Posted by: Michael Tidmarsh
Cloud Computing, Virtualization
The event series Virtualization, Cloud and New Realities for Data Protection has now been completed to a chorus of appreciative accolades from excited participants. With strong attendance at the final event in New York last week, the series of five informal dinner gatherings across the U.S. attracted more than 100 IT professionals across a wide range of industries, all dealing with the challenges of handling data protection during a time of overwhelming data growth.
Across the event series, across the cities – from Boston to Chicago to Palo Alto, Houston and New York – there were certain themes that kept recurring for organizations dealing with data protection in today’s environment, particularly in addressing changes being wrought by the expansion of virtualization and cloud computing. Among the consistent and compelling themes were:
- Trust: This one kept coming up over and over again. As noted by storage expert Greg Shulz, who was the keynote speaker at all five events, “In the cloud, people were saying they don’t want to just blindly trust their data to anybody.” As organizations shift to cloud environments – whether public, private or hybrid – they put themselves in the position where their entire operations are dependent upon the availability of the cloud. Downtime, data loss, or other disruptions can be devastating. They are looking for “certainty” in their data protection solutions.
- Productivity Improvements: The challenges these days tend to get intertwined – not only are organizations creating and saving more data than ever, they are also facing tight budgets so they have to be far more efficient in utilizing modern storage solutions to keep costs down, enable scalability and support enhanced agility. With the growth of virtualization and the cloud, the issues are moving towards strategic discussions around how virtual machines and clouds can enable portability, flexibility, backup, disaster recovery and high availability.
- Identifying the Source of the Challenge: This is one of the points that really resonated, according to Shulz, who is founder and senior advisor at The Server and StorageIO Group (StorageIO). He likened data protection to driving a car – if you keep getting flat tires, rather than just changing the tires again and again, you have to find out why they keep getting flat and address the underlying challenge. Shulz advised to “move upstream” to find the source of the problem and then “come downstream” to apply the right technology solutions, whether they are deduplication, compressing, tiering, archiving or others.
The other consistent them across the event series was the strength of Quantum in addressing the unique challenges involved in “modernizing” data protection to address the new realities inherent in supporting virtualization and cloud computing. David Chapa, chief technology evangelist at Quantum was also a presenter at the dinner meetings and he focused on how the Quantum family of data protection solutions delivers “certainty” in dealing with today’s most pressing challenges, including:
- Big Data with tiered solutions and wide-area storage that enable organizations to maximize revenue and results by extracting full value from their data, no matter where it is in its lifecycle.
- Data Protection with deduplication systems and tape libraries that optimize backup and recovery, simplify management and lower costs. Also with all-in-one virtual server backup and disaster recovery solutions that protect virtual environments while minimizing impact to servers and storage.
- Cloud Computing, with a wide range of technology solutions that enable cloud backup and disaster recovery for physical and virtual servers.
As part of the presentations, Chapa pointed to several organizations that have been able to successfully deploy data protection solutions from Quantum to improve performance and save money in virtualization and cloud computing use cases. The Bend Memorial Clinic in Bend, Ore., is using a Quantum N-tier solution consisting of DXi deduplication, Scalar library, vmPRO software and Vision management. With the new solution in place, backups are six times faster and IT is delivering a four-fold improvement in productivity. At Xerox, Quantum has enabled cloud backup and disaster recovery through Quantum DXi V1000 virtual deduplication appliances and vmPRO data protection. With the Quantum solution in place, Xerox has been able to capitalize on a new market opportunity with the “certainty” of enterprise-class backup and disaster recovery.
Although the event series is over, the themes that brought all of these IT professionals together will continue to resonate for a long time to come. Data growth is only going to get more challenging, and the opportunities creating by virtualization and cloud computing will continue to create new issues for organizations of all types. Fortunately, visionary vendors such as Quantum not only have the advanced solutions available to address your most difficult challenges, they are also committed to listening and creating unique forums such as these to discuss what it takes to enable the new realities of virtualization and cloud computing to reach their full potential. Keep an eye out for further educational opportunities from Quantum and check out their industry-leading solutions for modernizing data protection.