If you saw the official blog on the DPM blogsite, you’ll notice that this post has more exclamation marks. This is a really exciting day for all of us at Microsoft, particularly those who have been preparing DPM 2007 to come to market.
With the RTM (release to manufacturing) milestone, we are now just weeks away from general availability. The product will start appearing on Microsoft price lists and be generally available starting in November – and the official launch is also in November at Microsoft IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain.
On a personal note, this has been my focus since the day that I came to Microsoft – nearly 23 months ago. I joined the company just shortly after DPM 2006 had launched. And while DPM 2006 did a good job of centralizing backups of branch office servers, that wasn’t what drew me to Microsoft.
I came here for DPM 2007 -- because I believe that DPM changes some of the rules in data protection. Having been in backup and recovery for nearly fifteen years, at various tape backup and replication companies, there are some accepted tenants around backup and recovery that “DPM v2” really can affect:
1) “If we build it, they will back it up” no longer applies. In the old days, companies like Microsoft developed the Windows Server operating system or an application platform like SQL Server, and other folks would create the backup applications – because they weren’t covered from Microsoft (other than the NT Backup utility). With DPM 2007, Microsoft -- the original creator of Window Server, and SQL Server, and Exchange, and SharePoint – as the company that has the most vested interest in creating value and ensuring high customer satisfaction with those customers, can now provide a complete and full-featured data protection and recovery experience. I have been in IT, with channel partners, and also ISV’s – and watched the frustration between the backup guy saying that the recovery was successful and the application manager saying it wasn’t. Bring in the integrators and eventually the various product support groups, and it didn’t get any better.
With DPM 2007, customers can look to Microsoft not only for their SQL Server solution (as an example), but also for the backup and recovery of that SQL Server deployment – from the simple incremental purchase on their existing Volume License / Enterprise Agreements, to their TAM understanding their needs, to the Microsoft Consulting Services deployment specialist, to Microsoft product support services. Now, for authenticity's sake, are there still reasons to use non-Microsoft backup solutions for backing up Microsoft workloads - probably. Some are political, othes are proceedural, and a few are technical. But at least now, it isnt a mandate. If a customer is predominantly using Microsoft workloads, they no longer have to look elsewhere to protect those workloads.
Similarly, DPM empowers Microsoft Partners who may or may not have a storage/backup specialty, but who are experts in their application areas (SQL Server or SharePoint) to deliver a rich data protection experience that is optimized for the workload that they are deploying for their customers -- again, consolidating that expertise back to the application owner/integrator without looking elsewhere.
2) “CDP is only for the Enterprise” no longer applies. Continuous Protection, Replication, Mirroring, Synchronization, have all been something that everyone recognizes that they need in addition to tape for long term retention, but that only large enterprises could afford – either by actual cost or complexity.
DPM 2007 removes cost and complexity to bring continuous protection to mainstream environments - suitable for small businesses as well as large enterprises. IT Generalists within smaller organizations, as well as partners, can deploy this without advanced pedigrees in storage technology.
3) Disk and Tape are finally together in the right way. Many, many years ago, I worked for a tape backup vendor (and was also a reseller for the others, before and after). Almost all of those tape backup technologies have since adopted VTL as a short term solution to improve backup performance with disk – and are now trying to integrate (or acquire) replication technologies to supplement their solutions. On the other side, I have also worked for disk-based replication companies that could replicate data from one disk to another, but had to rely on someone else to back it up for long term protection.
DPM 2007 was built from the ground up with the understanding that customers need both, based on lessons learned and customer feedback for what they wanted but did not have with their current backup technologies. With a seamlessly integrated disk to disk to tape (D2D2T) solution that not only delivers the functionality, but presents it in such a clean way that application stakeholders, like database administrators or email managers, can now own their own destiny and be successful in their own protection and recovery.
Yes, DPM 2007 changes some of the basic rules in the backup industry -- and now it is just weeks away from fulfilling that promise.
I guess to wrap up – there is a nugget those examples above that I had not expected, but in hindsight may be the best thing about DPM 2007. While I am a “backup guy” and I think that DPM 2007 is cool – we are seeing more and more excitement from application owners and application integrator partners. In ever increasing volume, we are seeing SQL Server administrators or Exchange administrators saying “I want DPM 2007” – with and without the impetus of the backup person who is managing legacy tape technology today.
Well, to all of those folks – I am personally and professionally happy to tell you, DPM 2007 is almost here. So, with our RTM announced, please go download the evaluation software and start your deployment discussions. Within just a few weeks, our partners will have it – and soon after, you can too. J