“More people choose EMC Backup.” Our Barcelona airport signs may not be as dramatic as Gaudi’s El Drac at the entrance to Park Guell, but world-renowned mosaic artists are so hard to find these days. I’ve never understood marketers’ glee about advertising at the airport during other companies’ conferences (e.g. Symantec Vision Barcelona 2012), but the marketing team seems equally confused about my obsession with dressing like a hobo. Regardless of the method or how you dress it up, the message is what matters.
EMC’s backup leadership gives us the opportunity to transform data protection. Among the advantages of leading: significant R&D investment, the richest technology assets in the market, and the structural advantages to leverage those assets. I tell our team that if we don’t succeed, we have only ourselves to blame. Our expanding leadership gives us confidence that we’re on the right track.
How did EMC become the biggest backup vendor in the world?
Deduplication and disk. Backup solutions comprise two components: management software and media. When the media shifted from tape to deduplicated disk, EMC took 60%+ leadership in the $2B+ backup appliance market. The increasing value of integration between backup software and backup appliances has driven growth EMCs backup software business, has. To sum up, we have the lion’s share of the fastest growing segment of the backup market (Backup Appliances) and our focus on customers adopting disk-centric backup architectures is driving backup software growth, as well.
Why should EMC’s market leadership matter to you?
As a customer, I try not to let a product’s sales ranking drive my decision. When the Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in America from 1992 – 1996, I bought a Saturn (I loved their no haggle selling; I’ve always wanted to see an enterprise technology company try that). Of course, market leadership does matter. You know the product will work because most of your peers are successfully using it. You know the product has a future (have you tried to buy a Saturn lately?). Most importantly, a rapidly growing market leader can invest in the future. I am confident that, due to our size and growth rate, EMC spends significantly more on backup research and development than any other company. Of course, we all know that widely used products do fail, large companies go out of business, and companies don’t always spend their money wisely. But, when you pick a rapidly growing market leader, the odds are on your side.
What is EMC’s focus in backup?
With our R&D investment, we’re focused on innovation through integration. For a variety of dysfunctional reasons, IT companies obsess over minor individual features at the expense of simplicity and reliability. EMC already has the necessary technology for transforming data protection. Data Domain is the biggest, fastest, most reliable, deduplication backup appliance. Avamar is the most efficient VMware, NDMP, file server, and remote office backup. NetWorker is the most scalable backup software platform with the best application support. Data Domain BOOST is the best host-based deduplication library. Therefore, we wake up every day building a solution that combines our best of breed technologies. Among the steps: Data Domain as the Avamar target for VM and application backups, and DD BOOST integrated NetWorker agents. More is coming.
The future of backup depends on more than a unified backup product; it requires a deep connection with hypervisors, applications, and primary storage. Applying their intelligence (e.g. VMware CBT, Oracle Incremental Merge, or storage clones/snapshots) is the best way to scale performance. Integrating with their UIs is the best way to make users comfortable with the backup environment. Therefore, it’s critical that EMC leverage its structural advantages: our unique relationship with VMware, our continued relationship with Oracle, Teradata, and other application vendors, and our ability to connect with industry-leading primary storage platforms. Integration efforts include: building VMware Vsphere Data Protection with Avamar, DD BOOST for Oracle RMAN, and Avamar NDMP accelerator for Celerra/VNX. Even more is coming.
I can’t share roadmap information in a blog post. But, if you have been reading this blog, watching our video presentations, and observing our product releases, you will see a commitment to our strategy of innovation through integration. The factors that drive the backup market haven’t changed in a decade. The answer remains simple – high-performance, reliable disk-based protection that gives users the confidence to accelerate their business. All signs point in one direction: translate our market leadership, R&D investment, technology advantage, and unique connections into a solution that enables customers to access their data whenever and wherever they need it. We’re #1 in the market for two reasons:
1) Our customers know we are helping them to succeed today.
2) Our customers believe that will help them succeed tomorrow.
What you’ve seen in the past couple of years? That’s just a sign of more dramatic things to come. Watch out, El Drac – our backup mosaic is just begun.