Archive for the ‘Axxana’ Category
We did set up on Sunday and had time for a quick talk with the EMCTV. Go to EMCTV to watch live streaming video of the keynotes, as well as replays of interviews.
Yesterday was our first full day at EMC World 2012, and we were busy, busy, busy. Eli Efrat, our CEO, took the front row VIP seat that I won (you’re welcome, Eli) and watched the opening talk by Joe Tucci and Pat Gelsinger. You can see some of the pictures Eli took at the keynote. I posted them to Axxana’s Facebook page.
We spent the afternoon at the Solutions Pavilion, where I introduced affordable RPO-0 to hundreds of people.
Don’t forget, Eli will be speaking at the EMC Select Theatre at 1:30PM on Wednesday. Meanwhile, stop by to see us at Booth 728 and meet RPO-0 in person.
I’ve got to run now!
EMC World 2012 is next week in Las Vegas. The Axxana team will be there in force, including our CEO, Eli Efrat, and CTO, Dr. Alex Winokur. It’s a huge event with plenty of options as to how to spend your time, so careful planning helps you make the most of the days.
As a company that has done deep technology integration with EMC’s RecoverPoint, you will find us at many of the RecoverPoint sessions. There are now twelve. To find the sessions, just go to the EMC World Scheduler and search on RecoverPoint.
If you are a VNX or VNXe customer, I recommend you attend the session by Jonathan Meltzer, entitled “VNX and VNXe Data Protection: Recovering from Disasters – Large and Small.” He’ll be presenting on both Monday and Tuesday.
If you are responsible for disaster recovery or IT budgeting, you should try to connect with Lynn Osborn, Director of Engineering Services at The Pinnacle Group. He’s the individual that helped Animal Health International achieve a zero-data-loss IT environment on a budget that any mid-sized company can afford. You can hear Lynn discuss his experience with Axxana in this short video on our YouTube channel. Stop by Booth 728, and we’ll help connect you with Lynn.
As an EMC Select Partner, we are very pleased to have a cameo presentation at the Select Theatre on Wednesday the 23rd, at 1:30pm. Don’t miss it. At the presentation you will learn how to transform asynchronous replication to synchronous replication.
Finally, if you can’t attend EMC World, consider watching the live streaming video that will be coming from theCube. As always, the folks at SiliconAngle and Wikibon will be providing great coverage and interviews with EMC executives, EMC customers, and EMC partners.
We hope to see you in Vegas!
Tim is the VP of IT. His company’s data center is more than a thousand miles from the nearest ocean, so it’s not going to be impacted by a tsunami or a hurricane. It’s in an area that has very little seismic activity, so it’s not likely to be affected by an earthquake. There are no active volcanoes nearby. It’s not near any rivers or near a flood plain. There are no other major buildings nearby, and, even though his area has experienced a major drought over the past year, the risk from fire, at least from somewhere outside the data center, is very low.
Tim’s disaster recovery plan calls for a full backup of the application and data files of the critical applications once a week and an incremental backup nightly. The backups usually complete without error, but not always. Some applications are considered more critical than others, so some applications are backed up less frequently. Tim does a disaster recovery test twice a year, to make sure that everything in the DR plan is working. Usually it is. There are other risks to his data center. He could lose power or network communication. He could have a fire that starts inside the data center. His area does occasionally have tornadoes, but not very often. There could be a chemical spill that would require the area to be evacuated, but none of these are very likely.
Like every IT director, Tim has a limited budget, and he is constantly under pressure to keep IT costs low. Tim has made a series of guesses, bets really, in developing his disaster recovery plan. He’s bet that he’s covered for most of the risk associated with natural disasters, he’s bet that the applications that he deemed critical are the right priorities, that he’s got all of the program files and data together in the proper groups, and that nothing has changed since he last revisited the plan. He’s betting that the backup process is working, that the tapes are readable and the applications recoverable.
Those are only some of the bets that Tim has made. Each bet has a consequence. Sometimes he’ll win. Sometimes he’ll lose. But what happens, if Tim guesses wrong?
I’m a fan of the movie, “The Princess Bride.” If you haven’t seen the movie, click on the link below to see a short clip of what can happen when you guess wrong.
The Princess Bride: The Man in Black in a battle of wits with Vizzini.
Actually, like the movie, the story I just told you is fantasy. Tim is real, but I made up the rest. In reality, Tim made a very different bet. He bet on Axxana. With one very good bet, he avoided making hundreds of bad ones.
Market research firm, IDC, recently released revenue estimates for the disk storage systems market. In 2011, the market grew over 8% and exceeded $31B. Given that the price we pay for a terabyte of storage continues to decline, that means that the growth rate of data is much higher. For many organizations, the growth rate is greater than 40% per year. The flood in Thailand that disrupted disk drive manufacturers’ supply chains notwithstanding, thanks to manufacturing innovation, the suppliers have been able to keep up with companies’ almost insatiable demand for more storage resources.
