One of the most vexing problems in enterprise data centers today is the lack of information that those in charge of data centers have about the infrastructure that they manage. When I used to work for a Fortune 500 company it was like pulling teeth to try to get the base line information that I needed even in order to understand how to manage the infrastructure and this was before the advent of server virtualization. These problems certainly have not decreased and, if anything, organizations now have less time, less money and probably less people but a greater need than ever to understand their infrastructure so they can manage it.
Category: Asigra Inc
Enterprise data protection software is experiencing a fundamental shift in terms of what organizations expect it to deliver and the amount of distributed structured and unstructured data that it needs to protect. As recently as a few years ago, the expectations of enterprise organizations were relatively modest – support for most major operating systems, integration with major applications (MS Exchange, Oracle, etc.) and tape library support – as compared to today’s standards. While some of those requirements still hold true today, more has changed than has stayed the same. This is putting a great deal of pressure on data protection products to swiftly evolve.
Most businesses small and large have many IT needs but one that they continue to focus on as they move into a completely paperless world is data protection and, more specifically, data recovery. They know their current in-house backup and recovery processes are often less than adequate so when they ask hard questions like, “How long can I afford to be without my data?” and “What does losing that data mean to the company and the company’s public reputation?”, they don’t like the answers. But what IT managers are surprised to learn as they look to move to a SaaS offering based on a cloud-based computing architecture for their backup and recovery services, they find there are many options from which to choose.
To say that organizations are approaching 2009 with more than just a little apprehension would be an understatement. Scandals are rocking the financial markets on an almost daily basis. There is the looming threat of new legislation in 2009 which will make it more expensive to conduct business going forward. And, in the US, nearly 700,000 individuals in the private sector lost jobs in the month of December alone – Yikes! That leaves those left in organizations trying to figure out new ways to deliver the same amount of value and services with less money and people and nothing is more clearly in the sights of businesses than lowering their IT costs and keeping them under control.
However as the number of MSPs proliferate, the decision about which MSP to dial up gets harder, not easier, since more and more VARs are jumping on the SaaS bandwagon to offer Managed Backup Services. Further, companies need to quantify their own needs and expectations as they select an MSP. Below are some examples of questions that they need to ask and answer internally and externally before making this important decision.
Offering the appropriate technology solutions to your internal business customers is a priority for any technology manager that desires to provide high levels of service at the lowest possible costs, particularly in the troubling economic times that we are living in today. However, knowing when to pull the trigger and outsource a critical IT function such as backup versus making further investments in infrastructure choice is not so cut-and-dry when your name is on the dotted line. Further, every IT manager now regularly faces the “Do I continue investing in hardware and software upgrades to support the data growth in the data center and remote locations ?”, or “Should I start leveraging the backup services of a Managed Service Provider via a cloud computing offering?” conundrum.
Any storage architect or administrator that has ever dared to accept the challenge of engineering or re-designing their company’s backup and recovery environment has undoubtedly discovered that he or she has had to sacrifice functionality or features based on the practical limits of their budget. Reasons for this vary from vendor to vendor, but mostly it comes down to how many backup and recovery software options are they willing to pay for? Most vendors offer reasonably good licensing for the core software, but once you step outside of that realm, some of the most basics features are not included.
Anyone who works as an end-user is continually confronted with crafting SLAs for various infrastructure components. Aggravating the situation, once SLAs are signed-off on, it is nearly impossible to make changes without completely rocking the boat so it is extremely important to get it right from day one.
When server and storage managers out there hear the “A-Word” (Agents) come up in a conversation with a software vendor, they typically cringe, and think to themselves, “Oh great, another set of agents that I have to not only deploy but that I have to manage and track.” In the server world, some agents are unavoidable, like performance/security monitoring, virus and worm detection and prevention etc.
The benefits that continuous data protection (CDP) technology provides as part of a company’s overall data protection strategy are becoming more evident everyday. Point-in-time restores, faster recoveries and off-site replication of data for disaster recoveries are just some of the benefits that companies using CDP are already experiencing. However one of the challenges that companies may encounter as they look to deploy CDP that may hinder or even prevent its adoption is the need to deploy host agents on servers.