Get Ready to Backup to the Future on 7.10.13

Mark Doncov

Mark Doncov

I’ve spent most of the seven years I’ve been at EMC on backup. Currently, I work on category and solution marketing initiatives in EMC’s Backup Recovery Systems division. In short, this means I focus on the “why” for EMC Backup, not the “what”; I leave the bits and bytes to the product teams. Over the years, I’ve seen big changes in the backup world. I will be looking at these – and the even bigger ones that lie ahead - here on The Backup Window and other social channels.

Does your backup make you feel like this, spinning uncontrollably?

It’s easy to see why.  Data growth is unrelenting.  And today’s backup can’t cope with the scale, complexity or costs that result.

On July 10, 2013, we’ll reveal a new generation of backup and archive breakthroughs designed to get you out of free fall – and in control.

EMC President and COO David Goulden and Backup Recovery Systems division executives Guy Churchward and Stephen Manley will be the guest speakers.

There will be live Q&A.

Oh yeah – there will also be the 5,280 foot drop of death you got a glimpse of.

Watch the future of backup unfold for yourself on July 10th – just click here to learn more or here to save the date to your calendar.

And make sure to read all about it next week on The Backup Window.

See you next Wednesday!

One Lens to the Future: Visibility without Boundaries

Tom Giuliano

Tom Giuliano

Marketer and EMC Data Protection Advisor Expert
I love to listen to customers discuss their data protection challenges, their experiences and their needs, and I’ve had a lot of opportunity to do it. For the past 15 years, I’ve brought network and storage products to market through roles in sales, product management and marketing. When I’m not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching products, you’ll likely find me cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of my more interesting experiences in one of my posts from time to time.

You may have recently read The Backup Window’s May 17 post “Forget the Drapes…How’s Your Plumbing?”, in which Heidi Biggar talks about the important relationship between backup architecture and application deployment, productivity, innovation and ultimately revenue.

Also in that article, Heidi shared a video of Guy Churchward, president of EMC’s Backup Recovery Systems division, at EMC World last month. In this video, Guy compares backup to the plumbing of a house – without backup, it doesn’t matter what the rest of your environment looks like because you won’t be able to scale to address exponential growth due to big data.

I’m going to take that argument one step further and tell you that while having a good backup and recovery infrastructure (a.k.a. the plumbing) IS important, effective management of that infrastructure may require you to mask it.  Let me explain.

Modern, unified, non-disruptive data protection infrastructures are complex, though you might not have all the components shown here in play today.  It really depends on what the business need actually is.

Data Protection Advisor

Starting on the left side we see some virtualized hosts with applications, some physical hosts and primary storage. You may have some particularly challenging mission-critical applications with aggressive RTOs and RPOs. You may be using replication for those.  But, all of this needs to be backed up and protected.  You’re likely using your backup manager of choice, which may also be backing up your VMs directly.  And eventually those safe sets of data are going to make their way down to an archive device.

That’s the infrastructure Guy spoke of – it’s important and it performs a vital task for your business.  However, as I mentioned, it’s complex. It’s simply not possible to effectively monitor each data protection component individually, particularly if there are multiple backup applications or many archive devices.  Visibility is crucial, and in order to get a holistic, end-to-end view of the environment you need to mask the complexity.  That’s where data protection management software like Data Protection Advisor can help.

Case in point:  in speaking with many customers over the past few years we’ve learned that the SLAs they were being asked to meet as part of their organizations’ transformation processes weren’t focused on the individual success of an individual backup (i.e., they didn’t care whether a backup occurred on the first, second or nth time of asking) but rather the speed and precision of the overall process. Customers really wanted to know that their data was being protected within specified time periods and that it had reached the designated vaulting location/device.

And to be able to do this, you need to be able to see and manage the entire environment.

Abstracting Management as a Change-Enabler

There is another important capability these tools bring. By separating the management view of the protection infrastructure from the various technologies deployed, IT is empowered to implement operative changes to the environment.  (I’ll explain this too.)