Time is a very different resource. There’s no factory that makes time, so we can’t make more. We can only decide how we use time. In the world of business, we are increasingly deciding to use our time to be open and available for our customers. That means that there’s less time to protect the data that we use to process orders, run our factories, and communicate with our suppliers.
Faced with a challenge like this, we have had to transform our thinking. In computing, over the past couple of decades we have gone from doing one thing at a time to doing everything at once. We used to turn on our accounting and order-entry systems in the morning, bring up terminal services, process orders, shut down systems at the end of the work day, bring in an evening shift to run analysis, print reports, and then back up the data. Now we process orders all day and all night, seven days a week. Terminals have been at least partially replaced by PCs, mobile device applications, and browser-based applications, but they need to be available throughout the day as well. The reports still need to be run and the data still needs to be backed up, and though reports and data backups may still occur at night, they are no longer being done in “off hours,” because there are no off hours.
This challenge is just one of the challenges that Tim Hays, VP of IT at Animal Health International, solved when he installed the Axxana Phoenix System RP and EMC RecoverPoint. Because RecoverPoint provides application-consistent snapshots of data, which can then be used for processing reports and as sources for backups, restores, and data replication, there’s no need to worry about the limited supply of time. Thanks to RecoverPoint, production systems can continue to operate, with only a brief pause, while the snapshot is taken. And thanks to Axxana, the data that is changed or created between the application-consistent snapshots is maintained and protected. This is critically important, because as Tim Hays said in his recent presentation on Wikibon’s Peer Incite, in a world where most transactions are electronic, if you lose your data, there’s no way to reconstruct the transactions.
Let’s face facts. Data backup, data protection, and disaster recovery are difficult. There are more data and more applications to protect and less time to do it. And there are a growing number of risks against which you have to protect your data and applications. Thanks to application and data growth and the integrated nature of applications that support today’s business processes, old data protection and disaster recovery methods simply won’t work. There’s too much complexity and too little time.
Thankfully there are new approaches and new technologies to solve data protection and disaster recovery challenges. Innovative suppliers, like Axxana, are eager to win your trust and win your business. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you don’t have the time to evaluate all of the new technologies and all of the new suppliers to figure out what works and what doesn’t and who to trust and who not to trust.
Faced with a challenge like that, what do you do? If you are like most people, you talk to the people you trust the most. Your larger, long-time suppliers are a logical choice. They have a lot to lose, if they guide you down the wrong path. That’s one of the reasons we chose to partner with the leading information infrastructure supplier, EMC. EMC stands behind the rigorous tests conducted in their ELab, so you don’t have to wonder if our Phoenix System works.
Another logical choice is your peers. What makes peer groups so helpful is that your peers have no financial interest in your decision. They’re not the incumbent supplier, and they’re not the new kid on the block. Their interest is in preserving and enhancing their reputation, which will only be damaged, if they steer you down the wrong path.
We are very pleased to tell you that one of your peers, Tim Hays, VP of IT at Animal Health International, will be talking on a Wikibon Peer Incite, on Tuesday, April 10 at noon Eastern Daylight Time. His topic is how he implemented an affordable zero-data-loss disaster recovery solution; one that eliminates the need to classify data, but instead protects all of the company’s production data. Not only will he be presenting, but he’ll be available to answer your questions. If you are thinking about re-architecting disaster recovery, building a second data center, are concerned about the cost of ensuring data protection, or simply can’t figure out how to affordably protect all of your production data, I encourage you to attend.
Dial-in instructions are below. No registration is required.
Date: Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET (9:00am – 10:00am PT)
I hope you have already had a chance to watch the video of Tim Hays, Vice President of IT at Animal Health International talking about why he chose Axxana. If not, please stop reading now and go watch it. Here’s the link.
If you listened to Tim, you’ll know that he chose Axxana because of three factors:
- Axxana improved his recovery capabilities
- Axxana integrated with his existing EMC CLARiiON, VNX, and RecoverPoint infrastructure
- Axxana cost him less than historical methods of synchronous replication
Animal Health International is representative of thousands and thousands of cost-conscious organizations. They know how large, global institutions are protecting their data, but in Tim’s words, with these traditional methods of synchronous replication, “The cost of the equipment, the cost of the telecommunications for synchronous I/O were just not at a cost level we were willing to support.” And with Axxana, Animal Health International gets an even higher level of data protection at a dramatically lower cost.
