July 2014 saw the fourth EMC “MegaLaunch,” featuring a broad swathe of announcements across EMC’s portfolio. While the range of news - and associated materials - to consume can seem daunting, this 8 minute “On Location” video blog (featuring ESG analysts Jason Buffington, Terri McClure and Mark Peters) will give you some key headlines and commentary in a very efficient and easily digested manner….
Last week, in London, EMC made several announcements – many of which hinged on the VMAX3 platform – but the one of most interest to me was ProtectPoint, where those new VMAX machines will be able to send their backup data directly from production storage to protection storage (EMC Data Domain) without an intermediary backup server.
I mentioned this in my blog last week as an example of the fact that, while “backup” is evolving, those kinds of evolutions require that the role of both the Backup Administrator (which should not be thought of as a Data Protection Manager/DPM) and the Storage Administrator (or any other workload manager that is becoming able to protect their own data) need to evolve, as well.
When asked “what is the future for data center data protection?” my most frequent answer is that DP becomes less about dedicated backup admins with dedicated backup infrastructure … and more about DP savvy being part of the production workload, co-managed by the DP and workload administrators.
To be clear, as workload owner enablement continues to evolve, the role of the “Data Protection Manager” (formerly known as the “backup administrator”) also evolves – but it does not and cannot go away. DPMs should be thrilled to be out of some of the mundane aspects of tactical data protection and even more elated that the technology innovations like snap-to-dedupe integration, application-integration, etc. create real partnerships between the workload owners and the data protection professionals. And it does need to be a partnership, because while the technical crossovers are nice, they must be coupled with shared responsibility.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Dell Annual Analyst Conference (DAAC), where Michael Dell and the senior leadership team gave updates on their businesses and cast a very clear strategy around four core pillars: Transform (cloud) ... Connect (mobility) ... Inform (Big Data) ... and Protect.
Protect?! YAY!! As a 25-year backup dude who has been waiting to see how the vRanger and NetVault products would be aligned with AppAssure and the Ocarina-accelerated deduplication appliances, I was really jazzed to see “Protect” as a core pillar of the Dell story. But then the dialogue took an interesting turn.
Last week, I published a video summary of the data protection product news from EMC World 2014, with the help of some of my EMC Data Protection friends. To follow that up, I asked EMC's Rob Emsley to knit the pieces together around the Data Protection strategy from EMC.
During EMC World 2014 in Las Vegas last month, I had the chance to visit with several EMC product managers on what was announced from a product perspective, as well as overall data protection strategy.
When you really boil down the core of IT -- it's to deliver the services and access to data that the business requires. That includes understanding the needs of the business, its dependencies on things like its data, and then ensuring the availability of that data.
"Availability" can be achieved in two ways = Resilience and Recoverability.
As usual ESG had a strong analyst representation at this year’s EMC World, held last week in Las Vegas. Watch this 6 minute video blog, to get a flavor of the event and to hear the key “takeaways” and initial high level insights from a broad spectrum of ESG experts – on the storage ‘beat,’ there’s Terri McClure and myself, for data protection there is Jason Buffington, and you can also see and hear from Kevin Rhone (channels/partners) and Kerry Dolan (ESG Lab).
It seems that every time a new major IT platform is delivered, backing it up is an afterthought – often exacerbated by the fact that the platform vendor didn’t create the APIs or plumbing to enable a backup ecosystem. Each time, there is a gap where the legacy folks aren’t able to adapt quickly enough and a new vendor (or small subset) start from scratch to figure it out. And for a while, perhaps a long while, they are the defacto solution until the need becomes so great that the platform vendor creates the APIs, and then everyone feverishly tries to catch up. Sometimes they do, other times, not so much.
Continuing on the theme that we started last year that “Data Protection” is the umbrella theme that encompasses a broad range (spectrum) of IT behaviors, including “Backup, Snapshots, Replication, etc.”. Here is a video that talks puts some color on those ideas (pun intended).
While at IBM Pulse 2014, I was invited to sit in at ‘the Cube’ to talk about what’s new in Data Protection. We had the chance to talk about:
Even with something as simple as “Disk to Disk to Cloud” as a way to first recover locally from disk and then extend that protection to a cloud-repository, every answer just brings up more questions. In fact, even D2D2C has at least two configurations – similar to having one box of Legos and two instruction manuals; meaning different ways to assemble the same pieces and end up with (at least) two very different results.
Here is a video of some of the questions that you should be asking – and my suggested ideas for coming up with what will best fit you.
For all of the IT Pros who are now into the fray of 2014 and asking “What else should I be doing to ensure my organization’s recover-ability?” – this video includes eight suggestions to consider as part of your data protection strategy (including the ESG data that supports those suggestions).
“Backing up and recovering VMs” is not solved.
There are lots of options in market, and the dynamics seem to shift by the day. So, as IT organizations of all sizes continue their maturation from simply “consolidation” to the “private cloud” and the “software-defined-whatever,” 2014 promises to be even more interesting.
To celebrate that, here is a list of some of my virtualization protection posts, just from the 2nd half of 2013.
My first advise = virtualize everything. After that, you have lots of options.
At first glance, the services can be easily confused: a small consumer-like application, transparently sending data updates to a cloud-storage service.
Yes, it’s very easy to see how OFS and BaaS are similar:
To better explain the differences, and to really understand what is going on in both spaces, Terri McClure to join me to discuss the topic.
Maybe that is overly-simplified, but not by much. Virtualization makes servers (and their associated storage) portable, while Data Protection Services provide alternate locations and expertise that many organizations of all sizes have been desperate for. In 2013, ESG published complete research reports on both Virtualization and Data Protection as a Service. In each survey, we were careful to dig in for extra insights related to BC/DR.
Here is a new ESG Infographic discussing the latest BC/DR trends that are empowered through the intersection of two transformational IT mechanisms.
Maybe not “every” – but certainly more than “most” – data protection architecture should be “hybrid,” meaning that it should include disk-, cloud-, and yes tape-based recovery components. Why? Because each has a legitimate set of use-case scenarios and attributes that lend each medium type to different data protection goals.
Check out this 7m video to hear why I think so.
So, as we start thinking about how we will do things smarter and more effectively in 2014, here is a short (6m) video to hopefully get you thinking about what to plan for in your 2014 Data Protection Strategy. If your virtualization-protection solution already meets the four directives in this video of “what to look for” … then you have one more thing to be thankful for during this holiday season. If not, then your virtualization protection is not as good as it could/should be.
While enterprises often have experts that are ready to throw on their capes to save the day (or your data), midsized organizations IT heroics are often just in keeping things running without budgets, gear, or advanced specialty training. But you too can be a data protection “hero”:
Spectra's latest announcements could really shake up the long-term-inexpensive-persistent-storage world. Indeed, its RESTful approach could lead to lots of new activity! In addition to the high level written blog summary, there's a video blog included, with insights from my colleague Jason Buffington, commentary from Molly Rector of Spectra, and my overall key 'takeaway.'