HP Data Protector Notebook Extension Provides Continuous Backup for Rapidly Expanding Mobile Workforce


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Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how data protection products and services can protect against costly data loss with a minimum of user involvement.

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HP Data Protector Notebook Extension Provides Continuous Backup for Rapidly Expanding Mobile Workforce

  1. 1. HP Data Protector Notebook Extension Provides Continuous Backup for Rapidly Expanding Mobile Workforce Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how data protection products and services can protect against costly data loss with a minimum of user involvement. For more information on HP Data protection Notebook Extension, click here. For a Webcast with IDC's Laura DuBois on Avoiding Risk and Improving Productivity on PCs and Laptops, click here. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard. Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on protecting PC-based data in an increasingly mobile world. We'll look at a use case for HP Data Protector Notebook Extension (DPNE) software and examine how backup and recovery software has evolved to become transparent, reliable, and fundamentally user driven. Using that continuous back-up principle, the latest notebook and PC backup software captures every saved version of a file, efficiently transfers it all in batches to a central storage location, and then makes it easily and safely accessible for recovery by user from anywhere. That's inside or outside of the corporate firewall. We'll look at how DPNE slashes IT recovery chores, allows for managed policies and governance to reduce data risks systemically, while also downsizing backups, the use of bandwidth, and storage. The economies are compelling. The cost of data lost can be more than $400,000 annually for an average-sized business with 5,000 users. Getting a handle on recovery cost, therefore, helps reduce the total cost of operating and supporting mobile PCs, both in terms of operations and in the cost of lost or poorly recovered assets. To help us better understand the state of the art remote in mobile PC data protection, we're joined by an HP executive and a user of HP DPNE software. Please join me in welcoming Shari Cravens, Product Marketing Manager for HP Data Protection. Welcome to the show, Shari.
  2. 2. Shari Cravens: Hi, Dana. Thanks for having me. Gardner: We're also here with John Ferguson, Network Systems Specialist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Welcome to the show, John. John Ferguson: Hi Dana. Thank you. Gardner: Let's start with you Shari. Tell me about the general state of the mobile workforce. Are we getting to the point where we're almost more mobile than stationary these days? Backup increasingly important Cravens: It's true. We started hearing from our customers a couple of years ago that PC backup was becoming increasingly important in their lives. Part of that's because the workforce is increasingly mobile and flexibility for the workforce is at an all time high. In fact, we found that 25 percent of staff in some industries is operating remotely and that number is growing pretty rapidly. In fact, in 2008, shipments of laptops overtook desktops for the very first time. What that really means for the end user or for IT staff is that vast amounts of data now live outside the corporate network. We found that the average PC holds about 55,000 files. Of those 55,000, about 4,000 are unique to that user on that PC. And, those files are largely unprotected. Gardner: Of course, we're also in a tough economic climate, and productivity is paramount. We've got more people doing more work across different locations. What is the impetus for IT to be doing this? Is there a real economic challenge here? Cravens: The economics of PC backup are really changing. We're finding that the average data loss incident costs about $2,900, and that's for both IT staff time and lost end user productivity. Take that $2,900 figure and extrapolate that for an average company of about 5,000 PCs. Then, look at hard drive failures alone. There will be about 150 incidents of hard drive failure for that company every year. If you look at the cost to IT staff to recover that data and the loss in employee productivity, the annual cost to that organization will be over $440,000 a year. If that data can't be recovered, then the user has to reconstruct it, and that means additional productivity loss for that employee. We also have legal compliance issues to consider now. So if that data is lost, that's an increased risk to the organization. Gardner: I suppose security also plays a role here. We want to make sure that when we do back up, it's encrypted, it's compressed, and we're not wasting valuable assets like bandwidth. Are there economic issues around that as well?
