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Analysis

Bocada vpConnect integrates virtual and physical data protection management
Peter Williams By: Peter Williams, Practice Leader - IT Infrastructure Mgmt., Bloor Research
Published: 30th April 2012
Copyright Bloor Research © 2012
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Bocada has announced vpConnect, a data protection service management (DPSM) solution which integrates virtual and physical environments - the industry's first.

It achieves this by bringing together Bocada Prism with its recently released Bocada Vision. Prism provides in-depth physical backup and recovery reporting and analysis while Vision correlates information in VMware vCenter virtual environments with backup application activity. vpConnect correlates its data protection activities in both environments, providing visibility and analysis of both together through a single display.

Why this matters is that storage virtualisation plays alongside server virtualisation as enterprises move towards achieving greater business agility. However, enterprises cannot and do not virtualise all environments at once. This means they introduce an extra complexity as they must now manage a mix of physical and virtual data protection. The bigger the enterprise the greater is the potential problem.

Bocada cites a recent survey finding from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) that 62% of organisations implement separate applications to protect physical and virtual environments. This is unsurprising. Widespread adoption of storage virtualisation is a recent phenomenon and virtualised data protection solutions required separate development from the long-entrenched physical backup and recovery software.

When virtual and physical environments are managed by unconnected solutions, this adds to administration time and costs. It also creates difficulties in trying to ensure full protection and in identifying from where to recover in the event of a fault - and there is an increased risk of not meeting SLA and other compliance requirements.

However, and if done well, combining these two functions should reduce overall administration and troubleshooting time for the backup and storage environment.

To simplify administrator operation and analysis, vpConnect includes navigation between dashboards that correlate virtual and physical backup results in various reports. Executive-level overviews are also available for presenting to customers and management. The software is also agentless, making it quick and easy to deploy.

In a partial VMware environment, Bocada Vision correlates information from vCenter with backup application activity to provide a detailed view of virtual machine (VM) data protection. This will, for instance, confirm whether the VMs are fully protected, capacity is being utilised efficiently and that backups are not interfering with VM throughput.

Existing customers can upgrade from Bocada Vision or Prism through a simple licence key change.

I understand that the range of data protection solutions monitored by vpConnect includes: Backup Exec, NetBackup and PureDisk (Symantec), Avamar and Networker (EMC), Data Protector (HP), TSM (IBM), SnapVault and SnapMirror (Netapp), Backup & Replication (Veeam), vRanger Pro (Quest), vCenter, Data Recovery (VMware).

Bocada, which claims to be the world's leading provider of data protection management software, also created DPSM.

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