Data Protection Suite Update Reinforces EMC’s ITaaS Focus

Storage (and virtualization, and security, and…) powerhouse EMC is making a number of innovations to its Data Protection Suite (DPS) portfolio, including data protection-as-a-service (DPaaS). The new products and integrations enable customers to deliver a complete spectrum of data protection and availability capabilities as a holistic, consumable service, said Guy Churchward, President, Data Protection and Availability Division, in a prepared statement. “Data protection-as-a-service is a key tenant for establishing effective protection for software-defined enterprises — a ‘bedrock’ that needs to be in place for organizations to confidently transition to 3rd platform software infrastructures.”

According to a new study from CompTIA, only 3 in 10 organizations have adopted managed IT services in some form, pointing to a need for more end-user education, especially as organizations rank reducing costs and improving staff productivity as top priorities for the next year.

Of firms that have contracted with a managed service provider, 57% said that cost-savings (both in terms of hard dollars and soft resources) drove the decision to do so. Other highlights from the study include:

-around 6 in 10 medium and large businesses reported the ability to free up existing IT staff to work on strategic projects as a major factor in their managed services adoption; and,

-roughly 7 in 10 medium and large firms turned to a managed services provider to become more proactive about technology in their organizations.

“For those companies who are using managed services there is a high level of satisfaction,” said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “But choosing the managed services route is a major organizational decision, one that must be weighed against handling IT internally, and one that requires many steps to make a successful transition.”

In a briefing with IT Trends & Analysis Rob Emsley, Senior Director of Product Marketing in Churchward’s division, said these announcements, coming just 9 months after the July DPS-related news (and the May 2013 EMC World DPS launch) “literally shows this is an area of major focus. The focus is on our belief that data protection needs to evolve.”

It really fits into the as-a-service model across the board, he said. “Data protection is no different.” This announcement is a continuation across our portfolio to deliver data protection differently, Emsley said.

These announcements reflect EMC’s ability to address the full spectrum of data protection needs in customer environments, said Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in another canned quote. “Delivery of data protection as-a-service, together with the ability to solve for the full ‘continuum’ of protection requirements and consolidate workloads to a single protection storage platform, presents strong underpinnings for EMC’s long-range vision for data protection in next generation IT environments.”

IT is moving faster than ever, and data protection needs to evolve in lock-step to help bolster the never ending march of IT innovation, said Emsley for the July announcements. Those solutions help organizations “eliminate accidental architectures and deploy Protection Storage Architectures that scale WITHOUT unnecessary cost and complexity.”

In November EMC unveiled its new and improved, more-enterprise-friendly Mozy cloud data protection service, bringing together endpoint protection and productivity features. The company said it had seen growing interest from larger organizations, which is why was moved into the BRS division.

The latest announcements include a growing focus on the role of software-defined infrastructure and the evolution of virtualization, something both ourselves and have been talking about for the last couple of years, said Emsley. “Software defined infrastructure is all about flexibility and speed.”

The market appears to support EMC’s vision, he added. If you think about software that is available in DPS, literally in the 10 months on from the EMC World announcement, “50% of our data protection business is driven by customers that acquire capabilities through the DPS!” According to IDC, EMC grew its data protection software business 30% in the fourth quarter, and picked up 3% market share, added Emsley.

The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)

The EMC Data Protection Suite is intended to optimize both on-premise and -based backup and archive environments, and consists of , NetWorker, Data Protection Advisor, Mozy and SourceOne software offerings. New capabilities include:

-Snapshot Management for Isilon, and NetApp arrays to improve protection for NAS-based data;

-deep support for VMware and Microsoft cloud infrastructures via unique integration with VMware vCloud Director and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

-full integration between Avamar and provides the best that both platforms can offer; and,

-enhanced security features and new Linux support for Mozy public clouds enables greater adoption by enterprise customers.

Data Domain Operating System enhancements extend its support far beyond just backup to establish it as a cornerstone for enabling delivery of data protection as-a-service. New capabilities include:

-the introduction of Data Domain for Enterprise Applications empowers application admins to protect their own environments with support for , SAP, , DB2 and SQL Server;

-new multi-tenancy support for cloud deployments enables Data Domain systems to deliver secure isolation for large enterprises and service providers and effectively function as a protection storage platform in data protection as-a-service deployments; and,

-archive storage enhancements include support for billions of files and legal hold for compliance, further broadening Data Domain’s ecosystem and use cases.

New software releases for VPLEX and RecoverPoint product lines feature:

-VPLEX Virtual Edition, which allows deployment of VPLEX as a low-cost virtual appliance, bringing VPLEX continuous availability and data mobility to VMware-centric mid-tier organizations;

-VPLEX and RecoverPoint integration to deliver new MetroPoint topology, an industry-unique, advanced availability plus disaster recovery configuration that provides continuous operations for 2 data center sites, remote replication to a third site, continuous data protection for all three sites and the ability to sustain a two site failure.

All products will be generally available in second quarter of 2014. In addition, the service will provide specific strategic and design insights into customer environments and practices, along with recommendations for improvement and advancing their current data protection operations towards a Data Protection-as-a-Service model with lower cost, less risk, and better performance.

Author: Steve Wexler

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