  3. 3. Cravens: Sure. We all have very sensitive files on our laptops, whether it's competitive information or your personal annual review. One of the things that's been a suggestion in the past was, "Well, we'll just save it to the corporate network." The challenge with that is that people are really concerned about saving these very sensitive files to the corporate network. What we really need is a solution that's going to encrypt those files, both in transit and at rest, so that people can feel secure that their data is protected. Gardner: Encryption doesn’t necessarily really mean big hogging files. You can do it with efficiency as well. Cravens: Absolutely, with changed blocks only, which is what DPNE does. Gardner: I think we understand the problem in terms of the economics, requirements for the data, sensitivity, and the mobility factors, but what about the problem from a technical perspective? What does it take in order to do something that’s simple and straightforward for the end user? Historical evolution Cravens: Let me back up a little bit and talk about how we got here. Historically, PC backup solutions have evolved from more traditional backup and recovery solutions, and there are a couple of assumptions there. One, they employ things like regularly scheduled backups that happen every 24 hours, and sometimes once a week. They assume that bandwidth concerns aren't necessarily much of an issue. This creates some problems in an increasingly mobile workforce. People are generally not regularly connected to the network. They are at coffee shops, at home, or in airports. They're often anywhere but the office, and it's entirely too easy to opt out of that scheduled backup. We’ve all had this experience. You're on a deadline, it's 10:00 a.m., and your backup window has popped up. You immediately hit "cancel," because you just can't afford the performance degradation on your PC, and it's really not an option anymore. HP has a unique approach to protecting information on desktops and PCs. Some data loss is going to be inevitable -- laptops get stolen or files are deleted -- but we don't think that means it has to be serious and expensive. The concept behind HP Data Protector Notebook Extension is that we're trying to minimize the risk of that PC data loss, but we're also trying to minimize the burden to IT staff. The solution is to extend some of the robust backup policies from the enterprise to the client environment. DPNE does three things. One, it's always protecting data, and it's transparent to the user. It's happening continuously, not on a fixed schedule, so there is no backup window that's popping up.
  4. 4. We’re protecting data no matter where the user is -- the home, the coffee shop, the airport. Whether they are online or offline, their data is being protected, and it's happening immediately. The instant that files are created or changed, data is being protected. Continuous file protection is number one. Backup policies are centralized and automated by the IT staff. That means that data is always protected, and the IT staff can configure those policies to support their organization's particular data protection goals. Number two, no matter where they are, users can easily recover their own data. This is a really important point. Getting back to the concept of minimizing the burden to IT staff, DPNE has a simple, single-click menu. Users can recover multiple versions of a file without ever involving IT. They don't ever have to pick up the phone and call the Help Desk. That helps keep IT costs low. Then, also by optimizing performance, we're eliminating that desire to opt out of your scheduled backup. The process is transparent to the user. It doesn’t impact their day, because DPNE saves and transmits only the changed data. So, the impact to performance is really minimized. Gardner: What about those times when folks are offline and are no longer connected, perhaps at a customer site or at that coffee shop? What's the process then? Local repository Cravens: That's a good question. DPNE has a local repository on each client and we established that to store active files. Whether you're connected to the network or not, data is captured and backed up locally to this local repository. This is important for accidental deletions or changes or even managing multiple versions of a file. You're able to go to the menu, click, and restore a file from a previous version at any point in time, without ever having to call IT. Each client is then assigned to a network repository or data vault inside the network. That holds the backup files that are transferred from the client, and that data vault uses essentially any Windows file share. The third element is a policy server. We talked about this a little before. The policy server allows IT staff to administer the overall system management from just a single web interface, and the centralized administration allows them to do file protection policies and set encryption policies, data vault policies, to their particular specifications. It also provides centralized reporting. Data vault usage, agent status, agent deployments, and license issues can be tracked through the policy server. Gardner: I really like this idea of taking what's going on centrally in terms of a life-cycle approach to data management, storage, and whatnot. Now, extending that out to these edges, regardless of where they are, really cuts down on the duplication. We have seen instances in the
