Tutorial

Data protection management features take you beyond simple backup statistics

By W. Curtis Preston

Data protection management (DPM) was introduced several years ago by Bocada

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Inc., the first company to attempt to produce standardized reports on multiple backup products. A number of other startup firms soon entered the fray, including Aptare Inc., Tek-Tools Software Inc. (recently acquired by SolarWinds, Inc.), TSMworks Inc., Servergraph (now part of Rocket Software Inc.) and WysDM Software (now part of EMC).

The big data backup software vendors saw the potential of the data protection management market: Symantec picked up a product called Advanced Reporter, which became Veritas Backup Reporter and then later Symantec's OpsCenter Analytics line; and EMC turned the WysDM product into its Data Protection Advisor.

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All of these products offer far more than simply telling you which backups worked and which didn't, functionality that many believe should be included in any decent backup software. However, when it comes to things like trending, capacity planning, cross-product reporting and issues that go beyond traditional backups, standalone data protection management products have carved out a unique niche.

Backup applications have begun to incorporate some of these capabilities. CommVault, in particular, has been vocal about how these reporting tools should be included in the base backup product. While it could be argued that the reporting included in Simpana is better in some areas than the reporting in other companies' base products, that's not to say Simpana users couldn't benefit from a data protection management product.

For Tivoli Storage Manager customers, IBM Corp.'s response has typically been that everything you need to know is in the TSM database so you just have to run a query. While that's true, it might be beyond the capability of many users. So while a few of the big backup vendors have incorporated some DPM features, users who need full data protection management functionality will likely turn to a third-party product.

Editor's Tip: Click here to go to the next part of our backup applications tutorial, and learn about the importance of continuous data protection (CDP) and backup applications.

This story was originally published in Storage magazine.

This was first published in June 2010