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A New Option for Enterprise Data Protection

By February 5, 2009Asigra Inc

Enterprise data protection software is experiencing a fundamental shift in terms of what organizations expect it to deliver and the amount of distributed structured and unstructured data that it needs to protect. As recently as a few years ago, the expectations of enterprise organizations were relatively modest – support for most major operating systems, integration with major applications (MS Exchange, Oracle, etc.) and tape library support – as compared to today’s standards. While some of those requirements still hold true today, more has changed than has stayed the same. This is putting a great deal of pressure on data protection products to swiftly evolve.

Here are just some of the new demands that organizations now have for their enterprise data protection requirements that did not exist even a few years ago.

  • The management of backup data on disk. Most data protection software products support the backup of data to disk but that is only part of the challenge today. To store data to disk and keep its costs under control, compressing and deduplicating the data are becoming prerequisites. Other considerations with storing backup data to disk include managing different tiers of disk, replicating data between sites and, in performance intensive environments, using high-performance disk during peak backup and recovery windows.
  • Streamlined backup and recovery processes. Organizations want to protect more data, spend less on data protection, use less people to manage it and backup and recover their data in less time. These new requirements challenge the traditional model of using dedicated backup administrators, installing agents on all of the servers and continually managing the hardware and software that make up the backup infrastructure.
  • Index the backup data. New federal and state regulations are putting new requirements on organizations to access, index and retrieve their data regardless of where it resides, including backup repositories.

These are just a few examples of how expectations for enterprise data protection software have changed and, while there are obviously many more, what is interesting to note is how some data protection vendors are adapting their products to meet these new organizational demands. In many cases, data protection vendors are purchasing other products and offering these new products as loosely integrated point solutions to their existing offering. But the problem that starts to emerge with this duct-tape approach is that it can start to make the data protection software more complex. More management interfaces, more user logins and no common backend data repository or policy engine results in a less integrated product with higher TCO and a lower overall level of data protection.

In this respect, Asigra Televaulting has separated itself from other players in the enterprise data protection space. To understand how this has occurred, it is important to understand a bit of the history about how Televaulting was developed. David Farajun, Asigra’s founder and CEO, lost a ton of valuable data while developing software for programmable logic controllers in mid-1980s. Asigra grew out of a disaster when a hard drive failed and David wanted to make sure that never happened to him again, so he went looking for a foolproof way of doing backups. He didn’t find what he wanted – but he did find that many other people had suffered the same sort of catastrophe. At that time, the usual way of backing up to a locally attached tape device- but many people failed to backup often enough, if ever. Also, the locally backed up data on tapes had to be manually shipped off-site to a secure vault.  What was needed, he thought, was a completely automated approach that backed up data to a remote location.
 
Asigra is the only vendor that developed its data protection around an architecture that specifically allows customers to backup files to a secure or protected site i.e. a remote data center for the purposes of creating a second copy of the customer’s primary files to insure them against any loss of data. Since then, Televaulting has continued to evolve and mature under Farajun’s direction such that today it is now well-positioned to deliver on the demands of today’s enterprise organizations. Features such as agentless backup to disk remain while new features such as support for most enterprise operating systems and applications, backup lifecycle management, deduplication, encryption, replication and support for virtual servers are now part of the Televaulting 8.0.
 
This is a time when a number of enterprise data protection vendors have acquired third party software to deliver on the new data protection functions that enterprise organizations now want. But because of how Asigra was founded, Farajun’s continued deep involvement in Televaulting’s product development and how the requirements of enterprise data protection itself have evolved so that they play to Televaulting’s strengths, enterprise organizations now find themselves with a distinctively new data protection option.

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Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc.

Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

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