Data Protection: Takeaways from VMworld, Living in a Software-Defined World

Last week, I had the pleasure of supporting HP marketing at VMworld San Francisco 2013.  The week was filled with a StephenSpellicyVMWorld.jpghost of meetings with customers, partners and analysts.  There was a ton of buzz around the evolution of the “software-defined data center” and the use of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in the hybrid cloud.   As a product manager for HP Software who has personally been software-defined for years, I couldn’t be happier.

 

My time at the show was best spent talking to existing customers/future prospects as to what their virtual data protection challenges are in this new software-defined world, with a focus on helping those that are all struggling with the daunting challenge of managing massive virtual data center sprawl.

 

Unless you have been living under a rock, you likely have heard that customers are experiencing a virtual data deluge. Virtualization is the key growth area, consuming storage and taxing the backup/recovery process within the enterprise data center. 

 

If you look at the amount of virtual vs. physical server deployment from 2010 to 2014, you can see that customers have seen a steadily and rapid deployment of virtual machines instead of physical servers, which has a direct impact on the growth related to consumption of storage resources responsible for storing virtual machines (VMs).

 

 Virtualizating Data Center.png

 

The problem is it’s just too easy to deploy VMs. Within a few minutes you can have a host of new virtualized applications running in your data center or across multiple sites.   Virtual data protection becomes an afterthought when VM provisioning is done at light speed. Customers are also so focused on solving the just-in-time provisioning process to deliver IT-as-a-Service at scale that it’s very easy for them to forget that they need to protect those virtual eggs in the their virtual data center basket.

 

Let’s face it, when we define backup/recovery policy (virtual or otherwise), it’s more or less “a point in time” task. We choose what we want to protect (VMs, snapshots, mission critical apps) and to where we would like it protected to (tape, disk, cloud, etc.).  At the rate of massive change we are seeing in today’s data center, we almost need to look back every 6 months at what we have deployed and “look ahead” to predict what we may need to protect in the next 6 months.  It has to be an iterative process and it needs to be intelligent & informed.

 

In order to meet the challenges of VM data protection at scale within the software-defined data center, you really need a backup/recovery solution that is:

 

  1. Tightly integrated into the virtual infrastructure (hypervisor API integration, with virtual awareness) – features full automation and advanced recovery scenarios, from recovering single items, VM image level, to entire datastores
  2. More scalable in terms of backup architecture – able to handle billions to trillions of catalog entries to accommodate the volume, velocity, and the variety of data sources you need to protect
  3. Fully able to address both traditional application protection needs and virtual data protections-  able to deal with protecting both the physical & virtual world within a single, easy to use approach

 

 Data Protection 3 Levels.png

 

The beauty of a software-defined data center strategy is that it still needs hardware to serve it.  As we blend the two worlds together, we enable intelligent automation, orchestration and provisioning into the software layer. Making it more aware of the underlying hardware, to make better use of it and make it more efficient.  So before we all declare the era of hardware dead, let’s know forget that one can’t exist without the other.

 

HP Data Protection functions in this exact manner -- we couple our software intelligence tightly with our highly scalable server/storage hardware.  HP’s StoreOnce and HP’s Data Protector, leverages a single deduplication algorithm that works in hardware and in software to achieve maximum storage efficiency for backup/recovery in both physical and virtual environments. Read more about this solution.

 

As I look forward to the VMworld Europe event next month (Barcelona, October 15-17) and with my ear to the ground as to where technology is headed, software-defined or otherwise, I find it’s pretty simple -- it’s all about achieving greater levels of efficiency and providing customers with a better return on investment (whether that be their time, money or resources).  

 

I am also excited to see VMware mature their positioning, as well as the ecosystem of ISVs supporting them, as they continue to evolve their position on the software-defined data center message/vision.  For certain HP will be there to support our customers along the way.

 

See you in Barcelona!

Labels: Data Protection
Comments
Jailton(anon) | ‎11-03-2013 05:22 AM

com o futuro chegando e a web 3.0 se tornando cada dia mais uma realidade para todos nós acharia interessante se fizesse um tópico a respeito dela. valeu pelo post!

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About the Author
Stephen Spellicy is known as a virtualization and data protection subject matter expert with 17+ years of experience in the technology indus...


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