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Analyst Report : EMC VNX and Avamar Deduplication Backup Bring Smooth Sailing to Your Virtualization Odyssey

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Analyst Report : EMC VNX and Avamar Deduplication Backup Bring Smooth Sailing to Your Virtualization Odyssey

Analyst Report : EMC VNX and Avamar Deduplication Backup Bring Smooth Sailing to Your Virtualization Odyssey

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  • 1. EMC VNX and Avamar Deduplication Backup Bring Smooth Sailing to Your Virtualization OdysseyTHE CLIPPER GROUPNavigatorPublished Since 1993 Report #TCG2012003LE TM Navigating Information Technology Horizons February 10, 2012 SM EMC VNX and Avamar Deduplication BackupBring Smooth Sailing to Your Virtualization Odyssey Analyst: Michael Fisch Management Summary In the ancient Greek poem the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus takes ten years to travel by sea to his home on Ithaca after the Trojan War. He was held captive by the nymph Calypso on her island and later captured by the one-eyed Cyclops. Odysseus encountered numerous adventures along the way, such as skirting the treacherous rocks of the mesmerizing Sirens by tying himself to the ship’s mast. He finally arrived on Ithaca, slayed the greedy young men courting his wife Penelope, and rejoined his household. The Odyssey is also a metaphor for the journey of virtualizing your data center. The benefits of the journey are worth it, including higher utilization, lower hardware costs, greater flexibility, and ultimate- ly higher IT quality of service. The virtualization odyssey takes time and challenges will arise along the way, though it does not have to take ten years, nor does it have to involve long struggles with demi- gods and monsters. With good planning and smart technologies and processes, enterprises can make steady progress in virtualizing a data center, typically in phases, and avoid situations known colloquial- ly as “VM stall,” where virtualization progress is slowed or ceased until underlying bottlenecks or other problems are resolved. EMC has developed a first-rate combination of VNX unified storage and Avamar deduplication backup software optimized for supporting VMware virtual environments. VMware is the market- leading virtualization software. VNX and Avamar are tightly integrated with VMware at functional and management interfaces and deliver a palette of capabilities for addressing virtualization challenges. Read on for details about the benefits and challenges of virtualization and how EMC VNX and Avamar contribute to fair winds and smooth sailing on your virtualization odyssey. Benefits of Virtualization Many consider virtualization the greatest thing since sliced bread. And, in a way, virtualization is analogous to sliced bread. When a loaf of bread comes pre-sliced, it is easy to use and share. Take one slice to make toast, two slices for a sandwich, eight to make French toast for a family breakfast, and so on, until the loaf is consumed. Virtualization software “slices” or partitions a physical server into mul- tiple virtual machines and enables it to run multiple applications independently. In traditional IT envi- ronments, each host server is dedicated to one application and compute resources are poorly uti- lized – generally around 5 to 10 percent. This is IN THIS ISSUE like eating only one or two slices from a bread loaf and letting the rest go stale. Virtualization  Benefits of Virtualization ....................... 1 solves this problem through server consolidation  Challenges of Virtualization .................. 2 and boosts utilization to the range of 60 to 80 per-  VNX Unified Storage............................... 3 cent or better. It reduces hardware acquisition costs and operating expenses, such as power,  Avamar Deduplication Backup.............. 4 cooling, floor space, maintenance, and support.  Conclusion .............................................. 7 The Clipper Group, Inc. - Technology Acquisition Consultants Internet Publisher  One Forest Green Road  Rye, New Hampshire 03870  U.S.A.  781-235-0085  781-235-5454 FAX Visit Clipper at www.clipper.com  Send comments to editor@clipper.com
  • 2. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 2 Moreover, it is amazingly simple to provi- workloads are less likely to bump up against sys-sion a new virtual machine. An administrator tem limits. Capacity planning means buying acan set one up in minutes, as compared to days new server or storage capacity when needed, andor weeks to buy and install a new physical server having the foresight to do it before applicationsin a data center. begin to slow down noticeably or reach a physi- Faster provisioning makes IT more respon- cal limit. In a virtual environment where multi-sive to changing business requirements and facil- ple workloads run per host server, resources areitates to an agile and more competitive enter- operating at closer to maximum and administra-prise. Virtual machines can migrate between tors have to monitor