EMC 'Bringing the Sexy Back' to Data

When it comes to backup and recovery, IT is struggling to meet business demand within most enterprises--and the problem stands to get only worse. EMC believes the answer is a more open and agile protection storage architecture.

Wed, July 10, 2013

CIO — Backup isn't exactly the sexiest area within an IT organization. In many cases, it's perennially understaffed and under-resourced. But as data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity in the enterprise, and the volumes of data generated by the enterprise expand exponentially, backup is buckling under the strain. A new way of thinking about protection storage architecture may be required.

"Imagine a dam with a single, small sluice gate near the bottom, and there's water just gushing over the top," says Guy Churchward, president of Backup and Recovery Systems at EMC. That sluice gate represents your backup platform and the water represents your data. "Backup can't handle the load."

And worse is coming, Churchward says. If you were to pan the camera back from your little dam with water spilling over the top, you'd see 15 other raging rivers rushing toward you.

Protection Storage Fragmentation Disenfranchises IT

"We're on notice, as an organization to create a more open and agile infrastructure for protection storage," he says. "The bottleneck now is around the server. It's not us saying the competition is doing it wrong. It's us saying the way people are doing backup today isn't going to scale. It's actually going to create fragmentation and disenfranchise IT."

Today, Churchward says, users are addressing individual data protection challenges reactively, as they arise, and they're applying costly siloed or "one size fits all" products and solutions that are difficult to manage, optimize and pay for. You've got desktop backup, virtualized backup, cloud backup, different forms of backup for different applications. In effect, he says, organizations are creating "accidental architecture."

"Evolving data protection technology and expanding requirements have completely transformed the backup industry," writes Stephen Manley, CTO of Backup and Recovery Systems at EMC.

"Unfortunately, with such rapid change, many organizations have fallen into the chaos of an accidental architecture, Manley says. The backup team isnt solving critical protection performance challenges from the application, virtualization and storage teams, so those teams deploy silos of point products as they deem appropriate. The accidental architecture results. Its accidental because nobody would intentionally plan for half-dozen unconnected protection tools, no central oversight and no cost controls."

"Customers need to define a protection storage architecture to combat the accidental architecture," he adds. "This architecture should be composed of loosely coupled modules to minimize vendor lock-in while providing the value of integrated data protection. That way, the backup team can solve immediate challenges while delivering a platform that can evolve with business and technical requirements."

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