Virtualization, more specifically server virtualization, was pioneered by VMware and is now also offered through Microsoft Hyper-V, as well as open source and other mechanisms. Virtualization has truly changed how server infrastructure is delivered in a modern IT environment. As with any other fundamental IT transformation, when production resources are modernized, protection mechanisms must also evolve. As such, it is not surprising that increasing server virtualization usage and improving data backup and recovery have consistently been among the top five IT priorities for midmarket and enterprise organizations over the last several years, including 2015.
In order to get a more in-depth perspective on the strategies and technologies IT organizations are employing to protect their virtualized infrastructures, ESG gathered the data presented in this report as part of a broader research effort covering general data protection trends.
In 2015, the question is no longer “Can I get a reliable backup of a VM?” With vStorage APIs for data protection (VADP) now being mature since 5.5, through 5.8 and up and coming in 6.0, shame on any backup solution that cannot reliably back up VMs using host-based APIs. Shame on vendors who only back up VMware and not Hyper-V with parity--but that is for a different blog, after VMworld. Today, here are the questions that folks should be asking on the topic of “How agile can my restore of those VMs be?”
In a recent ESG research survey, respondents were asked “If they could start from scratch, what would they do from a data protection solution perspective?” with less than half of respondents stating that they would use their existing vendor/solution.
My colleague Mark Peters and I attended HP Discover 2015 last week to get an updated view of the storage and data protection innovations being announced at the event. What was heartening for me was that one of HP’s core four pillars was “Protect” where the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise company talks about its converged approach to information security and data protection (backup), which includes backup and archival software, as well as the HP StoreOnce deduplication storage solutions.
In recent ESG research on data protection personas, methods, and channels, ESG looked at ‘who’ is affecting data protection, including IT operations, DBAs, vAdmins, file/storage admins, non-technical stakeholders, and channel partners. While data protection has historically been very channel-driven, or at least channel-accelerated, recent data shows that there are disconnects between how IT decision makers use channel partners and how vendors hope that channel partners are being used (e.g., pre-sales advocates of their products/services).
Evaluating and acquiring data protection technologies has historically been a channel-driven (or at least channel-accelerated) activity and means to market. But recent ESG research on role diversification within IT organizations revealed lackluster involvement by VARs and SIs in regard to data protection—and diminished confidence among end-user organizations in the ability of their VARs and SIs to discuss data protection alternatives meaningfully. This brief explores those sentiments and offers initial guidance on how data protection vendors can help their channel partners be more profitable and differentiable.
Is 'Backup' a four-letter word at Dell? Maybe, depending on who you talk to. If you watched my video summary from Dell’s Analyst Conference in 2014, I was initially excited about their four pillar story being around three platforms [Transform], [Connect], and [Inform] being underpinned by [Protect] that are expanded as Security and Data Protection. That is especially poignant considering ESG’s 2015 IT Spending Intentions' top two priorities for organizations of all sizes is Information Security and Improve Data Backup and Recovery.
This morning, NetApp announced AltaVault—the next iteration of what was Riverbed SteelStore, which was acquired in 2014.
Earlier this month, Dell announced enhancements to its DR series of deduplication appliances. Deduplication appliances continue to be a common method of improving one’s overall data protection infrastructure since they can typically be added to whatever backup/archive software or method that you already have, while near immediately reducing the storage consumed in secondary copies.
This weekend, I decided to fully embrace the cloud by getting rid of my last "production IT resource" in my Dallas office—a file server. This is not complicated, right? It is currently a 2TB VM with less than a dozen file shares on it and serving 3-5 users with various permissions to the shares. That is a configuration that anyone who has ever spun up a copy of Windows Server OS could do in less than an hour—but can you do it in the cloud? Not as easily as you might think.
The last installment in our four-Friday video series, based on the recent ESG research report on the Shift toward Data Protection Appliances,
Jason Buffington focuses primarily on data protection, along with Windows Server infrastructure, management and virtualization. He has concentrated on data protection and availability technologies since 1989 and has been a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP), a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Trainer (MSCE/MCT), and a Microsoft MVP in file system and storage solutions.
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