No Longer Gilligan’s Island

Just a few years ago, remote offices were a bit like Gilligan’s Island. The employees made the most of the computer equipment provided and when something broke, they did their best to fix it. The local IT “expert” likely had many responsibilities and technical training that included turning on the coffee pot and adding paper to the copy machine. Data protection was on the list too…somewhere. And those backup tapes that were supposed to be inserted into the thingy every night were probably under the coffee filters.

So it wasn’t a big surprise when all your hard work couldn’t be recovered. You just had to start over. And turn on the coffee pot.

Today, remote office backup and recovery has significantly improved. Advances in backup technology enable trained data center IT experts to easily backup remote and mobile systems, ensuring that data is fully recoverable when needed. Managing remote backup is a breeze and the backups run in the background without disturbing the end-users. Reliance on faulty local tape devices and slow offsite media shipments is gone, replaced by backup solutions with integrated data deduplication that leverage existing networks and reduce storage costs.

And when data needs to be recovered, end-users often have the option to restore their own data, eliminating the need to call the IT Help Desk for assistance (and having to listen to that snappy tune that repeats over and over). The IT staff has more time to work on other projects and the end-users are happier too.

Learn how you can implement the industry leading EMC backup and recovery solutions for remote and branch offices, and get back to enjoying that cup of coffee!

David Garcia
I have been marketing high-tech solutions and gizmos for more than 23 years. Along the way, I’ve held a variety of management roles in marketing, sales and consulting, and have amassed a wealth of storage industry experience, particularly in tape, disk, and deduplication solutions. I earned an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business, and am living life in Irvine, California.

Have You Taken “The Repeat Test”?

I’ve gotten into the (good) habit of checking LinkedIn a couple of times a day. I do a quick scan of my profile, groups and the headline news.

It doesn’t take me but a minute (as my southern friends say), and I generally glean something useful from it. Time well spent.

This week, a post by marketer and entrepreneur Bruce Kasanoff caught my eye – and, by the high number of likes (1.4k+) and comments (375+) the blog is generating, it’s clearly hit a chord with fellow LinkedIn members.

In the post, A Highly Effective Way to Avoid Wasting Your Time, Kasanoff shares a very simple method  for identifying and eliminating patterns of unproductive behavior and activities from our days. It’s called the “Repeat Test.” It ain’t rocket science, but I definitely think Kasanoff is on to something.

For more than a year, Stephen Manley and I have been writing, blogging and talking about the new relevance of backup in today’s services-oriented organization and how “time to” will become an increasingly important metric going forward – not just of IT performance but also overall business success.

The problem is, many of you are still “stuck in the muck” of traditional backup, and with no clear path for becoming un-stuck, determing, let alone taking, the next step is problematic, to the say the least.  

This is where the Repeat Test comes in.

It boils down to having your backup, applications and storage teams (remember, backup is an IT-wide concern so it should be a cross-functional activity) keep a daily log . At the top of each hour, have them write down any activities they performed in the previous hour that weren’t a good use of time. Repeat this daily until the log consists of just a couple of entries.

In doing this simple exercise, patterns of inefficient behavior are sure to emerge, which can be addressed department- or business-wide.  You’ll then be ready to think  about “time to.”

For more information about the Repeat Test or to read Kasanoff’s post in its entirety, click here Also, additional resources can be found on and at EMC World 2013, May 6-9, in Vegas. Hope to see you there!


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.

Backup and Archiving – The Odd Couple?

At EMC, we have the opportunity to talk to customers like yourselves, about data protection and its key components backup and archiving. Customers commonly ask us about the differences and similarities of backup and archiving. They ask us, “I know I need backup, but do I also need archiving?”

Our friends at Enterprise Storage Group (ESG) also share this discussion with customers they speak with and not surprisingly, they share the same opinion about data protection as we do.

In this short six minute video, listen as Steve Duplessie talks about the importance of backup and archiving and how they complement each other. Together, backup and archiving are the “perfect couple”.

EMC SourceOne 7 Archiving and eDiscovery: A Key Pillar of any Data Protection Strategy

As you may have already read in this morning’s EMC Data Domain and SourceOne blog,  EMC is taking data protection to the next level, and to that point, the version 7 release of EMC SourceOne is now available.  SourceOne 7 represents the next generation archiving platform for email, file systems and Microsoft SharePoint content and includes SourceOne Discovery Manager 7, which together, enhance an organization’s ability to protect and discover their data. In fact, in ESG’s recent  “Data Protection Matters” video featuring Steve Duplessie, ESG’s founder and Senior Analyst, it was stated that  “backup and archive are different but complimentary functions” that both are “key pillars of a data protection strategy”, and that “backup without archive is incomplete”. I find this to be in perfect alignment with EMC’s strategy for data protection, and with this in mind, I’d like to review some of the great features of EMC SourceOne 7.

