Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

The Right Infrastructure Under a Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server™ Application Makes All the Difference!

Steve Spataro

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
In his role as Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager, Steve is a subject matter expert on Dell EMC’s Midrange Storage Solutions and his focus is the Dell EMC and Partner System Engineering (SE) community. Steve develops much of the technical content used by the field SEs (Specification Sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, Technical Presentations, etc.) He presents the technical aspects of EMC’s offerings to Dell EMC clients and Partners in the Executive Briefing Centers and at Industry & Partner events. Steve has been with Dell EMC for 16 years, with previous positions include EMC Product Management and Senior Manager of EMC Product Marketing. Steve is based at Dell EMC’s Hopkinton, Massachusetts headquarters.

Doing research before you implement is great, but in the end it comes down to the final decisions you make.

With many organizations already exceeding 75% server virtualization (source: Gartner), and much attention focused on the IT infrastructure underneath virtualized Microsoft SQL Server environments, there is a wealth of good guidance out there to help you steer the right course.

If you haven’t started down the path to a virtualized SQL environment or haven’t refreshed technology lately, let me synthesize what I’ve read and learned from talking to hundreds of companies. I’ll also direct you to at least one thing that will definitely provide you with a significant ROI.

As the proliferation of database instances occur, many midsize organizations galvanized around a core set of needs: reducing costs, improving ease of use, and improving performance. These organizations often picked Microsoft SQL Server because the license costs are low, SQL Server is integrated nicely with other Microsoft products they use, and there is a big pool of SQL administrator talent that is reasonably priced. However, they consistently mentioned that the desired outcome was only met if their IT infrastructure improved performance and utilization with each software license they deployed. They also mentioned, that results were only achieved if their infrastructure did not increase storage capacity linear to the number of database copies kept and if the infrastructure was exceptionally flexible to accommodate changes as they arose.

A virtualized SQL Server environment that uses Dell EMC Unity storage systems delivers these results. Unity is a highly intelligent, multicore & port optimized, All-Flash designed storage system. It provides high levels of performance for low-latency transactional I/O and high-throughput analytic workloads. It allows organizations to do more work with their existing SQL Server licenses or any new licenses bought. Unity also provides the ability for each application developer to have their own database instances without the organization experiencing a matching increase in storage costs and capacity. Regarding simplicity, with over 90+ integration points with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, Unity’s UI is exceptionally easy to use. For example, a DBA can choose to manage Unity through Microsoft System Center or VMware vCenter, never touching the Unity UI at all.

spataro-blog (more…)

Data Recovery Versus Restoration: When it comes to SaaS Backup, Restore is Everything

Mat Hamlin

Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC
Mat is the Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC. He is responsible for the overall direction and strategy for Spanning's suite of SaaS backup and recovery solutions. His career in technology spans five startups and two large organizations, all in Austin, TX. Mat started out in product support and training, then engineering leadership and for the past nine years has been focused on product management and product marketing. Prior to joining Spanning, Mat served as Sr. Product Manager for SailPoint Technologies and Sun Microsystems, contributing to their market-leading enterprise identity management solutions.

As more organizations are moving their critical data to the cloud and leveraging SaaS applications like Google Apps, Office 365, and Salesforce, we’re witnessing a simultaneous evolution in the backup industry. These forward-thinking organizations are focusing not just on creating backup copies of data for safekeeping, but they’re also considering what it takes to maintain all facets of data protection, including business continuity, accessibility, and compliance. These goals require a new breed of backup. As we like to say at Spanning: Backup is one thing. Restore is everything. It won’t do you much good to just have your SaaS data backed up and stored somewhere unless you can get it back into your SaaS applications (along with metadata and customizations) quickly, easily, and accurately.

What’s the difference between recovery and restore?
Recovery simply means you get your data back – not that you get it back exactly the way it was. In the event of a data loss, you may be dismayed to find that your existing backup and recovery solution or provider defines recovery as exporting all versions of your backed-up SaaS application data and delivering them to you in a zipped folder containing nothing but a massive CSV file. That means your IT team will probably have to expend a lot of time and effort manually identifying precisely what data was lost, rebuilding your file structure the way you had it before, importing or restoring the data back into the application, and then validating it so everyone can finally get back to work. Data recovery is like someone handing you a giant stack of photos with a rubberband around it for you to recreate a scrapbook you had lovingly put together in chronological order with notes, decorations, and keepsakes for each photo.

data recovery

data recovery

Restore, on the other hand, means having that scrapbook returned to you in mint condition with all your memories perfectly intact – even if the original copy was completely destroyed. Translation? Data restoration means accurately and automatically returning your data directly back into your SaaS application, exactly the way it was before you lost it. Excellent backup and restore solutions will restore data from any point in time with file structure, metadata, and labels intact, while providing the flexibility to restore exactly what was lost – whether a single file from yesterday or an entire account from last year. Some solutions even make this process easy enough that an end user can do it in a few clicks without IT intervention. (more…)

What This Year’s Super Bowl and Cloud Data Protection Have in Common

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriwitzel

This year’s Super Bowl could be characterized as “The D-Bowl” – a contest that may be decided by who had the best defense. While the two final contenders are still TBD at the date of this blog’s writing [editor update – the final two are the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers], as FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine wrote regarding the NFL’s Final Four, “…defensively, this might be the best quartet of teams in any conference championship round.”data protection defense

So what on earth do the Final Four have in common with SaaS and cloud data protection? You guessed it! It’s all about the D, and protecting what’s most valuable in an organization. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one of the definitions of “defense” is a “means or method of defending or protecting oneself, one’s team, or another.” The Super Bowl finalists and EMC’s Cloud Data Protection both have strengths in protecting their teams, and in reducing the risk of loss.