performance issues moreservers, even in real time without disrupting pro- closely. Capacity planning, in this context,duction applications. This turns hardware up- means correctly sizing resources and addinggrades and workload balancing into easier, non- CPU, memory, I/O, storage capacity, or wholedisruptive tasks. The ability to recover a virtual systems when needed, as well as ensuring a bal-machine to any hardware platform streamlines ance among these components to avoid resourcerecoveries. All of this contributes to higher bottlenecks that prevent the system from beingavailability. fully utilized. VM migration between servers is Virtualization is also a cornerstone of cloud a valuable feature that facilitates workload bal-computing, or in less celestial jargon, IT as a ancing, system maintenance, and recovery,Service (ITaaS). Cloud computing is where IT though it also means the infrastructure is moreis heading because the concept promises the ul- fluid and, thus, more challenging to track andtimate in flexibility, quality of service, and cost manage. In short, virtual environments areeffectiveness. Private clouds and public clouds denser, more dynamic, and operate closer to theare already being implemented today, and many edge of resource limits, which delivers the bene-more will be as the technology components de- fits of virtualization but also requires more strin-velop and mature. Virtualization is a significant gent management and controls.and essential step toward cloud computing. Monitoring and management tools and At an enterprise data center, the transition to processes need to be adapted for virtual environ-a virtual environment typically happens in phas- ments. Administrators must be able to monitores. It starts with lower-risk applications like test and troubleshoot on a per-VM basis, whichand development, Web servers, and file and print means monitoring performance at the hypervisorservers, and eventually move to business-critical layer, as well as operating system, application,and customer-facing applications. As enterprises network, and storage. Tools should be integrat-try out and develop expertise in server virtualiza- ed with the virtualization software to ensure vis-tion and experience the benefits, the footprint ibility, coordination, and to leverage its capabili-expands. ties fully. As the environment grows, alerts and automation help greatly to keep up with man-Challenges of Virtualization agement tasks. Virtualization brings a different set of chal- VM sprawl is a well-known problem in vir-lenges than a purely physical environment. Vir- tualized environments. It is so easy to createtualization adds a software abstraction layer on new VMs – a matter of a few keystrokes andtop of server hardware that partitions the system mouse clicks – that there is an inclination to cre-and enables it to support multiple instances of ate too many and overload system resources.operating systems and applications. This change Each VM consumes CPU, memory, I/O, andis significant and structural and requires a corre- storage. It is not free. However, compared tosponding change in IT management processes the long and deliberate process of requisitioning,and tools. Key areas to address include capacity purchasing, and installing a new physical server,planning, resource monitoring and management, it easy to overlook the real cost of provisioningVM sprawl, I/O bottlenecks, storage manage- VMs and allow them to proliferate uncontrolled.ment, data protection, and backup. The solution is to establish a formal request and Capacity planning in a virtual environment approval process, limit access, and decommis-is more challenging because the infrastructure is sion VMs that are no longer needed and returnshared and utilization rates are higher. In a tradi- their freed resources to the available pool. VMtional environment where each server hosts a sprawl also accentuates the needs for good capa-single application, resource utilization is low and city planning and resource monitoring.Copyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 3. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 3 I/O Bottlenecks, in particular, are common cesses, and skills for managing a virtual envi-resource constraints in virtual environments. ronment.With multiple workloads sharing the same net- But why get stuck on an island and delay thework or host bus adapters, network links and full benefits of virtualization? And why spendstorage systems, traffic can become congested more time and money to address these challeng-and slow down application performance. Man- es after the fact? We recommend tackling theagement features like VM migrations and even challenges of virtualization beforehand to facili-VM snapshots put more traffic on I/O channels. tate smooth sailing on your virtualization odys-So, it is important to size I/O correctly and regu- sey.larly monitor I/O performance to identify andremedy bottlenecks. VNX Unified Storage Storage management is critical because it The EMC VNX series unified storage1 plat-has a significant impact