Let’s take File System data as an example. Have you ever needed to locate file system data in your infrastructure without a purpose built archive to assist? Perhaps searching data for business reuse, an eDiscovery request, an audit or investigation? How did that work for you? Often, it’s a time consuming exercise in futility, or at best, an incomplete exercise with non-defensible results. Well, with the latest release of SourceOne for File Systems, a quick search can produce an accurate result set of all files that meet your search criteria AND you never had to physically archive that content.  That’s because this release offers “Index in Place” which enables organizations to index the terabytes (or petabytes!) of data that exists “in the wild” without having to move that data to the archive. How cool is that? Users and applications continue to transparently access that data as needed, yet sitting on top is a layer of corporate compliance.  Now you can apply retention and disposition policies to this data, discover information when required and place only the data that needs to be put on “legal hold” into the physical archive.

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A Perfect Score for Backup and Archive

Flexible, fast, and a small footprint… no I’m not talking about Aly Raisman.  But, if there were an Olympics for protection storage, EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems would be sure to take the gold.  With today’s announcement, a performance worthy of a Dancing with the Stars mirror ball trophy, Data Domain systems are poised to take protection storage to the next level.  Let’s take a closer look at some of Data Domain’s new moves.

Optimized Archive Storage: It takes two to tango. 

As we’ve discussed before, backup and archive are complementary parts of an overall data protection strategy and consolidating these workloads onto a single Data Domain system (as shown below) maximizes efficiency and lowers TCO.  We’ve further strengthened EMC’s leading protection storage platform by enhancing support for a broad range of archive use cases.

Specifically, now you can ingest archive data 3x faster for file, e-mail and other archiving workloads.  This also enables you to migrate up to 1 TB a day of archive data from legacy archive platforms to a Data Domain system, ensuring a quick transition with minimal disruption.

In addition, Data Domain systems now “dance” well with all leading archiving application partners easily integrating with over 16 different archiving applications.  This includes support for file, e-mail, SharePoint (Learn about the new EMC SourceOne Enhancements here!)  and now database and content management archiving through integration with IBM Optim and EMC Documentum  respectively.

Enhanced Application Integration: The spin, the turn, and the lift all at once!

As part of our continuing efforts to empower data owners (as discussed here), we are excited to introduce Oracle optimized deduplication, which makes Data Domain systems the first inline deduplication system to support RMAN multiplexing while maximizing deduplication rates. With Oracle optimized deduplication, database and backup administrators can optimize Oracle backup performance (through RMAN multiplexing) and still reduce Oracle backup storage requirements by up to 10 to 30x with Data Domain. This further establishes Data Domain systems as the backup platform of choice for Oracle environments. Oracle optimized deduplication is supported with Oracle 11g and Oracle RMAN, Avamar, NetWorker and other third party backup applications via CIFS, NFS or Data Domain Boost.

Just 3 years after we introduced it, Data Domain Boost has revolutionized backup and disaster recovery for thousands of customers. To date, that has been limited to those with Ethernet infrastructure, but now Fibre Channel environments can get in on the fun too! With Data Domain Boost over Fibre Channel, you can get 50% faster backups in your SAN environment and eliminate virtual tape management to greatly simplify operations.

In addition, DD Boost now boasts 8 different integrations making the Data Domain Boost ecosystem the broadest and deepest in the industry.  What a performance!

…And the scores are in! 

With 66.5% market share in the purpose-built backup appliance market and continued investment in archive storage, EMC offers you the fast and flexible technology you need to transform data protection and lead your business into the future.

Tune in next week for a more in-depth look at some of what I highlighted today.

Alyson Langon
A couple years ago, fresh out of Business School at Boston College, I started at EMC and dove head first into all things backup and archive, focusing on Data Domain systems. I love the challenge of communicating complicated technologies in innovative and engaging ways and there is certainly no shortage of inspiration at EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division. Outside of the tech world, I am an artist, animal lover and sufferer of wanderlust. You can also find me on Twitter achieving the perfect balance of data protection and cat gifs.