IT’s New Dirty Little Secret

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A colleague of mine recently came across an article I wrote when I was doing some consulting work for a data protection company nearly 10 years ago.

While it feels more than a lifetime ago that I wrote that piece, as I read through it, it struck me just how little some things have changed. It’s as if time has stood still… creating a pocket of inertia.

In fact, with only a few product/technology updates, a new title and a July 2014 time stamp, the piece could run today, likely without even an eyebrow raised. Heck, I’d go so far as to wager that if the article were to run, more than a few would chime in on the tape versus disk theme that runs through it.
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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.

Goodbye Tape, Hello Data Protection as a Service

Over the weekend I was talking with some friends about their experience attempting to buy a home in Silicon Valley. From what I gathered, the housing market is heating up and it appears to be a sellers market yet again. This made me think about an EMC customer, Healthcare Realty Trust.
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Lisa Matzdorff

Lisa Matzdorff

Voice of Customer, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have a passion for listening, more specifically, listening to customers share their IT stories, their experiences, their successes! Over the past 7 years in the role of customer reference manager and customer advocacy manager, I’ve had the pleasure of listen to amazing stories and meeting some very interesting people. The one thing that makes my job even better…I get to share those stories. When I’m not working, I’m volunteering with foster children, running 5K fun runs, playing fashion consultant “What Not To Wear” style, traveling, and watching reality t.v

Eleventh Day of Blogmas: Backup Game Day Is Back…The Transformation Continues

How do you turn backup and recovery into an offensive strategy that delivers game-changing business results?

More than 4,000 of you tuned in last fall to hear the first part of the story, and an even larger crowd stopped by on March 11 to hear the second chapter.

Backup Game II is all about giving application owners, end user and other stockholders, the visibility and control of the backup process they need to accelerate business.

You’ll learn:

  • Why federated management services are critical to backup transformation
  • How data protection management can help you improve service levels, lower costs, and avoid problems
  • How to manage backup at scale–simply and efficiently
  • How to deliver backup in an IT as a service model
  • How the completely redesigned EMC Data Protection Advisor 6 will help you go from vision to execution.

Watch the recording on-demand. It will be 30-minutes well spent.

Themes of #the12daysofblogmas, 2013

Themes of #the12daysofblogmas, 2013

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.

The Asian Pressure Cooker

The pressure on Asian businesses has never been greater due to fluctuating economies, greater global competition, massive data growth, and the need to comply with complex local and international laws and regulations. Many Asian organizations have long relied on traditional infrastructure such as cheap disk, and tape to manage and protect their data; however, these approaches no longer work due to long backup times, unreliable restorations and ballooning costs.

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Source: IDC, 2013.

In a recent study, IDC analyzed a number of companies in Asia Pacific, China and Japan and concluded that unless organizations transform their data protection environments, they will lack the agility and efficiency to compete both locally and internationally. The paper focuses on a sample of companies across Asia, representing a broad range of industries and sizes.

One common finding across all companies was the dramatic reduction in costs and risks by implementing EMC’s Data Protection solutions.  In fact, the average savings were $2.6m annually, as summarized in the chart below.

The paper highlights that data protection challenges are just as much a business and trust issue as they are an IT operational problem, and the sooner that companies address these challenges, the sooner they will be out of the pressure cooker and sitting at the dinner table with the Business Managers.

Shane Moore
I have been in the IT industry for close to 20 years and started my career as an Officer in the Australian Air Force. For my first posting, I had a choice to either manage a national network of servers or run a warehouse (the physical kind). Thankfully, I chose the former and subsequently managed infrastructure in a number of public and private organizations. Later, I started selling and then marketing IT solutions for Computer Associates and now EMC. I have a passion for technology and I am excited by the way it continues to transform our lives. In my current role, I work across Asia promoting EMC’s data protection solutions, spending time with analysts and writing articles for traditional and social media. In my spare time, I provide IT support for my family and enjoy the outdoors. For the record, Top Gun is my favorite movie of all time!

What’s Next for Cloud Protection?

187957288Male Answer Syndrome is a worldwide affliction that prevents people from saying “I don’t know.” Do you answer questions that a couple is whispering … 10 feet behind you? If somebody asks a question filled with acronyms that you don’t understand, do you make up new acronyms… daring somebody to call your bluff? Do you shout out your responses to Jeopardy… inside Target? If so, welcome to my world. You suffer from Male Answer Syndrome.

Sometimes, however, I see something so important that I admit, “I don’t know what that means. I need to learn about it.” Ever since Mozy became part of EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division earlier this year, people have asked, “What is the future of Mozy? What’s the future of cloud? What does it mean for our broader portfolio?”

While I’m tempted to pontificate with great specificity about the next decade of data protection, I don’t know how everything will turn out. There, I admitted it. However, what I do know is that Mozy is at the nexus of a number of trends:

  • Consumerization of IT. An increasing number of end users tell us their consumer IT experience far exceeds their enterprise experience. With its roots in the consumer backup space, Mozy brings a fresh perspective on simplicity to EMC Backup.
  • IT as a Service. It is a cliché, but users want to solve business problems, and somehow they end up hearing about IT’s technology challenges. Mozy sells protection services, not software and hardware, so they think about “product” differently.
  • IT convergence. While most people think in terms of physical systems, IT convergence is more about consolidating different workflows to streamline operations. The Mozy team views backup as just one of many services to offer customers.

As for questions like, what exactly will Mozy look like in five years and how long will the industry take to transform? I don’t know. But I do have a good idea on how cloud protection will evolve:

  • Cloud in a traditional protection architecture. Customers are writing and replicating traditional backups to the cloud. Like VTL for disk, it’s not the ideal solution, but it’s the simplest to deploy.
  • Cloud-centric data protection. Customers will use cloud protection solutions to address existing pain points. We saw the same approach with disk-centric protection: compliant archive (Centera), remote office (Avamar), and application-direct backups (Data Domain). Cloud will likely address: endpoint protection (mobile devices), compliant archive (constantly-evolving regulations), and disaster recovery (companies without a second site).
  • Cloud-centric data management. This will be the change that disrupts the industry. Currently, we see disk driving the evolution from backup to data protection (convergence of disaster recovery, backup, and archive), which disrupts traditional backup architectures. The next disruption will occur when organizations realize the only difference among their protection, test & dev, analytics, and collaboration copies is how these copies are managed and accessed. The cloud model will break down the boundaries between the copies, and the convergence will transform protection from an insurance policy into a daily business asset.

These shifts can be daunting, especially if you’re still running traditional tape backups. Fortunately, there is a well-established path to walk from tape backup to disk backup to infrastructure-centric data protection. Meanwhile, a solid architecture can help you manage the transition to cloud—however it actually plays out. That is why we advocate a Protection Storage Architecture; it will help you bridge the gap between backup, data protection, and data management—at your own pace.

Over the next decade, cloud will transform data protection and management. Over the next few years, there will be chaos in this space, as multiple companies search for the right balance of technology, process, and business model. I’m thrilled that we have the Mozy team who focus on this transformation and who approach the challenge differently than I. Even as a longstanding victim of Male Answer Syndrome, I know when to say, “I don’t know. Help me learn.”

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).