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DPMS Pioneer Bocada Adds Virtualization, Opens Up SMB Markets

Calling itself the leader in data protection management software (DPMS), Bocada is addressing a gap in backup management reporting caused by the growth of virtualization. Its Vision offering, a DPMS product that manages data protection in virtual environments, is available as a stand-alone offering or in a module for the company's Prism product that bridges the gap between physical and virtual protection.

According to a recent survey from Enterprise Strategy Group, virtualization complicates data protection because organizations must look to products that will not only protect the physical environment but also integrate into the virtual environment. However, if virtualization adds complexity to the data protection puzzle, it also offers the possibility of a simpler, more holistic approach to business continuity, disaster recovery and high availability, especially as it gains more momentum and maturity in the market, says ESG.

Due to ship Nov. 15, Vision addresses a variety of reporting issues, including whether virtual machines are recoverable, whether backups were successful, where recovery points are, what resources are being used to protect VMs and whether they are optimized, how much capacity is used by snaps and backups, whether VMs overprotected, and the performance impact of protecting VMs.

Bocada says it has taken the infrastructure that users have already set up under VMware vCenter and is bringing it into Vision. It partnered with VMware, the virtualization leader, but Microsoft HyperV and SystemCenter are on the company's roadmap and expected to be addressed early next year, the company says.

An agentless solution that queries and talks to other backup applications, Bocada's solution has primarily attracted the midrange enterprise and up, but the company now believes it can expand its addressable market to small and midsize businesses. In addition to being an elite partner with VMware, the company has partnered with Quest (supporting vRanger Pro) and Veeam (Backup & Replication).

Bocada's service management solution, Prism, is workflow driven and supports a wide range of backup applications, including IBM TSM, Symantec NetBackup, BackupExec, PureDisk, EMC Networker, Avamar, HP DataProtector, CA BrightStor, Commvault Galaxy, Syncsort and Microsoft DPM 2010. Unlike reporting functions within backup applications that are specific to that application, Prism can collect, aggregate and enable analysis for multiple backup applications.

ESG senior analyst Lauren Whitehouse says that Vision fits a lot of new requirements for monitoring data protection in virtualized environments. "Virtualization adds a layer of complexity since the platform is abstracting physical resources. Bocada can answer questions like, 'Is my backup policy compliant?' where that information may be at the ready."

She says an ESG survey found that most organizations (62%) currently use different backup vendors/solutions for physical and virtual systems. "Bocada has the ability to collect and present data from multiple backup vendors, streamlining monitoring and management. Another situation is that more and more storage systems' data protection features are being leveraged. [Sixty percent of ESG survey respondents cite the use of storage array-based snapshot technology to create restore points for virtual machine volumes on a SAN.] It’s difficult to determine compliance because, without a solution like Bocada Vision, you might have to manually map which VMs belong to which storage volume."

ESG research has shown that there is no correlation between virtualization adoption/maturity and size of company, says Whitehouse. "So, companies large and small are going to be facing challenges in monitoring and managing the data protection aspects of their virtualized environment. VMware has reported in the past that a significant [more than half] amount of their sales are to the SMB segment, so the opportunity is there for Bocada to have an impact with this class of customer … in addition to enterprise-scale accounts which have been Bocada’s bread and butter."

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