on performance and cost form has a feature set well-suited for virtual en-in a virtual environment. As the end of the I/O vironments, including unified SAN and NAS,stream and the only part of the system with redundancy, scalability, high performance, re-physically moving parts (i.e., disk drives), stor- source efficiency, simplified management, andage performance directly affects application support for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.workloads. Maintaining sufficient capacity in The VNX series includes multiple productsthe wake of VM sprawl, snapshots, and natural spanning the midrange: VNX5100, VNX5300,data growth is essential to avoid incapacitating VNX5500, VNX5700, and VNX7500.out-of-space conditions. Finally, storage is a VNX supports SAN and NAS, also knowndear resource and the efficient use of storage is as “block” and “file” storage, which gives usersconsequential to the total infrastructure cost of a choice among FC, iSCSI, FCoE, CIFS, and NFSvirtual environment. for their virtual environments. Networked stor- The rules of data protection and backup age is a best practice for virtualization because itand recovery change in a virtual environment can be shared among multiple servers. It enablesbecause of workload density and the added hy- storage consolidation and advanced capabilities,pervisor layer. With multiple application work- such as VMware vMotion, for online VM migra-loads running on a physical server, there are less tion between ESXi servers. Most enterprisesCPU, memory, and I/O resources available for choose SAN storage for best performance in areplication, copies, and backup. Backup, in par- virtual environment, though some opt for NASticular, presents a challenge. With multiple for its manageability benefits. The VNX canworkloads to back up within a limited time win- serve virtual and physical infrastructure in thedow, this process can overrun the backup win- same system, as most enterprises will continue todow and slow production activities during busi- have a hybrid storage environment in its dataness hours or cause some data to be unprotected. centers.Above-average data growth in virtual environ- The VNX architecture has built-in redun-ments compounds this problem. Since VMs can dancy with no single points of failure. In fact,move between physical servers, it is more chal- EMC claims “five 9s” availability based on ac-lenging to track the backup status of workloads tual field performance. As virtual environmentsand ensure backup service levels are met. There consolidate more workloads and application datais also the question of whether to run agents at sets into fewer systems, high availability be-the guest (i.e., application and OS) or image (i.e., comes more important for maintaining applica-VM encapsulated file) level, where each has its tion uptime and business continuity. VNX fea-advantages. tures include dual active/active controllers, au- If the challenges of virtualization are not ad- tomatic failover and failback, mirrored writedressed strategically and effectively, they can cache with de-stage to disk in the event of powerlead to a situation known as VM stall. Like failure, RAID 0, 1, 0/1, 3, 5, and 6. The systemOdysseus’ seven-year captivity on Calypso’s supports internal monitoring, call-home, remoteisland, this is where the progress of virtualizing a diagnostics, and non-disruptive software up-data center slows or ceases until the underlyingproblems are resolved. VM stall is not inevita- 1 See The Clipper Group Navigator dated February 21,ble; rather, it is the result of insufficient planning 2011, entitled New EMC VNX Unified Storage Family Offersand investment in the optimal technologies, pro- the Best of CLARiiON and Celerra for the Midrange and available at http://www.clipper.com/research/TCG2011008.pdf.Copyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 4. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 4grades and field hardware replacement. find that by using storage tiers with a mix of The VNX architecture is also modular and flash and disk drives, they can optimize perfor-scalable. Virtual environments drive storage mance while lowering drive costs. File dedupli-growth at an above average pace, so storage cation and compression reduces space consumedscalability is essential for maintaining adequate in NAS environments, while block compressioncapacity. The VNX expands incrementally by reduces space for inactive LUNs in SAN envi-adding Disk Array Enclosures (DAE) and disk ronments. (There’s more on deduplication in thedrives (small form-factor SAS; large form-factor next section on Avamar.)SAS, NL-SAS, and flash (SSD2)). The largest Storage administrators need to have visibil-VNX7500 expands to a maximum capacity of up ity into the virtual environment, and VMwareto 1,000 drives (or 1,974TBs with 2TB drives), administrators should have some control overreaching well into the high-end range of the stor- storage resources. EMC Unisphere is the cen-age market. tralized management console for VNX systems, Virtual environments are more sensitive