Hot Spots: The case for unified data management platforms


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Users crave consolidated data management
A sound data protection strategy depends on the optimal recovery of data. The inability to recover data rapidly--or at all--can translate into financial losses and possibly impact operational, customer service and compliance objectives. Too often, IT organizations are focused solely on the backup component of a data protection strategy or are content to rely on what's comfortable, even if it's not ideal. To their detriment, these organizations continue to execute data protection strategies that will fail when recovering data. For example, many IT organizations have treated backup, DR and archiving as separate activities (each with its own requirements and solutions) or have used tape backup as a cheap (but not always appropriate) solution for all three.

Employing a mix of traditional and emerging technologies to satisfy different levels of downtime and data loss tolerance is a popular approach. But there are drawbacks to procuring, installing and managing multiple point solutions. With multiple point solutions from a variety of vendors, there's more than one management interface, policy engine and client-side agent to learn and use. Systems don't share storage resources or integrate with each other. This results in multiple copies of data to store and manage, more complexity and greater management overhead.

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Best-of-breed strategies are often adopted to meet specific needs. For some organizations, the potential management headache is tolerable because they're getting a more robust feature set or more responsiveness to their requirements from individual vendors. The need to distribute risk also causes IT to select products from multiple vendors.

ESG research found that more organizations would like to consolidate data management. Eighty percent of respondents are more likely to standardize on one vendor for all aspects of the data protection process rather than implement best-of-breed solutions from multiple vendors. The vendor they would most likely use to support all of their data protection processes is their backup software vendor.

This was first published in December 2007

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