd 2013: An EMC Backup Perspective

Another Microsoft TechEd gone by, and speaking for the EMC Backup and Recovery Team on-site, we are finding this to be one of our best conferences of the year!  In between playing with (and trying to learn how to use) our new Surface tablets we got at the show, we also had some really good conversations with you, the attendees, on the issues you are facing with backup and recovery in a Microsoft cloud ecosystem. Take a look at this video for some visual highlights from the show, along with our take on what attendees were talking to us about regarding backup and recovery solutions for Microsoft.

See you in Houston next year for TechEd 2014!

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!

Coming to a City (in EMEA) Near You

What better way to hear what our partners and customers have to say about our “Data Protection” products than to get out onto the streets and visit over 25 cities in EMEA? That’s the task for us over the next few months. The full schedule can be viewed here and as you can see we are covering the breadth and depth of EMEA with our EMC Backup and Archive User Groups.

With over 50% of the install base of Networker and a huge number of the 36,000 Data Domain systems that have been deployed globally here in EMEA, we have a lot of customers to see. In addition in 2012 over 4,000 new customers purchased a backup or archive solution from EMC, so we hope to see a good number of these for the first time at one of our “User Groups.”  To continue reading, 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.

Backup Game Day Live from EMC World, with Nina Hargus from VCE

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).