Bocada upgrades backup reporting software for SLAs

Bocada is releasing a new version of its backup reporting software that is tailored to help CIOs and their executives meet business goals and achieve regulatory compliance. The product will be rolled out to customers in mid-November.

BackupReport Version 3.5 automates the process of gathering and presenting information against business goals, such as use of system resources and cost of service delivery, as well as regulatory compliance and performance against service-level agreements.

The product will be rolled out to customers in mid-November. An average rollout of BackupReport costs about US$50,000 but can run to more than US$1 million, the company said.

Tim Graham, team leader for data systems management at Virgin Atlantic Airways in Crawley, England, said he plans to upgrade to BackupReport 3.5 to determine whether he's meeting SLAs on the first try.

"It's been useful in showing how well we're performing as a team," he said.

Graham said his IT department is in the process of being outsourced to Mumbai, India-based Tata Consultancy Services. "Our backup environment is needing to be more closely monitored on SLAs, and we'll be setting down exactly what we expect them to do," he said.

Roan Winchester, director of backup management for Catholic Healthcare Partners in Youngstown, Ohio, has to monitor the backup of about 1,500 servers spread among 10 regional hospital centers and two main data centers in Cincinnati and Youngstown.

Winchester hopes to reduce labor costs by consolidating his infrastructure to the main data centers over the next year. He's also consolidating on his storage-area network, moving data from local direct-attached arrays to larger EMC, Symmetrix, Clariion and Centera boxes.

Winchester's shop uses IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for backups, which stores data about the backup process in a SQL database.

"The bad thing about TSM is its storage server piece has no understanding of the backup world. It's like pouring water into a bucket. (Bocada)'s really helped us figure out what's out there, and I've been able to monitor over time how we're growing," he said.

Winchester said he also has to set up a matrix of SLAs around making sure backups have been completed, but more important, he wants to be able to say for sure that he can perform a restoration of data in a certain time frame.

"One of the things I loathe to do is SLAs on backups rather than on restores. If a backup fails one time, it doesn't matter. (Users) need to know we were successful in the end," he said. "You need to know you can restore within a given window."

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