As 2009 approaches, the traditional benchmarks for enterprise backup software such as the management of physical tape libraries, support for multiple operating systems and SAN backups are yesterday’s news. Instead support for backup to disk, continuous data protection (CDP), protection for laptops and desktops and a common repository where protected data is stored, deduplicated and available for rapid access and search is how enterprise data protection software is now defined and measured. Yet even when one factors in these new benchmarks for enterprise data protection, how products such as Atempo Time Navigator play in this rapidly evolving space, and in which verticals they best play, are less than intuitive to the untrained eye.
Over the last couple of years Atempo Time Navigator has taken some notable steps to optimize its existing portfolio of products as well as capitalize on features originally built into it to benefit companies in the following ways:
- Centralize laptop and desktop protection under Time Navigator’s management console. A little over two years ago Atempo acquired Storactive for its Live Backup software that provides desktop and laptop data protection though they still operated as two separate products for the majority of this time. Now Atempo has completed Live Backup’s integration with Time Navigator. Integration these two products allows for the data backed up by Live Backup to be indexed by Time Navigator so companies can centrally index, manage, search and restore desktop and laptop data along with enterprise server data protected under the umbrella of the Time Navigator management console.
- Mitigate the need to procure purpose-built VTLs. In the last few years disk has become a bigger component of more enterprise data protection schemes for two obvious reasons – backups and restores complete successfully and in less time. However companies often need to purchase virtual tape libraries (VTLs) that act as storage devices. Using Atempo Time Navigator, companies can avoid the need to purchase a purpose-built VTL by using the VTL feature found natively in Time Navigator that can them manage existing or new disk storage systems as a VTL
- Better capabilities to archive and manage data across the entire organization. Hierarchical storage management (HSM) is part of Time Navigator’s foundation but as Atempo brought Live Backup under its fold, it extended Time Navigator’s HSM capabilities out to desktops and laptops so they the same benefits of storage management and data retention are extended to them as to enterprise servers. To facilitate this, Atempo earlier this year introduced its Digital Archive feature that added policy based archiving, file deduplication and search capabilities to its HSM offering. Further, it created new alliances with Permabit and Nexsan so companies have appropriate storage options for the storage and growth of their archived data stores.
Yet these features alone do not really separate Atempo from the data protection crowd and, frankly, some of these were overdue on Atempo’s part if it expected to remain competitive in the enterprise data protection space. The more interesting developments in terms of what Atempo is up to has to do with its increasing focus on support for the media and entertainment industries.
The media and entertainment industries are traditionally heavy users of the Macintosh operating system and these companies have the same data protection and archiving needs as other enterprise organizations. The main difference is they can not readily turn to more well-known enterprise data protection vendors because they have a unique problem: they need for enterprise data protection and archiving software that supports the Mac. That is where Atempo enters the scene. Atempo Time Navigator 4.2 coupled with Atempo’s recent Digital Archive (ADA) for Mac announcement now provides these companies access to the same functionality and features that other companies with Windows and UNIX servers have had access to for some time.
Growing and competing in the enterprise data protection space is a tough business as there are few, if any, green fields left in the enterprise data protection space. However what makes Atempo’s recent move into the media and entertainment industry and its expanded support of Mac interesting in the short term is that Atempo is still identifying some doors of opportunity that their competitors are failing to fill. Longer term this merits watching because other companies such as Omneon are reporting increasing success in selling video storage systems into Fortune 500 companies. As these size companies take video and entertainment development and production in-house, they will need the appropriate products to protect that data. As that occurs, don’t be surprised to find Atempo finding new doors and opportunities open in the process.