Today, I talk to Jay Livens, an expert on the topic of backup and data protection, about the latest news around HP StoreOnce deduplication software. As always, there's more content on the blog post so I recommend you click on the title of this article or the "read more..." link below. Here are the two power podcasts with Jay.
Here's part two of my power podcast with Brad Parks taking about our March 1 HP Storage announcement.
Before they packed up the HP Tech Forum solution showcase, I visited the three demos of the products we announced on the first day, HP StoreOnce deduplication software, P4800, and EVA Cluster.
By Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy
On today's podcast, we talk about the HP Total Care announcement with HP StorageWorks Marketing Manager Chris McCall. The announcement today has three StorageWorks components:
- HP LeftHand P4000 SAN Solutions - new application integrated snapshots that integrates the P4000 replication software with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). This integration ensures application quiescing when creating point-in-time copies, simplifying the process
- HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System - new NAS target for backup allows customers to create and backup to a CIFS and/or NFS-based file share and its provided free of charge. While many customers will find NAS-based backup a desirable feature, small and midsized customers will find this most useful.
- HP StorageWorks DAT 320 Tape Drives - this is the seventh generation of DAT with 2X the capacity, 75% higher performance and around 50% less power than the previous generation DAT.
So with that, here's the podcast:
By Calvin Zito
My good friend Sal Simili is a jack of all trades at Compass Public Charter School in Meridian, Idaho just outside of Boise. Sal has been the IT manager (initially as a volunteered when the school was first starting) and also teaches a technology class at Compass.
He was an early adopter of our HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System. A couple of weeks ago, Sal and I were catching up over coffee at a local Moxie Java. During the conversation, he mentioned to me that he had to restore a file from the D2D. He told me that he has the D2D set up to do regular, nightly backups of his data using HP Data Protector Express. This all happens automatically, which was the cool part of what he talked to me about. It's all so automatic that he forgot the D2D was there. He told me that he does a weekly full backup to a removable disk drive that he takes offsite so ait was easy to forget about the D2D.
I asked Sal to send me an email describing what happened and here's what he said: "I had to restore a file that was lost (for the first time in a long time). I had almost forgot that the D2D was there because I rarely need to restore a file. I was able to get my file back with no problem. Then I decided to take a look at the web interface to see how the D2D machine was doing. It had been running for 378 days without a reboot. I checked through the logs and it had kept backing up our data every night without a glitch. That's kinda bad because I should check it more often but we really use it as a disaster recovery more than normal file recovery. I was very impressed that the machine had been running over a year without reboot and without errors! Tell your friends at StorageWorks that you guys are building some pretty awesome machines."
Here's a video that gives a good introduction to the D2D Backup System.
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail at home that started off:
Dear Sir or Madam,
We are writing to let you know that computer tapes containing some of your personal information were lost while being transported to an off-site storage facility by our archive services vendor. While we have no reason to believe that this information has been accessed or used inappropriately, we deeply regret that this incident occurred....
So the first question I have is how does an archive vendor lose tapes? How hard can it be to take the tapes from your customer put them in a secure truck and drive them to the storage facility? Isn't that your whole business model - you will pick up, transport and store these tapes safely and securely 100% of the time?
Now I understand that any activity with humans involved cannot be guaranteed to work 100% of the time. So what really happened? A bit more of an explanation would have been helpful, such as the truck was in an inadvertent accident and the contents of the truck were spilled into a river or all over the highway and could not all be recovered. Without more details I'm left wondering did someone make off with the tapes by accident or on purpose? Or was this just sloppy work by the company?
Anyway, I hope this is a call to action for this company to do at least two things to prevent such an incident in the future.
1. Look into tape encryption such as the LTO-4 offers. I would have been more much pleased if that second sentence read "While the tapes were physically lost, the data they contained cannot be accessed or read by anyone because the data on the tapes is securely encrypted with sophisticated technology requiring encryption keys to make the data readable. Our security policy ensures that these keys are always stored in or transported to physically separate locations from the computer tapes."