to as well as EMC’s CLARiiON, Celerra, and Re-storage performance because they concentrate coverPoint/SE. Unisphere is virtualization-multiple workloads onto a shared I/O path. Mix- aware and provides a view extending intoing operations from multiple workloads also VMware vSphere. It automatically discoversturns disk-friendly sequential operations into ESXi Servers and VMs and maps them to physi-cache-centric random operations. Storage arrays cal volumes on an EMC storage array. Virtualneed to deliver solid performance, especially for Storage Integrator, a vSphere Client plug-in forrandom I/Os, to maintain acceptable application Unisphere, allows VMware administrators toperformance. discover and identify VNX storage devices, pro- VNX optimizes performance with a “Flash vision and mount new data stores, and manage1st” strategy that includes features like FAST VP multipathing with EMC PowerPath. Unisphere(Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Analyzer is an optional feature for monitoringPools) and FAST Cache. Beyond standard cache and analyzing storage performance and is usefulmemory, VNX supports FAST Cache, which for spotting and managing I/O bottlenecks. Allallocates up to 2 TB of flash drive capacity as of these tools help address the challenge of mon-read-write cache, which gives a major boost to itoring and management of storage resources in arandom I/O performance. The feature monitors virtual environment.I/O activity and automatically moves frequently Furthermore, VNX is integrated with theaccessed data in 64KB blocks into flash-based vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). Thiscache to deliver a faster system response time. is a set of APIs that allows VMware ESXi hostsFAST VP provides automated storage tiering. to coordinate with storage arrays and offloadThis feature analyzes I/O patterns, categorizes I/O-intensive operations, such as copies andthem based on access frequency, and automati- writing zeroes. For thin provisioning, it assistscally moves 1GB increments between tiers of with dead space reclamation and limits the im-SAS, NL-SAS, and flash drives to optimize per- pact of an out-of-space condition to the relatedformance and resource efficiency. FAST VP VM, instead of all VMs in the data store. Theseand FAST Cache can be used simultaneously, capabilities help make the most of storage andthough each requires dedicated flash drives. I/O resources and keep costs down. VNX sup-VNX also offers high-speed 8Gb per second FC ports also VMware Site Recovery Managerand 10GbE connections for host connectivity. (SRM), a plug-in for vCenter that automates fail- Resource efficiency features are designed to over and failback between sites and makes disas-reduce actual capacity requirements and cost in ter recovery faster and more reliable. The VNXthe VNX. Virtual provisioning is a thin provi- replication software MirrorView can then partic-sioning feature that presents a large virtual ca- ipate in the automated recovery process, facilitat-pacity to the host while allocating actual capacity ing data protection in a virtual environment.incrementally from a shared pool as it is con- Avamar Deduplication Backup Soft-sumed. It also supports fully-allocated thickprovisioning for maximum performance. FAST ware and SystemVP is another efficiency tool. Many enterprises EMC Avamar3 is uniquely suited for virtual 32 See The Clipper Group Navigator dated June 8, 2010, SSD=Solid State Disk. entitled EMC NetWorker and Avamar — An Integrated PairCopyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 5. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 5environments and offers deep integration with desktop and laptop PCs over a WAN connectionVMware. It solves several virtualization chal- to an enterprise’s main data center, thereby con-lenges related to backup and recovery. solidating the backup process.  Very fast daily full backups through Deduplicating data in this way minimizes variable-length client-side and global the impact of backup on virtualized servers, so deduplication, backup to disk, and backups are faster and more reliable and enter- VMware integration. prises can maintain high utilization rates on vir-  Fast, one-step recovery through daily tualized servers without being constrained by the “full” backup and changed-block re- backup process. Avamar does a full backup ini- store through VMware integration. tially as a baseline and all subsequent backups  Virtualization-aware backup moni- are incremental. It organizes data so that each toring and management through in- incremental is presentable as a logical full back- tegration with VMware vCenter. up and restores are a one-step process. This  Guest, image, and off-host backup eliminates the tedious process of restoring the last “good full” and subsequent “incrementals” through applications and VMware in- to reach the desired recovery point. tegrations.  