As a backup administrator, you are responsible for a whole heck of a lot! Think about it, all of your company’s mission critical data, is on your plate to protect and assure that it can be accessed at a moments notice. People all across the organization look to you to know what data they have, and make sure it’s safe. Are beads of sweat forming on your forehead yet? Ok, sorry for scaring you so quickly, I’ll promise to stop if you just bear with me. You have the business’ data riding on your shoulders! I think it is perfectly appropriate to expect the highest level of detail, accuracy, and investment in your solution from the vendors you rely on to help you with these burdens!
The crux of what I am getting to is this: Since you expect the best tools to attack backup & recovery from your vendors, shouldn’t the vendors also be using the best tools to perform proper and accurate assessments of your environment?
Think about this, if a vendor has no idea or method for finding out (in a detailed way) what your backup capacity requirements are exactly, the entire implementation of the backup solution will be at best “hit or miss”. A guesstimate is just that, a guess. At the end of the day, once you start backing up your environment that “guess” can quickly turn into higher than initially expected upfront cost and budget overruns. In fact, some of you may have already experienced this exact scenario.
One way to avoid the above predicament is to ask very detailed questions to your vendor on the processes they use to “size” your environment. Do they simply do a calculation relying on data you already have or may not have? Or, do they leverage specially developed analysis tools that can easily scan your environment via some quick scripting and provide data, which can be fed into a detailed reporting and analysis tool?
I will leave you to decide on which method is good enough for you. The ideal for some of the customers I have talked to would be to avoid the back and forth and uncertainty during implementation which is much more stressful and costly then having an accurate assessment done prior to even purchasing the solution. Size DOES in fact matter!
From an EMC Backup & Recovery Perspective, our sales force is armed with carefully developed tools to properly assess your needs and environment. One specific utility in every EMC Backup & Recovery Specialist’s tool bag is the EMC Backup System Sizer (EBSS).
As you can see from the EBSS screenshot shown here, by entering a couple of key data points which are gathered directly from your environment using various application scripts (also in the specialist’s tool bag), one can depict exactly what backup solution and more importantly the proper capacity required. This is key considering we know we definitely don’t want to over-purchase capacity when deploying these solutions, but more importantly, we don’t want to under-purchase capacity leaving mission critical data unprotected
I have had first hand experience in working with the development teams for EBSS. Even though this is strictly a tool for our technical sales force it is developed with the same care and innovation as our award-winning backup appliances and software. Not only that, but the development team working on these tools are entrenched deeply with the product development teams, assuring that the results match as close as possible with actual product behavior.
I can’t think of a more accurate method to assure that as a vendor we provide you with a backup & recovery Solution with industry best TCO and ROI while meeting or exceeding your business requirements. Together with our Data Protection Advisor product, we make sure you are the most informed about your environment after implementation and throughout the product service life. It’s not only about making great products, but making sure those products are optimally implemented for your specific environment and IT budget requirements.