Startups Strive to Save Backup

Reporting and monitoring packages expand to tie business policies to backup

November 9, 2005

2 Min Read
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Several startups are taking aim at a key problem faced by storage administrators -- backup reporting.

Bocada and a handful of other so-called "data protection management" startups -- including WysDM, Illuminator Software, ServerGraph, and Tek-Tools -- originally sprung up to provide solutions to problems that backup software vendors had failed to address. (See WysDM Software.) They all monitor backups and create reports to help administrators determine if there were problems during backups, what caused the problems, and how they can be fixed.

Now these startups are broadening their products to include the ability to set business policies around backups.

For instance, the recently announced Bocada Enterprise 4 package lets administrators track data protection resources to specific business priorities and service levels. (See Bocada Intros Enterprise 4.) It includes a feature that alerts administrators if they are meeting service-level and compliance requirements and allows them to search for non-compliant assets.

WysDM also upgraded its software last month to add service-level and compliance features, and Servergraph added a compliance module in September. (See WysDM Software and Servergraph Unveils Module .)Chris Jacobs, service manager for data protection for a company that runs several Websites, likes the control Bocada's package provides. She says she started using Bocada software four years ago because of woeful reporting in her EMC and Veritas backup applications.

"We were having all kinds of problems," Jacobs says. "We were running multiple backup platforms, and they had no reporting. We couldn't do things like trending, capacity planning, and chargeback. It was very hard to do a budget."

Jacobs charges her company's individual business units according to the amount of data they back up. This has the effect of reducing the use of resources. "You're more accountable if you have to pay for it," she says.

The idea, according to Bocada CEO Mark Silverman, is to allow administrators like Jacobs to act as service providers for internal users. "An admin tells users -- for this cost, this is what you can expect for restore times," he says.

But sometimes efficiencies lead to higher expectations. "Now we're looking at other extra things our users want," Jacobs says. "We'll be looking at disk storage, CDP, things like that."Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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