Time to Reflect: Is It Time For a New Data Protection Vendor?

Posted 01/15/2018 by Phil Wandrei

With the start of a new year, many people take time to reflect, both personally and professionally. While it is imperative to look back on the past year, it is more important to take it to the next step and determine what you will change in 2018. The point wasn't lost on me when I attended an industry conference last month.

Over lunch, I sat at a table with two IT directors from the same company. After engaging in conversation about the event, it gradually shifted to data protection. They grumbled about their current data protection vendor. It was a legacy solution they had been using for six-plus years, and it was no longer meeting their needs. They wanted to change but felt 'trapped' due to the huge investment with the vendor. They literally did not see a way out of their situation. They were resigned to spending more money, and time, on a solution/vendor they no longer wanted. They had the outlook of Eeyore!

With the new year, don’t let this happen to you and be an Eeyore - stuck in a rut with its current data protection solution, or any solution for that matter.

Considerations for data protection in 2018

One area to consider reviewing is your data protection infrastructure. According to Gartner, "By 2021, more than 80 percent of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 30 percent today.”1 The change from a scale-up to scale-out infrastructure is coming. Are you preparing for this transformation?

To accommodate future growth and greater availability, the decision point for IT is whether continuing with a scale-up architecture can be an effective solution. Here are some key questions to ask when evaluating options of scale-up versus scale-out:

  • Are services offered to business users constrained by limited capabilities of single-purpose devices
  • Do cost and resource utilization spiral as more time is spent having to design and build resiliency and availability for data silos
  • Will you have to use separate tools and processes to manage disparate systems
  • Will you be faced with time-consuming and risky forklift upgrades

The added costs, lower performance and IT staff time is inadequate to support increased workloads. As a result, IT is changing its approach and moving to a scale-out architecture to meet their performance, service and budget requirements.

Architecting for the future cannot be 'business as usual' with traditional scale-up and point products. A review is important. According to Enterprise Strategy Group, “At a high level, IT infrastructure transformation is all about becoming better and more efficient at allocating budget and resources to new projects and markets, and making the cost of managing day-to-day infrastructure easier and cheaper.”2

Scale-out and data management

A main driver in moving to scale-out architecture for data management is that it further optimizes the use of standard, general-purpose hardware to deliver greater resiliency, scalability and predictable performance. Integrated compute and storage hardware platforms are emerging as the preferred platform. Enterprises can look for unified data management services that can include scale-out architecture to enable IT to readily deliver key benefits, such as:

  • Cloud-like agility, resiliency and availability to your data and applications
  • Greater end-user efficiency with automation and self-service capabilities
  • Improved hardware utilization and optimized costs
  • Seamless storage scalability with predictable performance, and elimination of forklift upgrades
  • Eliminate point product and data silos

Scale-out may be right for you

Evaluating scale-out versus scale-up from the aspect of adding value to your enterprise, data management and business growth strategies gives you a sound basis by which to determine if you are right for a move to scale-out. Learn more about Commvault's scale-out data protection solution.

1 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage, published on 17 October, 2017. Written by Julia Palmer, Arun Chandrasekaran, Raj Bala, Gartner, Inc.

2 Search Storage, “IT Infrastructure transformation: Backbone of the digital revolution.” July, 2017

Phil Wandrei has 20-plus years of industry experience, with more than 10 years of product and solution marketing experience in the storage and data protection industry for both channel and direct sales.