As companies of all sizes move from physical environments to ones that are more highly virtualized (or even entirely virtualized,) everything changes. While “how backups are done” is sometimes viewed as the biggest change, monitoring the virtual environment and leveraging the cloud are becoming higher priorities for end users. In this fourth and final blog entry in my interview series with PHD Virtual’s CMO Steve Kahan, he discusses how virtualization monitoring and the cloud are impacting the future of backup in general and PHD Virtual specifically.

Jerome:  In looking at PHD’s product line, both backup and virtualization monitoring are featured very prominently on its website. Can you talk about how backup and monitoring fit together in virtualized environments?

Steve: A lot of times when PHD looks at SMBs and departmental enterprise customers, which are core parts of PHD’s target market, it sees VM Administrators responsible for managing all aspects of the virtual environment, backup and monitoring.

From an execution perspective, selling multiple products to that same end user is certainly a good strategy so users can work with a single vendor to get two of the most important solutions they need. That’s why PHD provides very synergistic products like PHD Virtual Backup and PHD Virtual Monitoring to go after this environment.

These products are also very synergistic in the sense that backup and monitoring are very intensive processes that can consume a lot of time and money. PHD actually bundles these products together as solutions so administrators get all of the robust tools you need to effectively protect, monitor and manage your virtual infrastructure.

What’s cool is PHD also makes these bundles available very affordable so VM Administrators can try it for FREE and get an up close and personal evaluation of the value received. These products install and configure in minutes.

Jerome: The cloud is poised to become an increasingly big part of backup in 2013. Why the growing interest in cloud and how does PHD plan to respond to this customer demand?

Steve:
    PHD firmly believes that backup to the cloud will grow rapidly because all that big data has to go somewhere. PHD customers are exploring cloud backup strategies for many use cases. Some of the most common use cases are:

  • Long term storage vaults for archived backups, often replacing tape storage;
  • Secondary data centers for cold or hot standbys of virtual machines for disaster recovery purposes; and
  • Inexpensive, monthly rental storage space for daily backups.

Small to medium sized businesses, in particular, are looking to the public cloud for backup storage rather than investing in additional on premises hardware storage. Over 45% of our existing customers want options to backup or replicate to the cloud.

Combinations of local, off site, and cloud backup to support different backup windows and retention policies are most often requested. Users are not yet fully transitioning to the cloud; rather, they want multiple options based on the importance of the application, the frequency of changes in the data, and the amount of data to be protected. This indicates that data protection and disaster recovery is well understood by backup administrators: they are now savvy enough to leverage the cloud when it is practical and efficient for their needs.

PHD Virtual is paying close attention to these trends and listening to our customers. This is why we will be delivering several new and exciting cloud offerings beginning in late Q1 2013. Stay tuned!

In Part I of this series, Steve discusses how new tools are needed to backup and manage the new virtual infrastructure of today.

In Part II of this series, Steve discusses how PHD Virtual introduces new feature functionality into its product without its backup software becoming too complex for
users to effectively utilize.

In Part III of this series, Steve discusses how PHD cultivates feedback from its user base to help do backups better going forward.

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