About Tom Giuliano

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.

Remove That Target On Your Back

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.

Backup administrators have traditionally been the go-to-person when something went wrong with a critical data backup or recovery process. And the primary person chasing them down during these unfortunate circumstances was their boss. One issue (hopefully!). One target. Problem (usually) solved. Well…..that’s no longer the case. Continue reading

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.

How to Ensure Data Protection As You Move to the Cloud

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.

According to Mark Prahl, a high-tech business professional who has been talking or writing about products and gadgets for business or personal consumption for some time, data protection needs are more acute for as-a-service cloud models and require new approaches.

Mark Prahl, Managed View

What can you do to ensure data protection as you move to the cloud?

Prahl explains what it means to augment a successful data protection solution and extend it with a new distributed architecture and analysis engine to cloud deployments, without losing any usability benefits (i.e. without making it complex) in his post “EMC Data Protection Advisor For As-A-Service Cloud” on our sister site Managed View.

Click here to read the full post, including Prahl’s take on DPA 6. Then, come back—and let me know what you think. What’s your biggest data protection challenge in moving to the cloud? I want to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Help, I Need Somebody… to Manage My Backups

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.

By Tom Giuliano, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors….

Okay, I admit, it…this passage probably won’t mean much to you if you aren’t a Beatles fan, particularly of their 1965 song “Help”, which has been described as the “first crack in the protective shell” John Lennon had built around his emotions during the Beatles’ rise to fame.

So what does this song have to do with backups and confidence in data protection?  I’m glad you asked.  The parallel I’m attempting to make here is that from an IT organization perspective, the way backups and data protection are viewed today is dramatically different than it was a few years ago.  No, I’m not talking backing up data in 1965….  But, a just few years ago we had fewer backup options, less data and smaller environments, and less cost, relatively anyway.  IT organizations could handle all backup processes themselves.  It was still hard work, but it was manageable.  Fast forward to today – we have explosive data growth, many data protection solutions and options, and pervasive virtualization.  IT organizations need help.

Quite often, small and medium sized organizations simply aren’t equipped to efficiently manage all the components across an expanding data protection environment.  Even large IT organizations may notice that things aren’t getting done well, assets are poorly utilized, there’s poor compliance, etc.  This is exactly why many companies look to experts to help manage and report on their backups.  I’m talking about managed service providers.

Sure, service providers often use the same backup products as many IT organizations.  And in many cases, a greater variety of them to ensure the use cases for EVERY one of their customers are met.  They can effectively and efficiently share resources across customers, or carve off a cluster for a high-demand customer.  And scale – oh the scale.  Service providers should be able to add capacity (and customers) on the fly as data grows.  They should also provide monitoring and reporting of status for all the services they provide to their customers, even offering their customers the ability to access and run reports of IT services provided.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before….

So how do service providers achieve this omnipotent, almost holy, IT provider status?  Well, first of all they are VERY, VERY, VERY good at what they do.  That’s why they are experts at providing Backup-as-a-Service.  They also have an ace in the hole, a secret weapon of sorts.  In addition to using the industry’s best backup and recovery solutions, service providers have access to data protection management tools to centralize and unify information across the environment, saving significant time, effort and money.  One such tool is EMC Data Protection Advisor

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down,
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh…

Data Protection Advisor (DPA) enables service providers and IT organizations to visualize data protection success, utilization efficiency, and infrastructure component status across the environment through built-in and customizable reports.  Through policy-based protection, DPA provides an automated alert to administrators should something go wrong, or if it’s starting to go off track.  You see, DPA is proactive, and will notify you if it calculates that you will run out of capacity in, say, 3 months on your current consumption rate.  DPA also offers chargeback so IT organizations can actually make money from data protection.

Now, imagine (yeah, that’s another John Lennon reference…) if you had real-time monitoring and analytics, unified visibility and comprehensive reporting for the entire data protection environment.  Imagine never worrying about the status of data protection or providing (or receiving) a specific service level.  Imagine never worrying about proving compliance or that unexpected audit.  Imagine knowing that all this information is just a click away.  No worries.  Ever.

You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

Service providers offering Backup-as-a-Service are there to help make this a reality.  Those service providers with a tool like Data Protection Advisor make it an easy decision.

Imagine.