Author Archive

Data Protection Everywhere: Droning on about Converged Infrastructure Data Protection

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

Drones.  Quadcopters.  Small remote-controlled flying vehicles.  Whatever you want to call them, they were THE hot item this holiday season.  I had two orders cancelled by Amazon once they determined they were accepting orders beyond inventory capacity.  It was a miracle I was finally able to find one for my son at a local store.

converged infrastructure drone 1

As an 11 year old, my son was initially challenged with the vehicle controls.  The controller had 2 joysticks, 2 elevation buttons, a start button, a “trick” button, trim/elevation/turning fine-tuning buttons, takeoff and landing buttons and a LCD display.  And learning how to manage the vehicle occurred only after he had manually built much of the tiny aircraft.  That’s a lot for anyone to accomplish in short time before they can get value (fun!) out of it.  And even then, I still needed to be in the flight area to protect pictures, lamps and the cats from being hit.

converged infrastructure drone 2 (more…)

Experiences that Meet Expectations

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

I recently found myself standing at one end of a large field.  People were everywhere and it was extremely loud.  It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit and raining.  I think I even saw a few snowflakes mixed in.  I stood there soaked and shaking, but didn’t mind.  I was cold and wet on the outside, but was glowing with pride on the inside.

Besides, I had experienced this before (dozens of times….) and knew what to expect.

Then I saw them – the lead group of runners of varsity girls cross country crested a rise toward the end of the first loop of their 5k race, which is the first time we had seen them in nearly five minutes.  Between the starting gun and then, every teammate and family member hoped their friend or child was running strong and not injured as they’d just run through narrow wooded trails littered with tree roots, loose stones and mud.

My daughter, who was first off the starting line on this particular day, had fallen back to 4th place.  I wasn’t worried though.  Her strategy was to remain in the front group for the majority of the race and sprint the final 200 yards to the finish.  She’s consistent and predictable, at least as much as any teen can be.  At least that’s been my experience, and her, and her coach’s, expectation.

After all, it’s about making sure the experience meets the expectation.

In June 2016 I wrote a blog titled “That Familiar Enterprise Experience in the Cloud”, which discussed how Dell EMC NetWorker protects cloud-resident workloads as an enterprise backup solution.  The most important take-away in that article was that NetWorker protects applications and data in the public cloud with THE SAME USER EXPERIENCE as when using NetWorker to back up on-premises workloads.  (more…)

Optimizing Data Protection for VCE VxRail Appliance – Making the Best Better

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

In February 2016, I posted a blog titled “Blocks and Racks and Rails, OH MY!” in which I discussed converged infrastructure offerings and how these solutions are transforming business.  Ultimately that post discussed the VCE VxRail Appliance, which, at the time, was a recently announced offering from VCE, as the only fully-integrated, preconfigured, and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA).  I even touched upon the value of including data protection as part of a HCIA solution.

It appears I’m not the only one who feels this way.

In June 2016, EMC released the 2nd Global Data Protection Index, which surveyed over 2200 IT decision makers across 18 countries regarding their protection readiness in an increasingly challenging world and their confidence moving forward.  The results revealed that 83% of survey respondents said data protection is a mandatory or very important criterion when selecting a converged infrastructure solution.

EMC and VCE totally get it, which is why data protection is included in EVERY VxRail appliance.

The data protection capabilities built into VxRail Appliances includes backup and recovery, and continuous data protection.  It’s a lot of functionality, which addresses data protection requirements for most VxRail customers.

But what about for the user who needs (or wants) more data protection?  By “more” I mean additional capabilities, such as provisioning a larger number of Virtual Machines (VMs), or comprehensive monitoring, analysis, reporting and backup file search capabilities, or the addition of industry-leading protection storage.  I’m talking about an “over and above” level of protection.

sb10063680d-001

Let me share a recent personal example.  Every few years my family is fortunate enough to take a Caribbean vacation.  The last two vacations have been cruises.  However, this year we decided to go with another family to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.  Our friends had been there before and are now owners of one of the villas at the resort.  When we first started talking about this vacation over a year ago our thoughts focused on endless beaches, sun, watersports, exotic food and fun.

But there was one topic that increasingly entered the conversations as we approached our departure date.

Zika. (more…)

That Familiar Enterprise Experience in the Cloud

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

I drive a Honda Odyssey minivan.

Well, actually, it’s my wife’s van.  I use it for occasional trips to Home Depot, the landfill…that sort of thing.  And I’ll freely admit it…..I like driving the van (which I lovingly refer to as “the bus”).  It has tons of room, plenty of power, great visibility, it’s SUPER RELIABLE.

Until it’s not.