Dramatically reduces backup storage Disk-based backup has become mainstream because of its speed and reliability advantages capacity requirement and cost over tape. Tape may be too slow or unreliable to through variable-length deduplication. meet the data protection requirements of the  Virtual Avamar server option via business.4 It requires physical handling and can Avamar Virtual Edition virtual ap- be misplaced or damaged during loading, un- pliance, which leverages an existing loading, or transport. In contrast, disk is a faster VMware ESX server’s disk, storage, storage medium, especially because it can pro- CPU, and memory. cess random reads and writes immediately. It  Backup of physical and virtual envi- does not require handling and is resilient through ronments because most enterprises RAID and redundant components. Disk-based will continue to have both. storage can be checked daily for data integrity –Client-Side Deduplication Backup something that is not done with tape. Moreover, Avamar reduces backup data at the client be- data deduplication solutions, like Avamar, makefore transferring it across a network for storage disk-based backup feasible by effectively shat-on disk. It uses a variable-length, sub-file dedu- tering the cost barrier.plication algorithm to minimize the amount of Backup Across the Enterprisedata being transported and, therefore, also mini- In addition to virtual environments, Avamarmizes network bandwidth and storage require- is particularly effective for remote and branchments. Through a sophisticated identification office consolidated backup, desktops and lap-and communication process, Avamar eliminates tops, file servers, and NAS systems.redundant backup data within and across pro- Avamar’s client-side deduplication enablestected systems, wherever they exist in the enter- fast, daily full backups for remote office serversprise. According to EMC, Avamar reduces the and desktop/laptop systems via existing WANrequired daily network bandwidth consumption links. Avamar automatically backs up systemsby up to 99% and cumulative backend storage to an enterprise’s main data center, thereby con-can be reduced by up to 50 times (depending on solidating the backup process. Backup and re-the nature of the data) across sites and servers. covery becomes more manageable and reliable Avamar supports client-side deduplication of by leveraging the data center IT experts anddatabases related to applications, such as Mi- eliminating reliance on non-technical remotecrosoft Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint, Oracle, workers and failure-prone local tape devices.IBM’s DB2 and Lotus Domino, and others. Avamar also offers an easy-to-use interface thatAvamar is tightly integrated with VMware for enables desktop/laptop users to recover theirbacking up virtual machines. Avamar automati- own data quickly without involving the IT helpcally backs up servers in remote offices and even 4 However, tape is still the lowest-cost option for long-termfor Traditional and Deduplication Backup and available at data archiving. Avamar can export deduplicated backup datahttp://www.clipper.com/research/TCG2010028.pdf. to tape for long-term preservation.Copyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 6. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 6desk, which boosts user productivity and frees IT environments is available, as well. The disad-staff to work on other projects. vantage of guest-level backup is, with multiple For NAS systems, the Avamar NDMP Ac- agents running simultaneously during thecelerator provides fast, daily full backups and backup window; the agents compete for re-eliminates the need for recurring level-0 sources and can overload the system, limiting“dumps” that often exceed the available backup physical server consolidation. However,time window for completion. By eliminating while Avamar agents typically use 15% morethis backup bottleneck, Avamar facilitates great- CPU than traditional backup agents, Avamarer NAS utilization and performance without lim- backups complete up to 10 times faster, reduc-iting the amount or size of files on the NAS de- ing the total client CPU utilization by up tovice. 85% over a seven-day period compared to tra- Avamar also supports disaster recovery, ditional methods and making daily full guestsince deduplicated backup data can be efficiently backups faster and more efficient.replicated to an offsite location via existing  Image-level backup leverages the VMwareWAN links. vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) While many enterprises will retain tradition- for off-host backup of VMDK (virtual ma-al backup applications for some environments, if chine disk) files that encapsulate the entire vir-only because their backup processes are so well tual server, including VM configuration, oper-entrenched, Avamar can serve as the backup ap- ating system, and application. Backup agentsplication for an entire data center or distributed are not required to run in each VM, as the caseenterprise – both physical and virtual environ- with guest-level backup. Rather, the ESXiments. Server takes a snapshot copy of each VM and presents it to a proxy server running AvamarVMware Integration agents (the proxy