Feature

Data protection vendors set sights on SharePoint

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Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is fast becoming the collaboration platform of choice, but not without creating complexities for backup and archiving (see "Protecting SharePoint data," Storage, May 2007).

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"It's like this sleeping giant," says Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, Milford, MA, referring to Microsoft's shipping of free SharePoint services on Windows Server 2003. "I think some people just started using it without a lot of thought about the data protection and archiving implications."

SharePoint keeps data in databases, which grow quickly as incremental versions of active items are retained. As a result, "the ability to recover individual versions of a document becomes critical," says Randy DeMeno, chief evangelist at CommVault.

In addition, companies are realizing that SharePoint increases the need to do some form of archiving, both to optimize performance and for compliance. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandate the retention of all electronically stored information, "which is a catch-all for pretty much any electronic record type that you care to think of, and that clearly includes SharePoint records," says Marie-Charlotte Patterson, AXS-One's VP of corporate marketing.

Recent announcements suggest vendors are ramping up their SharePoint support. IBM announced Tivoli Storage Manager for Microsoft SharePoint based on technology from AvePoint, a vendor that focuses solely on SharePoint data protection. Network Appliance announced its SnapManager for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. EMC says it plans to add support for SharePoint 2007 to its Backup Manager for SharePoint later this year, and that integration with Legato NetWorker is targeted for late this year or early 2008. AXS-One says its archiving appliance will integrate with SharePoint 2007 later this year.

"I do believe as SharePoint overall becomes more prevalent, there's going to be a lot more data out there and a lot more swelling of SharePoint servers; and the ability to archive that data, as well as back it up ... that's going to be in big demand as 2007 rolls out," says DeMeno.

-- Trina MacDonald

This was first published in July 2007

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