Data Protection Perspectives from HP Discover 2015

My colleague Mark Peters and I attended HP Discover 2015 last week to get an updated view of the storage and data protection innovations being announced at the event. What was heartening for me was that one of HP’s core four pillars was “Protect” where the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise company talks about its converged approach to information security and data protection (backup), which includes backup and archival software, as well as the HP StoreOnce deduplication storage solutions.

Most of the HP Discover US storage news was really around the 3Par all-flash array, and its protection capabilities, including replication between arrays, as well as ‘Express Protect’ directly from 3Par to StoreOnce without going through an intermediary backup server. As I’ve stated in earlier blogs, separating the backup data stream (direct to protection storage) from the controller stream (HP RMC) is the future of backup, so watching HP enter the fray in what is decidedly the “future of data protection” is good to see.

What will be even more interesting to see is how the rest of HP Data Protection portfolio evolves throughout the rest of 2015, and how excited customers are in reacting to the growing convergence of primary and protection storage and data protection software within the HP offerings. Beyond that, I must give kudos to what was my favorite session of the week—the new DRaaS offering coming from Veritas (the data protection half of the soon-to-be-split Symantec) and HP Helion cloud-services, with the irony that the combined solution comes from two behemoth IT companies, each of which is in the process of splitting.  Best of luck to my friends at Veritas and HP Helion, and I look forward to offering deeper perspectives in consideration of ESG’s upcoming research on business continuity and disaster recovery.

Video Transcript

Mark: Welcome to HP Discover 2015, the biggest show from the biggest IT company on Earth. Of course, part of the news here is that HP is about to go from being the one biggest company to two slightly smaller but still enormous companies. And one of the fascinating things about this event is despite the scale of HP, it’s still very easy, it comes off very clean. And you can find the parts of HP that you’re interested in, which of course is one of the things that matters, because it’s too big a company for any one person to cover everything. My colleague Jason Buffington and I will focus in on a couple of the areas that interest us.

And I have to say, there’s a delightful irony when you look on the Enterprise side of the company, that when all the big story is about the split of the company into two, but on the Enterprise side that we cover, really all the story is about consolidation and bringing everything back together.

Jason: As part of the HP rebranding, Meg introduced four pillars of what HP Enterprise is going to be all about. One of them is “protect.” Now, I like that idea because when you really think about “protect,” there’s two ways that you really protect your data. There is information security, and there’s improving data backup and recovery.

And interestingly enough, ESG finds those to be the top two planned spends for 2015. So I love that fact that no matter what else is happening in transforming IT and transforming the business, HP understands that all of that has to be protected. And in HP’s case, they have not only the disc solutions to do that, but also HP Helion Cloud, and don’t forget tape.

Mark: And if you want to start talking about consolidation from my product area, have a look at this thing.

When did you think you would see this sort of scale, this sort of affordability, and of course, given that it’s based on the 3PAR platform, this sort of functionality from an all-flash array? We really are moving with this into a different arena. I joke with my friends in HP Marketing. They just must have been enjoying themselves when they saw the specs on this because really, it talks for itself.

Jason: Mark mentioned earlier about the All-Flash array, the 20000, and the ridiculous number of IOPs that comes out of that. But let’s talk about the rest of the story beyond just primary storage. One of the other things HP is talking about is replication between the 3PAR arrays and then from there, what they call Express Protect, the idea of going straight from the 3PAR array directly into a Storewize deduplication appliance without going through a backup server of any kind. This is probably the beginning of the future for data protection overall, the idea of going straight from the workload to the data protection storage without going through a backup server per se. HP’s not the first one to come up with it, but some of the things they’ve done along the way make them really interesting to watch.

Something else to think about is copy data management. One of the reasons why we create all those copies of data is because there’s all these different business purposes as to backup preparation and BC/DR preparation and biz dev and test and all these other things. But you never want to hinder production performance, which is why those copies exist everywhere else. Well, with like three million IOPs coming off that all-flash array, maybe you don’t have to move the data everywhere else. Maybe you just put some exposable Snaps off of that, and really reduce your storage footprint without hindering production, while still enabling all those other business goals. That’s a different spin on copy data management, and probably something worth thinking about as we look towards 2016.

Mark: So that’s it, a very well-executed show. Just way too much to cover. But by way of summary, what’s significant, as you can see behind me, HP, like many IT vendors, is talking about the move to a hybrid approach to IT, which is great. But of course, at the moment, the transformation that is really front and center for HP is the split of the companies. Now, you could argue that HP was the largest ocean-going IT ship in the world. Whether splitting it into two smaller but still huge ocean-going IT ships will really make it able to turn on a dime is something that remains to be seen.

[Originally blogged via ESG’s Technical]

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