2. Consider the use of replication and electronic vaulting for moving data off-site for archiving. With new technologies such as deduplication and low-bandwidth replication, this company would perhaps be able to reduce the amount of data that is stored on tapes and physically transported to archive storage. Again, I don't know the specifics here, but as an example let's say this company had four sites that they were backing up to data to tape and transporting those tapes to off-site archives. With replication and electronic vaulting, they could replicate data from three of their sites to just one site for backup to tapes and then only have to move tapes from the one site to archive storage thereby reducing their risk exposure by 75%.
If you're worried about how a similar incident could impact your company and what risks are involved HP is here to help. We can work with you to significantly reduce your data security exposure from the desktop to your data center. On the storage side, we offer a FREE storage security risk assessment. For more details on HP's other data security options beyond storage please check HP's Security web page.
By Jim Hankins
If you remember back in my HP Deduplication - Part 1 post when we announced our new deduplication products back in June, I said that the deduplication ratio you can expect from a product can vary based on a number of factors. We now can share with you deduplication test results from our D2D4000 Backup System conducted by a 3rd party, Binary Testing Ltd.
Binary Testing conducted testing that backed up and deduplicated data for file serving, SQL and Exchange environments with various data change rates over a simulated three month backup period. The results can be found here: http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA2-0799ENW.pdf
Again, your mileage may vary but this report should give you some idea of what's possible if your business runs these types of applications.
I wanted to share a response I made on an EMC blog called, "The Backup Blog."
We will also be sharing a response for our VLS product as well. There was too much to respond to in one post! Stay tuned!
As a Product Manager for the HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System product line, I wanted to respond to your blog entry on July 16th, 2008, entitled "HP's Whac-A-Mole VTL".
First, I would like to agree with you that our D2D Backup Systems may be limited in scalability and capacity - that is, depending on one's perspective. For a large Enterprise or data center, this is certainly true. However, these products are positioned for small and mid-range businesses (SMB), as well as for remote/branch office sites (ROBO), that require improved backup and restore capabilities over traditional backup to tape (disk-to-tape) data protection schemes.
Rather than take the approach of many other storage vendors, including EMC, which try to "tweak" higher-end solutions to meet the needs of smaller customers (think square peg, round hole), HP has designed a portfolio of disk-based data protection solutions specifically for customers that have smaller budgets and storage requirements.
Our new D2D Backup Systems, which you reference, range from 3TB to 9TB, offer comparable (if not better) performance than other solutions within the same class of disk-based storage products, and are priced starting at $6500 for a complete system (including the deduplication software).
Additionally, by using inline, hash-based deduplication (which you fail to mention), we are compatible with a wide range of backup applications that customers already have installed - unlike the EMC Avamar solution which requires customers to "rip and replace" their current backup applications.
HP's D2D Backup Systems are easy to install (typically, in less than an hour) and are just as easy to manage, requiring little, if any, need for expensive installation/service/support contracts (ala EMC, IBM, Data Domain). Also, HP's D2D Backup Systems utilize target-based deduplication (again, which you fail to mention) which is far less dependent on client resources and much less likely to impact the availability and performance of client applications - unlike source-based deduplication solutions such as EMC Avamar.
For years, I have seen press releases and heard EMC executives tout their dedication to providing SMB solutions. EMC purchased Dantz Retrospect, partnered with Dell, and created the Insignia product line - all in the name of garnering market share in the fastest growing IT customer segment - the SMB segment. Yet, EMC continues to build Enterprise solutions, then remove a few hard drives, take away a bit software, and then claim it has solutions for the SMB segment. Sorry folks, that's not how it's done. You can't claim to cater to small businesses when your pricing starts at $20K to $50K for a low-end data protection solution. While EMC may sell some volume in the mid-range segment (everybody and their brother competes there!), I think you have missed the boat on smaller businesses which comprise 80% to 85% of worldwide businesses. Probably time to check your market research...
Lastly, on the topic of product names, as you so thoughtfully pointed out how bad "D2D" was, I think the uninformed IT customer would find EMC's product names quite amusing - Avamar, DL 3D, Centera, Clariion, and Celerra. My bet is that the uninformed IT customer would think that your either selling pharmaceuticals to middle-aged men (if you get my point) or selling props from an episode of Battlestar Galactica.
Thanks and look forward to our future conversations.
Product Manager for the HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System product line