Best of breed

Every once in a while a technology or technology combination comes along that just does the business.  Ive had a couple of chances recently to work with such a combination. 

Both experiences were with implementations of Virtual Tape Facility (Open) and ProtectTIER inline data de-duplication from Diligent Technologies , and this is what Im going to be talking about here.

For the record, the two implementations featured the following core technologies –

Setup 1

  • Commvault backup software
  • Diligent VTFO and ProtecTIER De-dupe
  • HDS Storage

Setup 2

  • EMC Legato Networker backup software
  • Diligent VTFO and ProtecTIER De-dupe
  • HDS Storage

The two things that impressed me most about the technologies from Diligent were –

  1. The ease of implementation.
  2. It just does what it says on the tin – no fuss, no hassle.

On point 1, the technologies just slotted seamlessly into both existing backup environments.  Of course you need to make sure things like HBA’s and Backup software versions etc are supported but that’s standard practice in SAN environment these days.  Other than that, just plug it in, create a virtual library and a bunch of tapes, turn on de-dupe and away you go, job done.

On point 2, I always find it a pleasure to work with a technology that just works exactly as expected – and from my recent experience, this technology fits into this category - a far cry from something like HSSM/Storage Essentials ;-)

Normally I try to avoid backup like the plague, but I’ve  been so impressed with this that I could almost spend my life implementing and working with it.  My ‘working’ life that is ;-)

An interesting thing, to me, about the technology combinations in the two setups outlined above is that there are no two products from the same vendor – 3 core technologies and 3 distinct vendors.  Im not sure that partnering with best of breed is better than buying up best of breed, but politics like that aside, this is a really good example of how best of breed can work.

I don’t work for Diligent Technologies and I’m not an authority on their products, but I like to ‘think’ I know a little about good storage, and this is definitely a good storage related technology.  I recommend this to anybody in the market for virtual tape and data de-dupe.  And Im not just talking about customers needing de-dupe in their IT environments, Im also talking about storage companies/vendors out there looking for a good de-dupe technology to add to their portfolio.  I’d buy it.

In fact, on a bit of a side – the English Football Rich List for 2007 was recently released with Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, listed as the wealthiest man in English football with an estimated fortune of £10.8 billion sterling.  His purchase of Chelsea being somewhat of a little project for him – he has loads of cash and fancied buying a football team and making them successful.  So………….. if I had loads of dough, like Mr Abramovich, one thing Id do (after buying my football team) would be to buy myself a bunch of storage related technologies.  If I had the cash the following would be on my ‘list’ –

  • Hitachi enterprise disk subsystem business – USP-V…
  • HP midrange disk technology division – EVA
  • CommVault
  • Texas Memory Systems
  • VMware
  • And now……….Diligent Technologies