The big news out of IDC is that in December 2011 it upped its forecast as to how quickly it expects the purpose built backup appliance (PBBA) market to grow in the years to come. But this heightened revenue forecast provides a glimpse into why enterprises are selecting PBBAs and which providers they are choosing. Among these reasons, it appears clear that enterprises view PBBAs as an effective solution to address their backup challenges with EMC their top choice as it already holds a big lead in the PBBA market and is poised to extend it further going forward.
Looking back at the two fall VMworld 2011 conferences, there were more sessions available on how organizations could protect their VMware environments than many could probably attend in a month. Further, each of these sessions presented a number of backup and recovery tips that left organizations the task of sorting through and then prioritizing which ones to implement. Among these tips presented, three emerged that every shop should look to adopt regardless of how they move forward with the protection of their VMware infrastructure as a whole.
EMC has seen that organizations spend approximately $4 billion annually on backup and recovery software yet still struggle to fully realize the full value of this investment. To close this gap EMC has done a substantial amount of work over the last couple of years to integrate its Avamar, NetWorker and Data Domain solutions. The end result is new flexibility for its channel partners to configure these individual products in various combinations so they may be deployed and function as a single, logical solution in small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).
The move from tape to disk as a primary backup target had raised serious questions about what the future held for data protection and recovery management (DPRM) software. The argument was that with disk replacing tape in the backup process, why would anyone need DPRM software? Turns out, the reasons for companies continuing to deploy DPRM software are even more compelling than before.
Buried in IBM’s Q4 2010 earnings report were two factoids that reveal the key role that the mainframe continues to play in enterprise environments today – IBM reported a 58% increase in MIPs growth and a 69% increase in mainframe sales. These increases clearly signal that the mainframe is alive and well but it also means that the mainframe continues to generate data that needs to be accessed, protected, stored and recovered in ways unique to the mainframe. It is these specific needs that EMC’s new Disk Library for the mainframe, the DLm6000, addresses even as it puts the squeeze on the use of tape in mainframe environments.
The introduction of the vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) VMware vSphere 4 contributed to making virtual machine (VM) backups easier to accomplish. But vendors are just starting to tap into VADP’s restore capabilities. Evidence that is beginning to occur appeared again a couple of weeks ago when EMC announced the ability for Avamar 6.0 to do faster VM recoveries as well as better leverage Avamar’s integrated file system to do file level restores from VM image-based backups.
To date EMC’s deduplication solutions broke down primarily into one of two camps: EMC Avamar or EMC Data Domain. The only problem with offering deduplication in these two variations is that as organizations redesign their backup infrastructures, they are put in a position where making a decision as to which deduplication solution to use becomes an either/or choice. Today’s announcement that EMC has integrated Avamar with Data Domain means organizations no longer have to make that call.
Depending on whose numbers you believe, enterprise organizations may achieve deduplication ratios that range anywhere from as low as 4x to as high as 500x. Yet these ratios primarily make for good headlines and are only seen in rare circumstances in real world enterprise environments. Further, these numbers are of little use when enterprises are trying to set realistic deduplication expectations.
Moving from “D2D2T” to “D2D2D” is sometimes seen as an unattainable hurdle that enterprise organizations cannot overcome when tape is used for secondary roles such as archiving or disaster recovery (DR). But replacing the “T” in “D2D2T” with a “D” is now practical, possible and affordable. Doing so simply means enterprises need to demonstrate that disk offers the same or more functionality than tape when used in these capacities while costing the same or less.
If past VMworld conferences are any indication, more than 10,000 individuals will head to San Francisco the last week of this month looking for the latest advancements and news regarding VMware at VMworld 2010. But with so many organizations confronted with new backup challenges that are part and parcel of any VMware implementation, as well as looking to take advantage of the new recovery options that it creates, do not be surprised if data protection steals some of the spotlight at this year’s event.
How target-based deduplication solutions are implemented going forward may have just been permanently altered after this week’s announcement from EMC. While EMC simultaneously announced a number of new Data Domain features, its implementation of global deduplication in the GDA through its heightened integration with backup software changes some assumptions as to how one should think about target-based data deduplication architectures going forward.