For example, let’s think about Salesforce, a popular SaaS and cloud customer relationship management platform, one we use at EMC. Salesforce data is often used to populate sales pipeline reports, and that data also flows downstream into ERP systems. It contains information vital for executive management planning and resource allocation. Now imagine, if you will, that something happens to cause Salesforce data loss during the last two weeks of a quarter – what would THAT do to the reporting needed within an organization?

I know, you’re skeptical – Salesforce surely provides extensive data protection and recovery for its platform. And I’d agree that Salesforce is redundant, secure, and has a great record for uptime. But Salesforce has no way to distinguish changes made by mistake from changes made on purpose. They cannot protect an organization from admin errors, or third-party application sync errors, or custom misconfigurations that lead to data loss. (more…)

Reflection on 2015 Resolutions – When a Triathlon Meets Data Protection

Deanna Hoover

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Deanna Hoover started her IT career over 30 years ago with a focus on software and hardware engineering. She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of different industries and has built a broad skillset ranging from writing machine code in a factory, migration of mainframe to client server, and storage architecture as well as systems and database administration. In August of 2004 Deanna made the move to EMC as a backup, recovery and archive presales SE. Since that time she has managed a Professional Services team and as of current is in marketing for Dell EMC with a focus on virtualization backup and recovery software. In her spare time Deanna enjoys the outdoors and participates in triathlons.

It’s that time of year to reflect back on 2015 and set new goals.  Are you one of the 45% who chose to set resolution goals?  If so, did you honestly stick to your goals? Congratulations if you did! Only 8% were successful in achieving resolution goals.

triathalon and data protectionI barely managed to meet my goal of improving my rankings as a triathlete. In a moment of insanity, I signed up for a half-ironman.  Several months and a few hundred hours of training later, I was race ready.  However, my race had a few glitches, and I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected.

A Triathlon involves swimming, biking and running – in this order.  Each triathlete is typically stronger at one of the 3 sports. For me it is biking.  It is beneficial to know the strengths of the other athletes before race day.   Let me give you an example of why.

The day before the race, we setup our transition areas, which includes, putting our running gear at the location where we dismount our bikes.  I strategically placed my gear to ensure I had a quick exit for my run. Despite that planning, another athlete had researched my previous race results, and learned biking was my strong sport and moved my running shoes.  I got off the bike in first place but it took me three minutes to find my hidden shoes! This gave her a competitive advantage. She finished a couple of minutes ahead of me and won the race.

I learned a couple of lessons in that race that we can apply to Data Protection.

  • I should have held the athlete accountable by turning her into the officials. Data Protection solution needs to be accountable, ensuring data is recoverable no matter what happens or where it lives.
  • One minor mishap affected the overall outcome of my race. A mishap in your Data Protection solution can be detrimental to your business. Reliable Data Protection is more than backup and recovery. It includes protection across the continuum, continuous data protection, and centralized analysis and monitoring.
  • The other athlete was committed to win, albeit unfairly. It is important that your Data Protection vendor be committed to your success for years to come.

Let me ask you, is your Data Protection solution prepared for whatever might happen? (more…)

The Misconceptions and Realities of Data Protection in Cloud-based Office Productivity Suites Today

Mat Hamlin

Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC
Mat is the Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC. He is responsible for the overall direction and strategy for Spanning's suite of SaaS backup and recovery solutions. His career in technology spans five startups and two large organizations, all in Austin, TX. Mat started out in product support and training, then engineering leadership and for the past nine years has been focused on product management and product marketing. Prior to joining Spanning, Mat served as Sr. Product Manager for SailPoint Technologies and Sun Microsystems, contributing to their market-leading enterprise identity management solutions.

Speaking with customers and prospects is the Spanning product team’s number one priority, and we continue to hear some common themes related to SaaS data protection. It’s always nice to see our findings confirmed by others, — especially industry analysts, In a recent international Gartner study, they found that businesses now consider SaaS deployments mission-critical for cost savings, innovation, and agility. Cloud-based productivity suites like Google Apps and Office 365 are becoming prevalent in the enterprise market, however, as Gartner’s research shows, data loss, privacy and security continue to be primary concerns.

When organizations move to cloud-based applications, they often misunderstand and underestimate the need to consider third-party data protection for SaaS applications like Google Apps and Office 365. So, I’d like to examine some of the misconceptions and explain the realities of data protection in these cloud-based office productivity suites.

Misconceptions about SaaS data protection
It is common for SaaS adopters to think that once they implement a cloud-based productivity solution like Google Apps or Office 365 there’s no further need to think about backup and recovery. Yet approximately 32% of SaaS users have lost data in the cloud.

cloud question markHow is this possible? Many SaaS users don’t fully understand what their cloud service provider covers and where their own responsibility begins in protecting data stored in SaaS applications. Each service provider’s SLA contains detailed and often confusing information on the configuration and policies surrounding each service. Navigating the options is difficult and even with full understanding, there are clear gaps in the providers’ ability to protect and restore customer data.

For example, in Office Exchange Online, users can purge their deleted items folder and their “junk folder” (recoverable items folder). By default, the data is permanently deleted from the recoverable items folder after 14 days (or 30 days if the administrator extends this period manually). Without the right policies in place and a third-party backup and recovery partner, users may be left with no recourse to get this data back from Microsoft. You can learn about other similar scenarios in Office Exchange Online and how to prevent data loss here. (more…)

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