Hot Spots: A new level of backup reporting


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A bumper crop of backup reporting tools can provide invaluable insight into backup operations for you and the boss.

Backup success rates are improving, but reliable data recovery is still a concern. Not only does data loss impact business productivity and potentially revenue, but failure to produce data could result in fines or damage to a company's reputation. Recent research from Enterprise Strategy Group found that only 28% of respondents feel confident that their data is protected. More than half worry that current backup schedules leave some data exposed to potential loss, while nearly 20% say they know some of their data is exposed to potential loss.

The good news is that a collection of vendor offerings has arrived to address the need to provide reporting beyond a single backup event. More recently, reporting has moved beyond the data center. That's due to a growing concern on the behalf of executive management, who's being held accountable for compliance with regulatory mandates. Backup reporting has evolved to focus more on providing visibility into storage assets, system vulnerabilities, performance metrics, capacity trending and forecasting, service levels and compliance. Now business-level reporting defines this class of products--exposing C-level, line-of-business and compliance executives to business issues in the data protection environment.

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Vendor landscape
Increased data capacity placed more pressure on the backup window and the backup infrastructure became more complex, especially as tiered storage in the form of disk and tape was introduced into backup architectures. Compliance demands forced IT into better preparedness for recovery, audit and ediscovery events. Furthermore, many backup teams were pressured to meet stringent service-level agreements (SLAs) and operational improvements.

By responding to these new demands, Bocada can be considered a pioneer in this market. The firm targets the distributed multivendor backup environments of medium- to large-sized enterprises. Bocada Enterprise is sold as a perpetual license or via a subscription model, providing flexibility to budget-challenged companies. Bocada Enterprise's longevity has bolstered its installed base, which has helped drive the product's feature set; Bocada has announced reporting and management support for the latest version of Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.

WysDM Software has a product that rivals Bocada's popularity, especially through its OEM relationships with Double-Take Software and EMC. WysDM for Backups stands apart with its predictive capabilities. It analyzes trending data to predict critical failures, produce alerts and proactively avoids problems before they impact operations. Alerts can be triggered for conditions such as a backup failure, high restore time, component failure, atypical performance, capacity warning, compliance violation, or an unmet policy occurring now or possibly in the future.

This was first published in February 2008

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