Service providers and enterprise IT shops alike are looking for ways to beat out the competition by investing in new technologies that will help differentiate in terms of cost or performance. But by swapping one technology for another, management and visibility of the protection environment are lost, or at least broken. Each new technology brings its own variation on ‘how things should be done’.

However, by abstracting management views of the entire environment away from the underlying technology, the service provider’s management view and control of end-to-end protection processes are buffered from any change in the data protection ‘plumbing’.  These management tools become a change enabler (or transformation enabler) by simplifying the environment and removing the worry and hassle that often accompany transformation.  In other words, your management tools can become a change enabler independent from your underlying data protection technology.

Somewhat related to this is EMC’s recent announcement of ViPR Software-Defined Storage. You’ve probably heard how ViPR can Virtualize Everything. Compromise Nothing.

ViPR provides a revolutionary approach to storage automation and management to transform existing heterogeneous physical storage into a simple, extensible and open virtual storage platform. This means that organizations don’t have to give up choice as their organizations grow and management costs don’t have to go through the roof either.

With ViPR, organizations get a simple, unified way to manage virtual and physical storage that not only protects their investments today, but can also dynamically adapt and respond to future requirements.

While DPA isn’t quite the same as ViPR, and ViPR is intended for primary storage, the underlying goal is the same: simplify complexity through automation and centralized management.

And that gives you the freedom of choice and the flexibility to select the plumbing components you need to drive your transformation.

Backup as a Service: The On-Ramp to Cloud Services

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.

In a recently published white paper by IDC, Program Vice President, Laura DuBois outlines and reviews the challenges IT departments are having with meeting the data backup SLAs required by the business.   Laura discusses how cloud services can fundamentally change the cost model around backup and how enterprises are leveraging these new backup-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings as a means of outsourcing nonstrategic tasks.

For enterprise IT shops considering offloading backup, IDC provides great reading and advice in choosing the right service provider (see EMC’s Velocity Service Provider) and the most appropriate service offering based on your business needs.  If you’re an EMC Velocity Service Provider, not currently offering BaaS services, Laura provides guidance about the different BaaS deployment models and what approach makes the most sense based on current and future service offerings.

Check out the IDC White Paper titled: Backup as a Service:  Approaches and Advantages for Service Providers and End Users.  It’s a great read and offers some good advice.

Replicating Your Backups…Do You Trust Your Network?

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.

One of the major advantages data duplication brings to going tapeless for backup is the ability to use your existing network links to replicate your backup data to a second site.

This in theory is all very well, but as a backup administrator do you have the visibility and / or management of these links. How can you be sure that all your data has been replicated off site?

During a recent EMC sponsored survey in South Africa  we found 44% of the respondents were still using tape to recover from a disaster. However it appears that this is not their ideal method as a staggering 82% of the companies want to completely stop using tape for backup. This is a trend we have seen across Europe in similar surveys EMC have conducted. So although South Africa is not unique by having nearly half the respondent’s still using tape for DR, it is a country which continues to struggle with good network connectivity.

The current trend is to use data deduplication for backup which in turn enables the backup data to pass over existing links for DR. However if these links are unreliable, visibility of these links is imperative, to ensure backup data is in fact replicated off site. For a backup admin a tool such as Data Protection Advisor will help with monitoring a large number of backup jobs to report on status, but perhaps more importantly in this example is that it will also monitor the infrastructure that supports the backup. So any network links that fail will be reported not only to the network team but also the backup admin.

DPA has just undergone a major update to afford customers complete visibility into the backup process. A key part of this update is real-time monitoring and analytics, designed to give better predictability and assurance that mission-critical applications are protected. This includes the monitoring and reporting of the network the backup data flows over. Predictability when all of your data will not fit down your link is a useful tool. DPA will monitor the growth in your backups and analyse the amount of capacity needed to replicate this data, producing a flag, that in a given number of weeks the replication process may not complete. In addition as backup is often a process that happens overnight, understanding any data loss and providing reports detailing such errors would allow the backup admin to have confidence in knowing when backups are not replicated.

