There are several “disruptive” trends in IT. And when vendors talk about disruptive, it's usually in regard to some new feature/service that does things differently. But from my perspective, one of the most disruptive trends in data protection is that traditional workloads are leaving the data center. According to ESG’s 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey research report, traditional workloads like “file/collaboration” and “e-mail” are moving from data centers to cloud-providers, e.g., Office365 and GoogleApps.
Here’s the problem: traditional data protection tools that have built their businesses on protecting traditional workloads can’t follow when the workload moves. Said another way, the agents/methods for protecting an on-premises file server or e-mail platform go away when the workload moves to SaaS. And there are very few SaaS-backup players in the market today, while a few of the traditional backup vendors are trying to extend themselves to SaaS.
This is very similar to the quandary of 10 years ago, when traditional vendors weren’t able to protect VMware. Back then, a few startups (e.g., Veeam, PHD, vRanger) started protecting VMware while the rest of the vendors waited for (unknown). Today, Veeam is still going gangbusters while PHD and vRanger have both been purchased and their technologies usurped into broader data protection portfolios.
For more perspective on this repeated trend of data protection startups for the new platforms, leading past the legacy approaches, see my earlier blog post on backing up big data or SaaS.
The News and Why It Matters
Today, EMC announced its acquisition of one of the leading SaaS-backup products, Spanning Cloud – specializing in protecting SalesForce, GoogleApps, and Office365. Here is a quick interview with Spanning Cloud CEO, Jeff Erramouspe, at EMC World, earlier this year.
Adding Spanning’s Office365, GoogleApps, and SalesForce protection capabilities to the broad EMC data protection solution portfolio, including Mozy (cloud-based backup), Avamar, Networker, Data Domain, etc., ensures that EMC will be able to protect where file/collab/CRM data is moving, as well as where that data lives today. Congrats to EMC on a smart addition to their portfolio.
Here's the Spanning-EMC announcement.