At the Dell Technologies Forum (DTF) Kuala Lumpur, Dell Technologies announced two new suites of technology solutions are designed to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation. One of the announcements included the PowerProtect DD Series Appliances, Dell’s next-gen Data Domain protection storage appliances which enables organisations to protect, manage and recover data at scale across diverse environments.
Speaking at a DTF media briefing, Saravanan Krishnan, Director, Data Protection Solutions, South Asia, Dell Technologies, said that businesses now are experiencing an overwhelming increase in the amount of data they create and retain.
According to the Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), APJ organisations, on average, managed 8.13 petabytes of data in 2018, a 384% increase compared to the data managed in 2016. With PowerProtect DD Series Appliances, he said customers can equip themselves with a solution that supports their growing data needs, has the ability to quickly restore their systems in times of disruption and fosters business value and innovation through a secure path to existing data sets.
The Index also found that a staggering 94% of organisations are facing at least one challenge in relation to data protection. The top three challenges include:
Challenges Brought On By Digital Transformation
Speaking from an ASEAN perspective, Saravanan commented that these are the top challenges because of the “advent of digital transformation”. In addition, he said having multiple vendors for data protection was also a common challenge for organisations that are still lingering in the IT transformation phase and they’re more likely to face data disruption compared to those with a single vendor.
“When you have a multiple vendor environment, do you have the right skills to be able to manage and administer them both in terms of backup and recovery, in terms of skills development and in terms of having the right standard operating procedures in place? So, that’s another key challenge that we see,” he said.
Ransomware attacks are still an ongoing challenge to businesses. Saravanan explained that nowadays, ransomware has evolved and are designed to be smart enough to infiltrate the backup software. He then posed the following questions to ASEAN businesses: Do they realize that their backup software may be at risk to such exposure, and do they have a mitigating strategy to overcome it?
When the backup software is attacked or breached, backups then become untenable and unreliable. He explained, “The challenge is understanding level of exposure and how a recovery strategy can still be advocated through the right mechanisms like the cyber recovery solutions that we have from Dell Technologies.”
Based on his experience, Saravanan commented that traditional workloads are another challenge faced by many companies in the region. Organisations want to move towards digital transformation, but in the backend, they are still using legacy infrastructure.
“How do you have consistent operations to be able to manage and protect data across different disparate environments? Do you have the right skillsets to protect and recover using the right strategies for those legacy environments as you move towards transformation?”
Last but not least, Saravanan said that having the right endpoint protection strategy is one aspect that is often overlooked even though there have been many cases of breaches happening because devices get impacted.
“We believe it’s not just about deploying an antivirus software. Do you have the right protection for those devices as well in terms of backing up those devices (whether it’s your laptops, desktops, mobile devices and so on)?” He continued, “When you do not have a holistic approach to understanding the different facets of an organisation and how they come into play, how the attacks can happen in different areas, that’s one of the big challenges we see organisations have.”
Organisations’ Inability to Recover Data
The GDPI found that up to 80% of respondents have experienced disruption of some kind in the past 12 months due to unplanned systems downtime (46%), inability to recover data from the current data protection method or product (32%), data loss and ransomware attacks (both at 30%). Moreover, data loss cost organisations almost two times more than downtime in the past 12 months.
The “inability to recover data” was an interesting one as the percentage has doubled from 15% in 2016 to 32% just two years later. When asked why this was the case, Saravanan said that part of the challenge that organisations have with recoverability comes down to them not knowing “what to recover and when to recover”. In other words, they do not possess the preparedness when they want to recover data, as a result of not taking the necessary measures or having the necessary drills.
While larger enterprises, especially those in the financial sector, do conduct routine disaster recovery or operational recovery drills, he said “the smaller ones may not pay enough attention to it”. Saravanan opined that this is because they’re more focused on driving new revenue outcomes to drive competitive advantage.
He added that not having a sustained best practice, in terms of having the recoverable strategies, would in turn fuel the unfortunate situation where they are not able to bring the organisations back to sustainable operations in the quickest possible time.
From Laggard to Evaluator to Adopter
Among the positives from the GDPI is that in terms of data protection maturity, the number of organisations that are now in the “adopters” phase have risen tremendously, up to 53% compared to just 8% in 2016. This shows that awareness on the importance of having the right data protection strategy and solution has grown over the years.
But for companies that are still in the laggard (3%) or evaluator (31%) phases, Saravanan shared the following words of advice. “It’s important to go back to the fundamentals. How important is your data to you? You need to have a data-first approach and take the effort to understand what it means to you in terms of monetisation. I think those are the organisations that end up becoming adopters.”
