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Enterprise backup: a rewind and fast-forward look at the power of partnership


Mark.jpgBy Mark Fleischhauer, HP StoreEver Tape Storage Solutions Engineering Manager


Rewind—let’s look back

More than 15 years ago, we assembled a team of software engineers, solution architects and network administrators to develop a backup solution built on the early Fibre Channel storage area networks (SAN). Leveraging the speed and flexibility of Fibre Channel, we created a solution to optimize a tape library for connection to multiple clients.


Photo1.jpgWe started with two software partners—Seagate Backup Exec (now Symantec Backup Exec) and Computer Associates ARCserve—to build and create the first of its kind shared tape storage solution. For the first time, the tape library was not directly connected to a host but instead to a SAN that allowed multiple hosts to connect to it for backup. As a result, new software capabilities needed to be created and paradigms had to shift. Since then, this cutting-edge solution has become commonplace for backup. These early partnerships launched the concept, grew the technology and developed the solution that received the 1999 Network Magazine Product of the Year for the Enterprise Backup Solution.



In the Patner Lab: building a solid relationship with our partners

Since then, we’ve continued to move forward and added a number of partners along the way, including CommVault, IBM, Legato/EMC and Veritas/Symantec, plus many more. The early days of  the Enterprise Backup Solution (EBS) set a foundation that launched the solutions we have today. It helped create a software partner lab that allowed for close collaboration and testing, ensuring that our products worked together seamlessly, so that you could focus on your business, knowing your data would be protected. HP engineers have become more aware of partner technology and capabilities and are often called upon to help resolve issues when you experience problems with their solutions. Most often it is a simple configuration issue. On those rare occasions that a new problem is found, our relationship with our partners allows us to collaborate and make the necessary changes to address the root cause of the problem.


Photo2.jpgThese partnerships allow you to build exactly the right kind of solution you need to address your data protection challenges. As use cases for tape have evolved to include archive, HP has continued to add the necessary partners to address this growing market segment. Today we have over 30 partners listed on the Enterprise Backup Solution Matrix that identifies all you need to know to ensure that your solution components will work together. Compatibility is only one variable in the solution equation. In addition, we developed a number of supporting documents, solution white papers, and reference architectures to help guide you as you architect and configure a data protection solution for your environment.  



Fast forward. . .

As the methodologies continue to change for backup and archive, so too has our partner program and our product offering. While tape and our HP StoreEver tape libraries are still a very popular storage solution for archive and backup, disk-based back has continued to grow in popularity and use.


The disk-based HP StoreOnce product line offers a multitude of advanced features including deduplication that provides very powerful space optimization capabilities using hashing techniques developed by HP Labs. Through our partnerships, we’ve been able to fine-tune this feature to provide the best deduplication ratios possible. For massive scalability, the HP StoreAll solution is a great choice for disk-based archive and has been qualified with a number of partner solutions as well.


. . . to the future

EBS has been around for more than 15 years. Moving forward, EBS is merging with the new Data Agile Partner Program. This program leverages the HP Alliance One program to provide our partners with access to even more HP resources. With the Data Agile Partner Program, you can continue to be confident that you are investing in a certified solution, with assurance that your solution will remain robust through future software and firmware releases.


The ongoing power of partnership

Partnerships continue to be key to the backup and restore solutions offerings from HP. It’s what has allowed us to develop new technologies and capabilities, it’s helped make our solutions more reliable and robust, and it’s allowed both our partners and HP the ability to bring our solutions to market quickly.


As you seek a technology partner to help you with your data protection issues, a quick look back will help you see that HP has a proven and robust history of working effectively with a variety of partners. Fast-forward to the future and you’ll see that we have the products, the solutions and the partners in place to address the needs of tomorrow.


Learn more

Data Agile BURA Compatibility Matrix and more information on HP Data Agile Backup, Recovery and Archive (BURA) compatibility and solution white papers for HP StoreOnce Backup, HP StoreAll Storage and HP StoreEver Tape.


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