Do You Have An ‘Integrated’ Data Protection Solution? 5 Questions To Ask

By Phil Wandrei

Data protection solutions are often described with terms like unified, holistic, integrated, or federated.  

Reading the descriptions of the products can often be confusing, as it all sounds the same. Just replace one product name with another and you often cannot tell the difference. But are all data protection solutions what they say they are – integrated?  No, they are not. You need to ask the right questions to understand what is real versus what a vendor wants you to believe. 

An integrated data protection solution saves your staff time, reduces complexity and cost, and minimizes risk.  However, the majority of data protection solutions on the market are not integrated. As Shrek would say, data protection solutions have layers, and you need to peel back the layers to understand the differences. Here are five questions to ask to help peel back the layers and understand if your solution is integrated or a collection of point products.    

  1. How is the vendor defining data protection? Too often a vendor will define data protection to fit their solution. If they only offer backup and recovery – guess what? – data protection is defined as backup and recovery. They will overlook and often dismiss archiving, replication, snapshots, eDiscovery, etc. as part of their integrated solution. Instead, those technologies are separate point products that add cost, complexity and risk to your environment.  

  2. What is the installation process?  A common sign you have point products is if there are multiple software packages to install on physical or virtual servers, or multiple installation manuals. Having multiple point products requires your staff to spend extra time to learn different products and manage it through multiple consoles.  

  3. Does the solution protect from end-point to the enterprise and cloud?  Many companies will claim their solution is scalable. However, they may separate products to support end-points, and other backup and recovery products for remote offices and another for the enterprise. You need one platform to manage, move and protect your data wherever it resides; from the end-point to remote office/branch office (ROBO), data center and into the cloud.

  4. What is the software and firmware upgrade processes?  At some point in time, every solution needs to be upgraded – whether it is a software upgrade for new features or firmware patch to ensure continued hardware compatibility. An integrated solution will not require your staff to perform multiple and separate updates for a single new feature on media servers and appliances. Rather, it will be one download that encompasses all of the new features and functionality you require.  
  5. Are reporting and analytics visible across your entire environment? If you have to use multiple consoles to view and capture all your data, and to run reports, then you are working with point products. An integrated data protection solution has one management console to protect, manage, move and report on all of your data and service levels, wherever your data resides. 

Your staff’s time is a valuable and scarce resource. They should not be the integration, or glue, holding it all together, as you can ill afford to squander their time supporting a collection of point products. If you decide you need a different solution, a data protection solution built on a single unified platform, then Commvault is ready to solve your complexity and cost challenges.