Online Backup Goes Offline; CommVault Salutes System Admins with Free Starbucks Gift Card

Every week I talk to a lot of people within the storage industry – end users, other analysts, resellers, public relations, CEOs, storage engineers, etc. While none of the news I pick up is necessarily enough to substantiate a blog on its own, when aggregated it becomes interesting and noteworthy. In fact, I was talking to Don Jennings at Lois Paul and Partners (LPP) about this yesterday and he suggested that I weekly post a blog that recaps what I hear and do on a weekly basis. Since Friday’s are typically a slow day during the summer months and anyone who is anyone is always looking to cut out a little early on Fridays anyway, I thought I’d give everyone a reason to check out the DCIG website before they do.

The first item of note is that I participated and moderated a virtual round table yesterday, Thursday, July 30, that was sponsored by FalconStor Software. The event was specifically targeted at analysts, editors and journalists and, by viewing the attendee list that Webex makes available during the call, the virtual roundtable had over 20 people on the call with folks from eWeek, TechTarget and Wikibon among others in attendance.

John Lallier, VP of Technology at FalconStor Software and David Campbell, Director of Product Marketing with Symantec’s Information Management Group (IMG), briefly spoke at the outset but the real focus was the three users on the call. They were all using FalconStor’s VTL and deduplication technology as well as one of Symantec’s backup software products, be it NetBackup or Backup Exec.

Sandor Orban, a senior storage engineer with Sunrise Communications in Zurich Switzerland, represented the enterprise side of the house while Justin King, a systems administrator with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, and David Henson, an IT systems administrator with Community Health Centers Alliance, in St Petersburg, Fl, represented the midsize enterprise. While I don’t have a link to the audio presentation on FalconStor’s website yet, as soon as I do, I will post it here. The most interesting tidbits that I picked up from each of the participants during the virtual round table included:

  • David Henson of Community Health Centers Alliance recently switched from an online backup provider back to doing backup in-house because the per GB cost of his online backup had climbed to $50,000/year, the backup environment used by the managed service provider (MSP) was shared with other clients so backups were taking 12 hours per day and certain key Oracle database applications needed to be turned off during the backup. Further, his MSP could not guarantee restores times in the time frame he needed them.
  • Justin King works in the Human Neuroimaging Lab of the Baylor College of Medicine and found that he was able to deduplicate and/or compress DICOM images by up to 70% using FalconStor’s deduplication technology though he did not know why this is occuring.
  • Sandor Orban of Sunrise Communications in Zurich, Switzerland, was achieving a 16:1 deduplication ratio in his environment which is turning out to be a pleasant surprise to the upside. He had justified the introduction of deduplication into his environment based upon an anticipated 10:1 deduplication ratio.
  • All users at the conclusion of the call wish that, in hindsight, they had accelerated the deployment of data deduplication into their environment as it worked better and was more mature than they anticipated.

Speaking of deduplication, everyone now knows that EMC is in the process of acquiring Data Domain but I am sure everyone is wondering how well Data Domain’s team will play with EMC’s other deduplication folks. Initial feedback is that the Avamar and Data Domain sales representatives are sitting fat, dumb and happy right now. Apparently they are all being dual compensated for the next six (6) months on Avamar and Data Domain business.

Avamar and Data Domain reps aren’t the only ones getting a little extra compensation as CommVault users need to get their CommVault sales rep on the phone. Today, July 31st, is System Administrator Appreciation Day and in honor of being a CommVault user, Dave West announced on his blog that he will send you a free $5 Starbucks card. I don’t know when this offer expires so if you were lucky enough to be out of the office on Friday playing golf or hitting the beach, I’m sure CommVault will honor the request for at least a few weeks into August. If not, let me know and I’ll send Dave a personal email on your behalf.

Speaking of freebies, in the mail today I received a free Army green T-shirt from Spectra Logic that it sent to me for some survey or something I filled out a month or so ago. However I am not sure I will ever wear it anywhere in public. On the front it has a nurse with a big, fat happy smile on her face (seems like everyone is fat, dumb and happy in storage these days) holding up a square shaped object and saying, “Take ten of these and call me in the morning.”

Spectra Logic T-shirt2.JPGNow maybe everyone in the storage industry knows what the square thing is that she is holding (see picture above) but if someone outside of the industry were to see it, I’m not sure what they would think. As if to remove all doubt, my oldest son just walked into my office, looked at the shirt and the square thingamajig in the nurse’s hand and asked me, “What is she holding up?” I guess all of Spectra Logic’s tape sales into the porn industry are now starting to rub off on its marketing campaigns.

While I am sure there is more that I could share, that’s about it for this week as my kids want me to go out and play baseball or football or something with them before it gets too dark to see anything. At the age of 42, I’m already having trouble seeing small print up close and the last thing I want to see is a baseball or football the moment before it crashes into my face. Have a good weekend everyone!

Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Founder of DCIG, LLC Jerome Wendt is the President and Founder of DCIG, LLC., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in November 2007.

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