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Dell Software Adds Integrated Backup and Recovery Appliances


May 19, 2015

So much attention these days is paid to business continuity solutions for large enterprises that we sometimes forget that the need to never be offline and thus have backup and disaster recovery capabilities is a problem for businesses of any size. In fact, in a global 24/7/365 world no business can afford downtime.  In our real-time world, the old adage that “time is money” has never been truer. And, as a result the urgency of being always on and all ways accessible with a high-performance and secure user experience has also never been more important for large and small and medium size businesses (SMBs) alike.

The challenge for SMBs is that the cost of business continuity solutions has been prohibitive, whether on-premise or from the cloud.  Hence, most have reluctantly been in a position of accepting the risks of a failure vs. the expense of getting the peace of mind that goes with knowing you can remain in business in the face of something that could become a catastrophe even if you are off the grid for a short period of time.  For those of us in the New York area who lived through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, we can appreciate just how problematic not being able to operate can be.

Backup and recovery solutions for SMBs

In recognition of SMB needs, Dell Software has announced two new offerings to its DL series backup and recovery appliances, the Dell DL4300 and DL1000 1TB.  As Dell Software explains, the two new appliances combine the reliability of Dell’s PowerEdge servers with the power of its AppAssure data protection software. They are designed precisely to provide mid-sized and small companies with easy-to-deploy, turnkey data protection solutions. They have also been designed to work across physical, virtual and cloud environments, enabling customers to confidently protect critical data and applications regardless of location, and build upon Dell’s data protection expertise which is used by over 70,000 customers around the world according to the company.  

Commenting on the release, Brett Roscoe, general manager, data protection, Dell Software stated: "Customers no longer want to deal with the complexity of legacy backup and recovery solutions. They want to move to modern, high-performance platforms with all of the leading features and capabilities built in. That’s exactly what Dell’s DL appliances deliver. With the addition of the DL4300 and DL1000 TB, Dell’s backup and recovery appliances offer customers a combination of choice, performance and value that no other vendor in the industry can match."

A few facts about each of the appliances demonstrates their utility for use by SMBs.

Dell DL4300: Comes with the latest version of Dell’s AppAssure backup, replication and recovery software pre-installed.  Attributes of note include:

  • Superior scalability –The standard edition offers up to 60TB of usable capacity, while the high-capacity offering provides up to 120TB of usable capacity. An attraction is Dell licensing where customers can license only the portion of the total appliance capacity they need while maintaining the chance to license the unused capacity only when more storage is required.  Plus, the standard capacity edition allows customers to expand capacity inside the enclosure. This negates the need for expensive, forklift upgrades, and customers with larger deployments can add additional storage resources by adding expansion shelves.
  • Improved performance –The standard offering features an 8-core processor and up to 128G of memory. The high-capacity offering features a 10-core processer and up to 256G of memory.
  • Enhanced VM management – With the Dell DL product line, customers can run virtual standbys of their protected applications, allowing them to recover from a disaster in seconds. As part of the new DL4300 feature set, customers can view and manage all standby VMs in a single interface, eliminating the need to access the hypervisor itself and minimizing the complexity associated with protecting virtual environments. The standard version comes with two licensed Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines, while the high-capacity version comes with four.
  • Rapid Appliance Self Recovery – New to the DL4300, Rapid Appliance Self Recovery (RASR) gives customers the ability to easily recover the appliance in the event of a failure. RASR provides users the option to either create a defined restore point for the appliance, or recover the appliance back to its original factory image.

Dell DL1000 1TB:  Complements Dell’s existing DL1000 2TB and 3TB offerings and is priced specifically for SMBs. It provides near-continuous data protection by taking snapshots as often as every 60 minutes, utilizing AppAssure’s changed data tracking and de-duplication that backs up and moves only data that has changed to minimize networking and storage requirements.

The DL4300 and DL1000 1TB are available now. The DL4300 is available both direct from Dell and through the channel, while the DL1000 TB is available online only.

The realities of business continuity, particularly for SMBs, and it should be added remote branch offices, is that the cloud and just using backup software is not for everyone or every instance.  In fact, while much attention is being paid through software defined networking (SDN) solutions that virtualize “E”verything, a significant part of the market remains that wants and needs a local appliance, and one that can interwork seamlessly with the cloud if and when required. 

While the horsepower, feature sets and price points for the new appliances are impressive in terms of satisfying the needs of what many consider an under-served market, it could be argued that the ability to only pay for what you need on the licensing front may be the big attraction for SMBs.

This approach is further validation of the transformation going on in the software monetization business.

Advances in licensing and entitlement management are changing the way in which software is delivered and consumed, how products are planned and how licenses and compliance are monitored and managed.  ISVs now have visibility into who, what, where, why and how their software is being used and whether terms and conditions of licenses are being complied with regardless of whether the software is being run, e.g., on-premises or in public or private clouds. As noted this is changing everything from business models to packaging and the business processes for things like activation, fulfillment and upgrade. 

The flip side is that IT departments now have visibility and control themselves over their licensing expense. In short, they now can only pay for what they use and not have to worry about feature blot and unused licenses. 

This is a win-win. This is appliance and premises-based virtualization and automation with options for meeting current needs and moving ahead.  Dell’s decision to go the pay-as-you-go and pay-as-you-grow on the appliances’ licensing is a reflection of just how much the market is changing to meet changing customer needs as well as competitive requirements.  Of course the real win is for SMBs for whom a solution to the challenges of business continuity now is available and affordable.  




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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