This type of information is often not in view to the backup admin, so to achieve a tapeless environment and the trust that you have all of your backup data off site, you not only need a Purpose Built Backup Appliance, but also a set of tools to give you maximum visibility into the complete process.

During Backup Game Day II we discussed this very subject, take 30 minutes to understand how tools from EMC can give you back your evenings and weekends from monitoring your backups and relying on the network team to tell you when there is an issue with capacity or connectivity.

The webcast can be viewed here.

 

 

 

 

Unify Data Protection Management with DPA 6

Tom Giuliano

Tom Giuliano

Marketer and EMC Data Protection Advisor Expert
I love to listen to customers discuss their data protection challenges, their experiences and their needs, and I’ve had a lot of opportunity to do it. For the past 15 years, I’ve brought network and storage products to market through roles in sales, product management and marketing. When I’m not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching products, you’ll likely find me cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of my more interesting experiences in one of my posts from time to time.

For years, the saying in the business arena has been “it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.”

But that thinking has shifted, and today it really is what you know that matters more – whether you’re in management, IT, etc.

Knowledge IS power IF you can find it, organize it and leverage it. But too often organizations don’t have the visibility  they need to verify that their vital business data is properly protected, or whether they are in compliance. Centralizing management and providing unified visibility into and insight across these diverse and dynamic backup environments is HUGE!

In the backup world, visibility has been a huge problem for years, not just from a backup administrator perspective but increasingly from an application or end-user viewpoint. That’s why we’re excited about the launch of EMC Data Protection Advisor (DPA) 6 today.

DPA 6 provides unified visibility and insight into backup and recovery environments. Better stated, it provides real proof of data protection through comprehensive monitoring, analysis and reporting.

With DPA, backup and VMware administrators (and their bosses) don’t have to ask questions like, do I:

  • Know if my service levels are being met?
  • Know if my critical data is protected?
  • Receive information on the success/failure of backup jobs?
  • Reduce backup errors and identify issues?
  • Monitor across physical and virtual heterogeneous infrastructures?
  • Make proactive decisions about my backup and recovery environments and plan storage and media purchases.

Specifically, DPA 6 provides:

  • Unified visibility ensures to ensure data protection service levels: Gain clarity through DPA 6’s unified view so you can proactively report protection to stakeholders and compliance to auditors. The benefit is comprehensive understanding of overall data protection health, performance and reliability.
  • Rapid access to vital information: Customers can self-install DPA in just minutes. By using DPA’s new dashboards, they will make be able to make better decisions because they will have access to more information in a single location. Service providers and IT administrator can enable stakeholders to verify service levels or other data on their own based on privilege or preference-based self-service access.
  • Real-time monitoring and analytics: Get better predictability and assurance that mission-critical applications are protected. DPA offers fully-automated data protection processes. DPA 6 provides unified visibility and proven service levels for backup, which is particularly vital in rapidly-growing and changing environments.  Monitoring the protection of VM’s in real time is vital in service provider and enterprise environments where data protection is implemented as a service.DPA supports VMware vMotion, and can keep track of VMs as they move around the environment.  This capability is extremely valuable if a data set is not backed up, or even when a newly created VM is not covered by a protection policy.
  • Data protection management for multi-tenant environments: DPA 6 offers multi-tenant data protection management, providing the enterprise-level scalability and flexibility required in cloud environments. Savings with DPA’s new architecture come from supporting thousands of tenants on a single DPA instance, and it does this without performance degradation by non-disruptively adding new nodes into running clusters or the ability to partition resources. By combining chargeback or show-back reporting for backup and replicated data, DPA makes it simple for IT departments (or service providers) offering IT-as-a-Service to charge back the level of service to the line of business (or by location or some other metric).

Why try a new approach to data protection management?  You’ll know in 60 days.