90% of APTARE's Customers Have 2008 Initiatives for Disk-Based Data Protection; Part 1 of 2
Can APTARE's StorageConsole remain relevant in 2008 and beyond? That was a question that weighed on my mind as I met with Rick Clark, APTARE's President and CEO, a couple of weeks ago. The purpose of the briefing: receive an update on what steps APTARE is taking to keep its StorageConsole 6.5 product alive and growing as the data protection space evolves. Of course, the particular challenge that StorageConsole needs to address now and in the coming years is managing the growing use of disk in data protection and start to wean itself off of managing tape-based backup.
In order for APTARE to get its foot in the door of customer accounts, APTARE's Clark says that it as essential that APTARE first deliver what their current and potential customers want to see in a reporting tool: (1) A centralized database; (2) A web-based GUI and (3) No agents. Clark finds it true that no matter what type of reports that customers are trying to create - backup reports, storage resource reports, ... whatever - they want a central repository that store the collected data, an easy way to access the reports (the web) and a quick and easy deployment of the software that collects the data (no agents). To satisfy these demands, APTARE provides an open 10g Oracle database that is embedded with StorageConsole, it uses a management console that is accessible over the web and it collects needed data without the deployment of any agents.
At this point, Rick and I had not discussed what backup products APTARE's StorageConsole could monitor though the reason quickly became obvious. APTARE has no intention of remaining strictly a backup reporting tool. APTARE watched the storage resource management (SRM) software market generate a lot of buzz but never gain traction because it never delivered on its promise. Clark says, "Most SRM products attempted to boil the ocean. They had no common storage standards upon which to build; agent-based architectures were impractical and, at the end of the day, SRM products were too expensive and never delivered on the value that customers expected."
APTARE took a different approach and sought to immediately deliver value by helping enterprise companies address their backup problems with StorageConsole's Backup Manager. As one would expect, its Backup Manager supports most major backup products like Tivoli Storage Manager, EMC NetWorker, HP Data Protector and Symantec's Backup Exec and NetBackup as well as Sun StorageTek's ACSLS Manager and Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN).
The problem is offering support for these products was fine few years ago and even now helps companies get a handle on their backup environment. But it is no secret companies are moving to disk and APTARE's Clark is well aware of this. APTARE recently surveyed their existing customer base and uncovered a telling statistic. Clark says, "90% of our customers have virtual tape library (VTL) or disk-based data protection initiatives under way for 2008."
The 2nd blog entry that covers my briefing with APTARE's CEO and President Rick Clark will appear later this month.