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

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
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.

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

The Asian Pressure Cooker

Shane Moore

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!

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.

Slide1

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.

I’ll Take “EMC for SharePoint” for $100 Alex

Gene Maxwell

Gene Maxwell

Technical Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I am known by many as the creator of documentation that helps others easily understand technology. This is because I discovered that I myself was a visual learner as I worked in many different IT roles over the years. Prior to my technical marketing role, I was an EMC technical consultant for six years. I also have many years of experience as a customer in IT responsible for data center management & disaster recovery, including backups. My hobbies include building PCs, collecting movies (Casablanca is my favorite), singing and playing my guitar. I have a twin brother who is three minutes older than I am.

I’ll take “EMC for SharePoint” for $100 Alex.

As I participated in the Chicago SharePointFest event last week I talked with lots of SharePoint customers about the many ways that SourceOne for SharePoint could help them.  Several of these customers asked me an interesting open-ended question that made me stop and think.   “So what does EMC do for SharePoint?”   With so many good answers to this question, I thought this would make a great new Jeopardy category.

If “Why EMC for Microsoft SharePoint?” ever appears as a category on Jeopardy, here are what some of the answers would be:

  1. What is Primary Storage:  EMC offers multiple primary storage options that offer a wide variety of storage features many of them with our Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology.
  2. What is Virtualization/Cloud Platform:  EMC as part of VCE offers VBlock for first class virtualization of any application environment including SharePoint and the other Microsoft applications.
  3. What is Externalize Active Content:  SourceOne for SharePoint gives customers the ability to externalize their active SharePoint content out of the SQL database enhancing SharePoint performance & scalability and decreasing licensing costs while maintaining full transparency to SharePoint users.
  4. What is Archive Inactive Content:  SourceOne also provides the ability for customers to archive inactive SharePoint content out of their SQL databases by moving it to a more cost appropriate tier of storage that can leverage features like deduplication, compression, and single instancing. SourceOne offers SharePoint users full access to their content via a web plug in, maintaining ease of search and full transparency to SharePoint users.
  5. What is E-Discovery:  SourceOne Discovery Manager provides easy-to-use yet very powerful e-discovery capabilities across all SourceOne Archive data.  SourceOne Discovery Manager can discover, manage, and apply secure hold to any content in the EMC SourceOne archives.
  6. What is Archive Storage:  EMC offers multiple archive storage options for SharePoint including Data Domain, Atmos, and Centera that provide many storage efficiency and data protection advantages.
  7. What is Backup & Recovery: Avamar and NetWorker with Data Domain provide the best backup and recovery for SharePoint with intelligent agents that allow recovery of individual SharePoint items (when combined with Kroll) or the entire SharePoint farm.
  8. What is Enterprise Content Management:  Some customers try to get SharePoint to do things it really wasn’t designed to do.   EMC Documentum integrates with SharePoint to provide many of these common document management requirements such as business process management and compliance while maintaining the familiar SharePoint user experience.

I’m probably forgetting something, but that’s one heck of a list!  I think EMC has SharePoint well covered.

My Top 5 Reasons Why Data Domain for Oracle Database Backups!

Gene Maxwell

Gene Maxwell

Technical Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I am known by many as the creator of documentation that helps others easily understand technology. This is because I discovered that I myself was a visual learner as I worked in many different IT roles over the years. Prior to my technical marketing role, I was an EMC technical consultant for six years. I also have many years of experience as a customer in IT responsible for data center management & disaster recovery, including backups. My hobbies include building PCs, collecting movies (Casablanca is my favorite), singing and playing my guitar. I have a twin brother who is three minutes older than I am.

Thinking Man

For the sake of argument, let’s say that I am an Oracle DBA and some of my databases have gotten so big, it’s getting difficult to finish daily full backups within our available backup window.  There is talk that the backup admins want to change our database backups to weekend fulls and daily incrementals but I don’t want that because it will make database recovery more difficult, more time consuming, and less certain.

Unfortunately for me, our database backups are managed by the backup administrators so I really don’t have much control over what they do and when.   The other thing that scares me is the number of media and tape hardware problems I hear they are having on a regular basis.  I’m worried that when we really do need to recover an important database, we won’t be able to recover from physical tape and because I have no visibility into their backup results, I never really know if my databases are protected or not.  I’m also concerned about actually recovering our databases in a real disaster recovery situation.

This is an all to common scenario for many DBAs.  Fortunately, Data Domain systems can help to alleviate these pains.

Here are my Top 5 Reasons Why Data Domain for Oracle database backups:

  1. Backups with Data Domain and DD Boost are 50% faster giving me the speed I need to complete full backups within backup windows and providing some breathing room for databases to grow.
  2. Backups with Data Domain are more reliable because it eliminates unreliable physical tape media and physical tape hardware and the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture provides the best data protection available giving me confidence we will be able to recover when needed.
  3. Database recovery will be simple because we will always be recovering from full backups.
  4. I have control of all my Oracle database backups, replication to our DR site, and recovery from RMAN with full catalog visibility so I always know what’s going on without having to ask the backup admins.
  5. I am confident that I can recover my Oracle databases in a true disaster recovery situation because I know that my database backups have completed successfully, that Data Domain is protecting the integrity of the data, that the replication to our DR site Data Domain system has completed, and that I’ll be recovering from a full database backup.

Those are the top 5 reasons why I’d want Data Domain to protect my Oracle databases if I was an Oracle DBA!

Did Dinosaurs Like the Taste of Tape Cartridges?

Gene Maxwell

Gene Maxwell

Technical Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I am known by many as the creator of documentation that helps others easily understand technology. This is because I discovered that I myself was a visual learner as I worked in many different IT roles over the years. Prior to my technical marketing role, I was an EMC technical consultant for six years. I also have many years of experience as a customer in IT responsible for data center management & disaster recovery, including backups. My hobbies include building PCs, collecting movies (Casablanca is my favorite), singing and playing my guitar. I have a twin brother who is three minutes older than I am.

Whenever I see physical tape cartridges still being used for backups, I can’t help but think about cavemen and dinosaurs. They have so many things in common:

  • They are both old and outdated (OK, one is a little older than the other)
  • They are problematic (the problem is, what good are they to anyone anymore?)
  • They are undependable (just try and get a caveman to do something for you these days)
  • They are inflexible (what does a Dinosaur do… anything it wants to do!)
  • They are expensive (do you know how much it costs to feed a dinosaur these days?)
  • Nobody wants them anymore (am I right?)
  • They’re extinct (but may not realize it yet)
  • They represent the past, a bygone era that most people have moved beyond

So how does a progressive human fix the age-old problem of doing backups with physical tape?  Go simple, go fast, go tapeless!   Deduplication technology is the enabler to get your backups out of the stone-age.  Deduplicated disk storage backups provide many advantages over physical tape:

  1. Backups are much faster
  2. Backups are far more reliable
  3. Life is simpler eliminating the need to manage thousands of tape cartridges
  4. Restores are easier and will actually work
  5. Reduce backup costs by eliminating maintenance for tape libraries & drives
  6. Reduce valuable data center floor space by eliminating tape libraries & tape storage
  7. Eliminate the costs of tape handling, tape movement, and tape storage
  8. Reduce the risks of tape cartridges being lost or stolen (and expensive fines)
  9. Simplify Disaster Recovery and enable better DR testing (need I go on…)

The decision is yours.   Stone-age or 21st century?   Dinosaurs or Deduplication?  You decide.   If you’re ready to take your backups out of the stone-age, we are ready to help with industry leading backup and recovery solutions.