For organisations that are only focused on making more money but do not pay attention to the data that can actually generate revenue, Saravanan strongly suggests for them to reconsider, and to meet up with Dell Technologies and its partners to explore the various solutions that they have.
At the end of the day, he said, “We want to make sure that organisations’ interests are protected and that they continuously have a successful business outcome. This is only possible if you take a data-first approach.”
Saravanan added that Dell’s leadership position in not just the data protection space, but also in the server and storage business as well as a few others puts it in a position of trust. “At Dell Technologies, we believe that we are the essential infrastructure company for organisations, whether they’re looking for on-prem, or hybrid or multi cloud. Customers trust us to continuously drive value for them and to solve their problems related to data management and data protection.”
In conclusion, he said, “I think the leadership position allows us to command a kind of respect and also the capability that we have today to help to, as what Michael Dell said, drive human progress. [This is] because the technologies that we have today, especially the emerging ones, related to the AI, machine learning and IoT, all of these are fuelling new platforms, new technologies, new revenue streams, new business models and new ways to solve the world’s problems.“
At the end of his media presentation, Saravanan introduced the new PowerProtect DD Series Appliances that are able to protect data, for both enterprises and SMEs, because of the different models that are available to cater for organisations of different sizes and deployment environments.
The full press release of the official announcement follows:
Dell Technologies Raises Bar with Next-Generation Data Protection Solutions
Dell Technologies has announced PowerProtect DD Series Appliances, the next- generation of its Data Domain protection storage appliances, enabling organisations to protect, manage and recover data at scale across diverse environments. In addition, Dell Technologies is announcing new enhancements to Dell EMC Cyber Recovery, now Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery, and to Dell EMC PowerProtect Software that will provide customers with cyber resiliency and support for workloads on PowerProtect DD Series Appliances.
“As organisations generate increasing amounts of data, concerns extend beyond securely storing and protecting this data to managing it across diverse environments,” said Alex Lei, Vice President, Data Protection Solutions, Asia Pacific & Japan, Dell Technologies. “Our new data protection appliances address these concerns, helping customers manage and protect that valuable data. Coupled with Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery and Dell EMC PowerProtect Software, Dell Technologies offers tools that bolster data protection and support for on-premise, virtualised and multi-cloud environments.”
Introducing Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Series Appliances
As the newest addition to the Dell EMC PowerProtect portfolio, Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Series Appliances are built to simplify and provide operational efficiencies for data protection for multi-cloud workloads. PowerProtect DD offers:
Cyber Resiliency for Mission Critical Systems
As customers experience an influx of data, they also must be prepared for cyber threats. Designed to minimise the impact of a cyber attack and provide faster recovery of mission critical systems, Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery now supports workloads protected with Dell EMC PowerProtect Software and stored on Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Series Appliances. This integration enables customers to strengthen their cyber resiliency with automated data recovery and provides peace of mind in the instance of large-scale data loss.
New enhancements to Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery include the ability to automate restoration from a secure, isolated vault, which enables customers to augment their existing data protection architecture with a secure copy of data removed from the surface of attack. These additions and integration with PowerProtect DD enable customers to easily incorporate a cyber resiliency plan and automated cyber recovery process into their environments, providing business operations recovery when it is needed most.
Dell Technologies Services[iv] supports Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery on Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Series Appliances. ProConsult Advisory Services help in developing business resiliency and cyber recovery strategies, while ProDeploy and ProSupport services promote a path to productivity and the ability to get ahead of problems before they happen.
Powering-Up PowerProtect Software
After its initial launch at Dell Technologies World 2019, Dell EMC PowerProtect Software is enhanced with several new features to offer efficient data management capabilities. In addition to interoperability with the new PowerProtect DD Series Appliances, PowerProtect Software provides more integration with VMware vSphere, offering VMware customers simplified data protection management and self-service recovery.
PowerProtect Software also now supports Dell EMC Cloud Disaster Recovery to enable orchestrated and automated disaster recovery fail-over and failback of VMware workloads in the public cloud.
[i] Based on Dell EMC internal testing with DD Boost protocol on DD9900 with DDOS 7.0 vs. DD9800 with Data Domain OS 6.2, Sep 2019. Actual results may vary.
[ii] Based on Dell EMC internal testing of PowerProtect DD with DDOS 7.0, Aug 2019. Actual results may vary.
[iii] Based on comparison of maxed out HA systems, DD9800 (2 Heads, 8 DS60s, 2 FS15s) and DD9900 (2 Heads, 5 DS60s, 1 FS15s), Sep 2019. Actual results may vary.
[iv] Dell Services availability and terms vary by region and product. See dell.com/servicecontracts/global.