itself is a VM). Backup jobs Avamar is integrated with VMware vCenter flow directly over the network from the stor-Server. The Avamar management console ac- age array through the proxy to an Avamar Da-cesses vCenter Server directly, discovers new ta Store. The VNX also supports vProxyVMs automatically, and displays their current Server Load Balancing that automatically dis-backup status, whether guest or image backup or tributes backup jobs round robin among mul-unprotected. Administrators have instant visibil- tiple proxy servers, to speed up the backupity to apply the appropriate backup policies. process and make the most of available re-This capability is very helpful for backup man- sources. The image-level approach facilitatesagement in a world of VM sprawl and migrating faster backups, is non-disruptive to productionVMs. For example, if a server administrator applications, and allows VMware to consoli-creates a new VM in response to a user request, date more workloads per physical server. Re-the backup administrator can automatically dis- coveries can be full VMDK files or individualcover it and apply a backup policy. With this files (but only for Windows).baseline protection in place, he can inquire with Related to image backup is a VMware fea-the server administrator about the level of data ture called Changed Block Tracking that time-protection it should have going forward. stamps changes to block data in VMDK files and Avamar supports both guest- and image- makes this information available through VADP.level backups for VMware environments. Avamar leverages Changed Block Tracking to Guest-level backup is similar to traditional further speed backup and recovery times. backup for physical servers. It uses the same Avamar identifies the blocks that changed from backup agents, except agents run in the VMs last backup to the current state of the VM, and on an ESXi server. If 20 VM workloads are restore only those blocks – speeding restores to running on a physical server, 20 backup the production environment by 30 times, com- agents also are running. Guest-level backup is pared to traditional restores, according to EMC. the most familiar to traditional backup admin- When choosing between guest-level and im- istrators and offers a sense of continuity in age-level backup for your workloads, image- transitioning to a virtual environment. Appli- level is preferable because it is non-disruptive, cation consistency is available for guest-level offers greater resource efficiency, more address- backups using agents that integrate with spe- es more virtualization challenges, but there are cific applications like SQL or Oracle. File- limitations, such as application consistency, level restore for Windows, Linux, and Solaris where in-guest is the viable alternative.Copyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 7. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 7Virtual Avamar Servers The EMC Avamar Virtual Edition for VM-ware is a virtual appliance for backup, recovery,and disaster recovery. Avamar Virtual Editionenables users to deploy Avamar deduplicationtechnology in an easy and repeatable fashion onVMware ESXi Server hosts. Each virtual appli-ance supports up to 2TBs of deduplicated back-up capacity (which under a typical traditionalbackup schedule would require approximately70TBs of tape or disk storage) and leverages theexisting VMware shared server and storage in-frastructure to minimize costs and simplify man-agement. Avamar Virtual Edition supportsvMotion for deployment flexibility and up totwo virtual appliances per ESXi server. By sup-porting replication between Avamar virtual ap-pliances or from Avamar virtual appliances tophysical Avamar servers (discussed next), itprovides an alternative for offsite tape shipmentsand eliminates the risk of losing unencrypteddata. EMC also offers physical Avamar DataStore servers packaged as an all-in-one solutionconsisting of EMC Avamar software running onpreconfigured, EMC-certified hardware. TheAvamar Data Store is available in a scalablemulti-node model or a single-node model. Theadvantages of a packaged solution includestreamlined purchasing, deployment, and on-sitesetup.Conclusion The cost, flexibility, and business agilitybenefits of virtualization far outweigh its chal-lenges. With thoughtful planning and the righttechnologies, you can enjoy smooth sailing onyour virtualization odyssey and avoid gettingcaught up on the rocks of VM stall. So, take aclose look at EMC VNX unified storage andAvamar deduplication backup software and sys-tem for your virtual environment. They aremore than storage and backup elements for yourinfrastructure; they can also bring features andintegration with VMware that solve your virtual-ization challenges. Avamar isalso a great solution for back-up, recovery, and disaster re-covery of data residing in re-mote/branch offices, desk-tops/laptops, and NAS sys-tems. Together this combina-tion can transform your infra-structure and accelerate yourvirtualization odyssey. SMCopyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.