There was nothing really wrong with the van.  We faithfully have an authorized Honda dealer perform maintenance at the suggested intervals so it keeps delivering the reliability we’ve come to expect. It was simply time for its 110,000 mile checkup, and ironically the “check engine” light came on at 108K.  Talk about irony (or at least a reliable reminder!)

In any case, the dealer recommended new spark plugs, timing belt, water pump, oil change and cylinder recalibration.  I was suspicious of that last one but after looking into it agreed to the work.  It would take all day so I’d need to leave the car overnight and they offered me a rental car to get back to the office.

They called their preferred local car rental agency and requested a vehicle be delivered quickly.  I was happy to see the rental agent within 15 minutes, complete the paperwork and walk outside to see my temporary wheels.  That’s when my day went downhill.

web-jeep

I was staring at a very compact (is that overly redundant?) rental vehicle.  I won’t tell you what brand or model, but I can honestly tell you it was about the same size as my bike.  And it wasn’t even in great shape.  It had multiple dents and scratches in the bodywork and stains on the seats.  For the record my car is a mid-sized sedan and I am meticulous about keeping it clean.

This tiny rental was not at all what I expected.  In the past I’ve received rental vehicles of the same type and size of the car being worked on.  But, after all, the dealership covered the cost of the rental and I needed to get back to the office.  (more…)

Blocks and Racks and Rails, OH MY!

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!

In that quote from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy, her dog Toto and her friends, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman are travelling along the Yellow Brick Road when they come to a forest. She asks them if there are animals in the forest and the reply is “Probably a lot of lions and tigers and bears” they start repeating that over and over and suddenly out of the forest comes a fierce lion!
wizard of oz - oh my

I’ll stop the story there. I don’t offer spoilers just in case you haven’t seen the movie.  But why the reference to a 77 year old movie in a technology blog?  It’s because a similar tornado of change is ripping through IT environments today and IT professionals find themselves entering a dark forest with an abundance of danger.  Don’t even get me started on the flying monkeys!

You know as well as anyone in the industry – IT infrastructure is no longer just supporting the business.  It is the business enabler. Infrastructure must support constant business demands for new applications and services with limited budgets and resources (and they aren’t increasing). Administrators don’t have time to constantly evaluate and integrate hardware, software, and networking solutions to meet continuously evolving requirements. What we need is an automated, dynamic infrastructure that adapts to your business demands.

Maybe I should change the opening chant to “Blocks and Racks and Rails, OH MY”!

Of course, I’m referring to VCE’s converged infrastructure Vblocks, VxRacks and the new VxRail.  But these aren’t dangerous wild animals, but rather the solution to the dangerously overgrown IT forests we’ve built.

Converged infrastructure (CI) is touted as having the ability to transform businesses, and rightfully so.  No more IT sprawl and siloed architectures to contend with.  Converged systems integrate compute, network and storage technologies.  They should also include data protection solutions to ensure business applications and data are safe and recoverable.  Why shop multiple vendors when you can get the best of best all in one box from one vendor?

But, a primary challenge for midsized organizations or those with many remote locations is identifying the most appropriate CI solution for their business requirements.  Sure, they can opt to leverage a Managed Service Provider, but even they need a right-sized, efficient and flexible IT solution for their customers.  Some available CI solutions may be too large, complicated or expensive for a particular business, or not flexible enough for their unique requirements, or require additional software components.  That equates to more cost and more management.

But, of course, there’s a solution.  Just click the heels of your ruby red slippers.

ruby slippers

Enter the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance (HCIA).  HCIA solutions go beyond CI’s inclusion of compute, storage, virtualization and network, to also include software to further simplify deployment, and all within a scalable form factor.

VCE VxRail is a new exclusive offering from VCE and VMware. It’s the only turnkey hyper-converged infrastructure appliance fully integrated and tested with VMware vSphere and Virtual SAN software.  Based on this, the VxRail Appliance delivers a known and proven building block for the Software Defined Data Center, creating certainty in your IT operations and end user experiences.

So what else could organizations possibly need out of an easy-to-deploy, scalable hyper-converged infrastructure solution?  Easy management? 24 x 7 support? Cloud storage?  What about built-in data protection?  Yes, yes, yes and ABSOLUTELY YES!

yellow brick road group

As a comprehensive solution, VxRail Appliances include data protection as a critical element to support key applications and data in today’s virtualized data center.  That’s the trust factor on top of flexibility, performance and scalability, efficiency and usability associated with hyper-converged infrastructure.  And with VCE VxRail comes with built-in best-in-class data protection from EMC.  That should take care of those lions and tigers and bears.

In the Wizard of Oz movie, Dorothy never really left her farmhouse home in Kansas.  It was all a dream.  For us, let’s stop dreaming of radically simplified IT environments.

After all, there’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home…

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