  5. 5. past where so much money is wasted because of duplication of data. This allows for much more streamlined managed and governed approach. Cravens: Absolutely. It's filling a gap that has been out there for a while in addressing things like open file protection. This is one thing for DPNE that's very important. Email is a really critical application for most organizations now. The lack of open file protection in a lot of PC backup solutions is a huge gap that we can't ignore. Doing that in a way that doesn't overwhelm the system or create a lot of duplication is the way to go. It's really good for email PST files. DPNE ensures that PST files are saved and snapped, so we always have a copy of them. That works for not just Exchange, but also for Sage, big financial applications, or MySQL. Companies are using those to build home-grown applications. It works for pretty much any open file. Gardner: Okay, let's go to John Ferguson and learn a little bit about how this has been applied in the real world. You are still there, John, I hope. Ferguson: Yes, I am. Gardner: Very good. Tell me first about Roswell Park Cancer Institute, so we have a sense of the type organization that you are dealing with. Finding the cure Ferguson: Roswell Park Cancer Institute is the oldest cancer research center in the United States. We're focused on understanding, preventing, and eventually finding the cure for cancer. We're located in downtown Buffalo, New York. We have research, scientific, and educational facilities, and we also have a 125-bed hospital here. Our researchers and scientists are frequently published in major studies, reported globally, for various types of cancers, and with related research studies. A number of breakthroughs in cancer prevention and treatment have been developed here. For example, the PSA test, which is used for detecting prostate cancer, was invented here. Gardner: Tell me about the challenges you have. It seems with all that research, a great deal of data, a lot of people are moving around between your hospital and research facilities. What was the challenge that you've been grappling with in terms of the data? Ferguson: Well, the real challenge as you mentioned, is that data is moving around. When you are dealing with researchers and scientists, they work at different schedules than the rest of us. When they are working, they are focused and that might be here, off campus, at home, whatever.
  6. 6. They've got their notebooks, their data is with them and they're running around and doing their work and finding their answers. With that data moving around and not always being on the network, the potential for the data loss of something that could be the cure for cancer is something that we take very seriously and very important to deal with. Gardner: So, when you decided that this mobility issue was really something you couldn't ignore anymore, what was it that you looked for in a solution? What were some of the top requirements in terms of being able to solve this on the terms that you needed? Ferguson: One of the big things was transparency to the user and being simple to use if they do need to use it. We were already in the process of making a decision to replace our existing overall backup solution with HP's Data Protector. So, it was just a natural thing to look at DPNE and it really fits the need terrifically. There's total transparency to the user. Users don't even have to do anything. They're just going along, doing their work, and everything is going on in the background. And, if they need to use it, it's very intuitive and simple to use. Gardner: Tell me about the implementation. How far in are you and to what degree do you expect to get to -- the number of seats, etc.? Ferguson: In terms of the overall Data Protector implementation, we're probably about 40 percent complete. The DPNE implementation will immediately follow that. A good test run We anticipate initially just getting our IT staff using the application and giving it a good test run. Then we'll focus on key individuals throughout the organization, researchers, the scientists, the CEO, CIO, the people with all the nice initials after their name, and get them taken care of. We'll get a full rollout after that. Gardner: It might be a little bit premature, as you're about 40 percent in, but do you have any sense of where this is going to take you on a total cost basis for the PCs and mobile notebooks themselves, or perhaps even applying that to the larger overall lifecycle data cost? Ferguson: I don't think I can come up with actual cost numbers, but I do know that covering the exposure that we have for the possibility of losing critical data is enormous. You can't put a price tag on saving the potential possibility that someone who has a cure for cancer on their laptop says, "Oh, we lost it, sorry." It doesn’t work that way. Gardner: I suppose another intangible, but nonetheless powerful benefit, is this element of trust that people will be more trusting of these devices. Therefore, they'll become more productive in the way they use them, when you have given them this sense of a backup and insurance policy, if you will, on their work.