Tim recognizes that some companies have already made a very large investment in traditional synchronous replication. Often those companies chose an expensive synchronous solution, because at the time of the decision, there were no lower-cost alternatives available. Besides, many were require by law or regulation to have the highest levels of data protection, as, for example, in the financial services industry. For those companies, Tim says, ”Here’s an opportunity…to reduce those costs.”
The fact is, these organizations already have their processes in place, and few organizations like to disrupt a process that is working, even if it is costly. That’s OK with us. Eventually, those organizations will recognize the our approach not only lowers cost, but provides superior disaster recovery capabilities. In the meantime, we’ll be plenty busy serving the needs of organizations like Animal Health International.
EMC topped the market in 2011 for External Controller-Based Disk Storage, according to a report released by Gartner Group in March. In fact, Gartner Group reports that EMC’s share of the market grew to almost thirty-three percent (33%). Congratulations, EMC, on a tremendous accomplishment.
One of the ways in which a company achieves market leadership is through setting and maintaining high standards in both their products and their partnerships. We, at Axxana, are proud to have partnered with EMC from our earliest days, integrating with EMC’s RecoverPoint software, passing rigorous testing in EMC’s E-Lab, and achieving EMC Select designation. Together, EMC and Axxana are delivering some of the highest quality, most innovative business continuity and disaster recovery solutions available today, and our joint customers are enjoying the benefits.
Having two data centers, especially when they are separated by a significant distance, brings so many advantages, it’s difficult to name them all, but here are just a few:
- The ability to increase the frequency and quality of disaster recovery testing
- The ability to perform site maintenance and upgrades, while maintaining application availability
- The ability to rapidly restore applications and continue operations in the event of a regional disaster
Some organizations have eliminated tape and migrated to disk-based backup methods, leveraging various techniques for creating application-consistent snapshots. This approach can dramatically improve recovery times, but again, requires that the 3rd-party recovery location have all the necessary equipment and software in order to run the applications, once the applications and data are restored. And, again, the location must be unoccupied.
The reason organizations use 3rd-party disaster recovery service providers is, in part, because they don’t want to absorb the full cost of having a second location sitting idle, just in case a disaster happens. It is cost prohibitive for most organizations. But forward-thinking companies have recognized that application development and test environments can be re-purposed for production applications, when a disaster occurs. In this way, no infrastructure is wasted, and no systems are sitting idle. A two-data center architecture, with development, test, and disaster recovery in one location, and production in the other, provides the ideal approach for both resource efficiency and resiliency.
The biggest challenge for organizations may be to determine the best way to get all of the current application data from the primary production location to the development, test, and disaster recovery location. Asynchronous replication is clearly the approach of choice, in terms of cost and flexibility for locating the secondary site, but it ensures that some data will be lost. Many of you saw our recent announcement about Animal Health International becoming an Axxana customer. The approach that Animal Health took, combining asynchronous replication with disaster-proof protection of the synchronous lag, is precisely the approach that organizations should take. The combination gives organizations a complete solution that is both affordable and flexible.
It’s no different in the world of data protection and disaster recovery. Prior to Axxana, zero-data-loss disaster recovery solutions were available. All you needed was a great deal of money and a willingness to accept lots of restrictions on where your data centers could be located or a willingness to accept transaction latency that would be deemed intolerable by most organizations. But as Craig Stewart (also know as VirtualPro), wrote after being introduced to Axxana:
You utilise Axxana so you don’t have to do expensive synchronous replication, so you don’t have to introduce unnecessary application latency, so you don’t have to have that second site within ~100KM distances. The reason this product is built to withstand every feasible disaster is so that you can safely use cheaper asynchronous replication over large distance and still guarantee that synchronous replication RPO that the business or application owner demands.
I swear one of those imaginary light bulbs went on above my head while I was discussing it!
Sumitomo Corporation has a venture arm, Presidio Ventures. Sumitomo helps Presidio’s portfolio companies expand their business in the Japan and Asia regions. And there’s plenty of business in Japan and Asia.
For anyone who has followed the string of natural disasters that have affected the Japan and Asia regions, it should be no surprise that Sumitomo is interested in any technology that can help organizations survive and recover from a disaster. But Sumitomo didn’t invest in just any technology. They invested in ours.
There are plenty of solutions that help corporations restore their applications and data after a disaster. There are existing solutions for tape backup and disk-based backup. There are disk snapshot and remote asynchronous replication solutions. All of these help restore operations, but they also all leave data exposed and many lead to long recovery times.
One of the reasons we are so attractive in the Japan and Asia markets is that we reduce costs and enable extended distances, while protecting all of the data and enabling rapid recovery. Much of the savings that we deliver come from reduced data communications charges, which are particularly high in the Asia region.
We are thrilled to have Sumitomo on board as investors, and know that with the help of Sumitomo, we can ensure that businesses operating in the Japan and Asia regions, protect their data and their business.