  • 8. The Clipper Group Navigator TMFebruary 10, 2012 Page 8 About The Clipper Group, Inc. The Clipper Group, Inc., now in its twentieth year, is an independent consulting firm spe- cializing in acquisition decisions and strategic advice regarding complex, enterprise-class in- formation technologies. Our team of industry professionals averages more than 25 years of real-world experience. A team of staff consultants augments our capabilities, with significant experience across a broad spectrum of applications and environments.  The Clipper Group can be reached at 781-235-0085 and found on the web at www.clipper.com. About the Author Michael Fisch is a Senior Contributing Analyst for The Clipper Group. He brings 15 years of experience in the computer industry working in marketing, sales, and engineering, the last nine of which he has been an analyst with Clipper. Before Clipper, Mr. Fisch worked at EMC Corporation as a marketing program manager focused on service providers and as a competitive market analyst. Before that, he worked in international channel development, manufacturing, and technical support at Extended Systems (since acquired by Sybase). Mr. Fisch earned an MBA from Babson College and a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineer- ing from the University of Idaho.  Reach Michael Fisch via e-mail at mike.fisch@clipper.com at 781-235-0085 Ext. 211. (Please dial “211” when you hear the automated attendant.). Regarding Trademarks and Service Marks , , , , , and “clipper.com” are trademarks of The Clipper Group, Inc., and the clipper ship drawings, “Nav- igating Information Technology Horizons”, and “teraproductivity” are service marks of The Clipper Group, Inc. The Clipper Group, Inc., reserves all rights regarding its trademarks and service marks. All other trademarks, etc., belong to their respective owners. Disclosure Officers and/or employees of The Clipper Group may own as individuals, directly or indirectly, shares in one or more companies discussed in this bulletin. Company policy prohibits any of- ficer or employee from holding more than one percent of the outstanding shares of any compa- ny covered by The Clipper Group. The Clipper Group, Inc., has no such equity holdings. After publication of a bulletin on clipper.com, The Clipper Group offers all vendors and users the opportunity to license its publications for a fee, since linking to Clipper’s web pages, post- ing of Clipper documents on other’s websites, and printing of hard-copy reprints is not allowed without payment of related fee(s). Less than half of our publications are licensed in this way. In addition, analysts regularly receive briefings from many vendors. Occasionally, Clipper an- alysts’ travel and/or lodging expenses and/or conference fees have been subsidized by a ven- dor, in order to participate in briefings. The Clipper Group does not charge any professional fees to participate in these information-gathering events. In addition, some vendors sometime provide binders, USB drives containing presentations, and other conference-related parapher- nalia to Clipper’s analysts. Regarding the Information in this Issue The Clipper Group believes the information included in this report to be accurate. Data has been received from a variety of sources, which we believe to be reliable, including manufacturers, dis- tributors, or users of the products discussed herein. The Clipper Group, Inc., cannot be held respon- sible for any consequential damages resulting from the application of information or opinions con- tained in this report.Copyright © 2012 by The Clipper Group, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without advance written permission. All rights reserved.