  7. 7. Ferguson: Absolutely. In the past, we've told people to follow best practices. Make sure that when you want to save your data, save it on the network drive. That, of course, requires them to be on campus or connected remotely. A lot of thought that has to go into that. When people are working on something, they don't think to “save it,” until they're actually done with it. And, DPNE provides us that versioning saving. You can get old versions of documents. You can keep track of them. That's the type of thing that's not really done, but it's really important, and they don't want to lose it. Gardner: John Do you have folks that are in the legal department or proprietary, intellectual property minded folks who have some understanding of some of the benefits of this system? Ferguson: We have plenty of people in our legal department, auditors, and all kinds of federal regulations that we have to adhere to. When it comes down to keeping track of data, keeping versions, and that type of thing, it's definitely important. Gardner: Shari, you're listening to John. Is there anything that jumps out at you about how this is being implemented that you think highlights some of the values here? Nothing more compelling Cravens: John's comment about losing a laptop where you have a researcher working on a cure for cancer. I can't think of anything that's more compelling in terms of how important it is to save the data that's out there on notebooks and laptops. I don't think it matters how big your organization is -- small, medium, large -- a lot of that data is very valuable, and most of it is running around outside the network now. Even for an average- sized organization, they could be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year that they shouldn't have to in IT support and lost productivity. Gardner: Very good. Let me take a quick peek at the future. Most people seem to agree that the amount of data is going to continue to explode for some time. Certainly, regulations and requirements for these legal issues don’t go away. John, is this problem something that from your perspective is going to be solved or is this sort of an ongoing rising tide that you have to fight to keep up with? Ferguson: When it comes to federal regulations, it always is a rising tide, but we've got a good solution that we are implementing and I think it puts us ahead of the curve. Gardner: Shari, how about you? Do you see a trend in the future in terms of data quantity, quality, and security issues that will give us a sense of where this problem is headed? Cravens: Absolutely. Information is continuing to explode and that's not going to stop. In addition to that, the workforce is only going to get more mobile. This problem definitely isn’t going to go away, and we need solutions that can address the flexibility and mobility of the workforce and be able to manage, as John mentioned, the increase in regulations.
  8. 8. Gardner: Of course, there's that old important issue about getting those costs under control at the same time. Cravens: Absolutely. Going back to the possibility that there are organizations spending hundreds and thousands of dollars now that they don’t need to, with HP DPNE, they can actually avoid that. Gardner: One thing I want to also hit on, Shari, is how you get started. If folks are interested in maybe doing a trial or trying out with this, what are some steps to get some hands-on experience? Simple implementation Cravens: HP Data Protector is very simple to implement. It snaps into your existing infrastructure. You don’t need any specialized hardware. All you need is a Windows machine for the policy server and some disk space for the data vault. You can download a 60-day trial version from hp.com. It's a full-featured version, and you can work with that. If you have a highly complex multi-site organization, then you might want to employ the services of HP’s Backup and Recovery Fast Track Services for Data Protector. They can help get a more complex solution up and running quickly and reduce the impact on your IT staff just that much sooner. Gardner: We've been looking at a use case for HP Data Protector Notebook Extension software and at how backup and recovery software have evolved. And, we have a better understanding of this transparency and reliability. I particularly liked that integration with the backend policies and governance across the lifecycle of data. I think that's really going to be the big cost saver over time. I want to thank our guests who are joining us in our discussion. We are here with Shari Cravens, Product Marketing Manager for HP Data Protection. Thank you so much, Shari. Cravens: Thank you. Gardner: And John Ferguson. I appreciate your input. He is the Network Systems Specialist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Thank you, sir. Ferguson: Thank you. It's been a pleasure. Gardner: This is Dana Gardner principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You’ve been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time. Listen to the podcast. Download the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Learn more. Sponsor: HP
  9. 9. Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how data protection services can protect against costly data loss with a minimum of user involvement. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard. For more information on HP Data protection Notebook Extension, click here. For a Webcast with IDC's Laura DuBois on Avoiding Risk and Improving Productivity on PCs and Laptops, click here. You may also be interested in: • Harnessing 'Virtualization Sprawl' Requires Managing Your Ecosystem of Technologies • HP Roadmap Dramatically Reduces Energy Consumption Across Data Centers • Consolidation, Modernization, and Virtualization: A Triple-Play for Long-Term Enterprise IT Cost Reduction