DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2017-18 Cloud Data Protection Appliance Buyer’s Guide developed from the backup appliance body of research. The DCIG 2017-18 Cloud Data Protection Appliance Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-two (22) products from six (6) vendors. Using ranking categories of Recommended and Excellent, this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which cloud data protection appliance will suit their needs.
Vendors first started bandying about the phrase “cloud data management” a year or so ago. While that phrase caught my attention, specifics as what one should expect when acquiring a “cloud data management” solution remained nebulous at best. Fast forward to this week’s Veritas Vision 2017 and I finally encountered a vendor that was providing meaningful details as to what cloud data management encompasses while simultaneously performing a 180 behind the scenes.
The prevailing wisdom is that if you back up your data you can recover from a ransomware attack. While this premise generally holds true, simply backing up your data no longer provides an absolute guarantee that you can recover from a ransomware attack. Here are three techniques that ransomware may use to circumvent existing backups and make your “good” backups bad.
In recent months and years, many have come to question VMware’s commitment to public clouds and containers used by enterprise data centers (EDCs). No one disputes that VMware has a solid footprint in EDCs and that it is in no immediate danger of being displaced. However, many have wondered how or if it will engage with public cloud providers such as Amazon as well as how it would address threats posed by Docker. At VMworld 2017, VMware showed new love for these two technologies that should help to alleviate these concerns.
Next-generation all-flash arrays will provide dramatic improvements in performance and density over the prior generation of all-flash arrays. These new levels of performance and density will bring the benefits of real-time analysis to a whole new set of problems and organizations, creating tremendous value. They will also enable organizations to achieve significant budget savings through a fresh wave of data center consolidations. But unlocking the ability of any next-generation array to deliver these savings depends on a key set of features that enable workload consolidation and simplified management.
The phrase “Cloud Data Protection Appliance” is included in the name of DCIG’s forthcoming Buyer’s Guide but the end game of each appliance covered in that Guide is squarely on recovery. While successful recoveries have theoretically always been the objective of backup appliances, vendors too often only paid lip service to that ideal as most of their new product features centered on providing better means for doing backups. Recent technology advancements have flipped this premise on its head.
The business case for organizations with petabytes of file data under management to classify and then place it across multiple tiers of storage has never been greater. By distributing this data across disk, flash, tape and the cloud, they stand to realize significant cost savings. The catch is finding a cost-effective solution that makes it easier to administer and manage file data than simply storing it all on flash storage. This is where a solution such as what Quantum now offers come into play.
The annual Flash Memory Summit is where vendors reveal to the world the future of storage technology. Many companies announced innovative products and technical advances at last week’s 2017 Flash Memory Summit that give enterprises a good understanding of what to expect from today’s all-flash products today as well as a glimpse into tomorrow’s products. These previews into the next generation of flash products revealed four flash memory trends sure to influence the development of the next generation of all-flash arrays.
As recently as a few years ago support for private and/or public cloud storage providers by enterprise data protection products was still a hit-or-miss proposition. Those days are essentially over. The vast majority of products minimally leverage cloud providers as cloud storage targets and, in many cases, use them for more advanced recovery options. But as support for the cloud has become commonplace, three specific new features appear on more of these products making them more flexible, manageable, and scalable while also serving to foretell what all these products will offer in the very near future.
Today organizations more so than ever are looking to move to software-defined data centers. Whether they adopt software-defined storage, networking, computing, servers, security, or all of them as part of this initiative, they are starting to conclude that a software-defined world trumps the existing hardware defined one. While I agree with this philosophy in principle, organizations need to carefully dip their toe into the software-defined waters and not dive head-first.
There are two assumptions that IT professionals need to exercise caution before making when evaluating cloud data protection products. One is to assume all products share some feature or features in common. The other is to assume that one product possesses some feature or characteristic that no other product on the market offers. As DCIG reviews its recent research into the cloud data protection products, one cannot make either one of these assumptions, even on features such as deduplication, encryption, and replication that one might expect to be universally adopted by these products in comparable ways.
Backup products have always sought to differentiate themselves by offering specific features that met different organizational needs. But at the end of the day, backup products primarily had to account for protecting the data that organizations had with these products placing a lower priority on recovery and cloud connectivity. Those days are largely over with all backup products (save a few) having transformed to offer cloud data protection with many of them providing a variety of cloud recovery options.
Ever since I got my first job in IT in the mid-1990’s, everyone has used a cloud in some form. Whether they referred to it as outsourcing, virtualization, central IT, or in some other way, the cloud existed and grew but it did little to stem the adoption of distributed computing. Yet at some point over the past few years, the parallel growth of these two technologies stopped and the cloud forged ahead. This shift indicates that companies have now fully embraced the cloud but remain unclear about how best and how soon to transition their IT infrastructure to the cloud and then manage it once it is there.
Organizations have come to the realization that using disk as a backup storage target does more than simply solve backup problems. It creates entirely new possibilities for recovery. But as they recognize these new opportunities, they also see the need for backup solutions that offer them new options for application availability and recoverability backed by ease of management. The latest DataPlaform 4.0 release from Cohesity moves organizations closer to this ideal.
In today’s business world where new technologies constantly come to market, there are signs that indicate when certain ones are gaining broader market adoption and ready to go mainstream. Such an event occurred this month when a backup solution purpose built for Nutanix was announced by Comtrade Software.
For many of us, commuting in rush hour with its traffic jams is an unpleasant fact of life. But I once had a job on the outer edge of a metropolitan area. I was westbound when most were eastbound. I often felt a little sorry for the mass of people stuck in traffic as I zoomed–with a smile on my face–in the opposite direction. Today there is a massive flow of workloads and their associated storage to the public cloud. But there are also a lot of companies moving workloads off the public cloud, and their reason is cloud economics.
The Internet has eliminated any excuses for not having access to the information that individuals need to make informed buying decisions about products and/or services. However, providing easy, ready insight that quickly and easily compares IT infrastructure solutions… well, let’s just say Google does not address that challenge. Using DCIG and its Competitive Intelligence Suite, organizations get the tools and services they need to first aggregate research on IT infrastructure solutions and then quickly and easily generate reports that compare product features and services.
While the overall economy and even the broader technology sector largely boom, the enterprise storage space is feeling the pinch. As storage revenues level off and even drop, many people with whom I spoke at this past week’s HPE Discover 2017 event shared their thoughts as to what is causing this situation. The short answer: there does not appear to be a single reason for the pullback in storage revenue but rather a perfect storm of events that is contributing to this situation. The good news is that this retrenching should ultimately benefit end-users.
Blockchain technology holds the potential to dramatically enhance global commerce and every supply chain. Unfortunately, the first real-world experience many organizations have had with it is using its implementation vis-à-vis Bitcoin to pay a ransom to cybercriminals who have encrypted their company’s files. The good news is that vendors like Nexsan see the upside of blockchain and are using it for more noble purposes: protecting files stored on its Unity Active Archive appliances.
It’s summer time and nothing typifies it more in the United States than a parade on one of its summer holidays. Keeping with this tradition, the Acronis Backup 12.5 release rolls out a parade of new features that help differentiate it in a crowded market. Leading its feature parade is the introduction of security software to authenticate preexisting backups; the flexibility to customize the names of archived backups; and, event-based backup scheduling all caught my eye as features that few other backup software products currently offer.