Dell Software has announced the release of the Dell Backup & Disaster Recovery Suite, a data protection bundle that consolidates the company’s three data protection offerings – AppAssure, NetVault Backup and VRanger.
“We think we have a real answer here for customers who are struggling,” said Michael Grant, director of product marketing, data protection, Dell Software.
Dell acquired all its backup products separately over the last three years, and they all serve different needs. AppAssure tends to be used for mission-critical data. It enables customers to back up entire applications and data in minutes, and restore in seconds across physical, virtual and cloud environments. NetVault Backup is typically used for older data, while vRanger is focused on virtual backup.
“We got into this business 24 months ago, and we found over the last year that while we had market proven products in the portfolio, data protection and DR today aren’t well aligned with business objectives,” Grant said. “We wanted to match backup to business.”
Grant said that Dell hired Forrester Research to help quantify this issue.
“What we were hearing from customers, and what Forrester found, was there was a mismatch between business and IT expectations in recovery, and disaster scenarios,” he said. “Forrester found that 71% of applications being used today are considered mission critical, so business expects them to always be on. IT’s priority, on the other hand, is to never lose the data. Only 27% said they were very confident they could restore quickly after an event – which means 73% were not very confident they could meet business expectations. We knew this was out of alignment and now we can quantify that.”
The suite is sold by front end terabyte, with pricing starting at $5,000 per terabyte for up to five terabytes of front-end capacity.
‘After that there is volume discount pricing, with increasingly big discounts until you get to 250 TB of data, where it is 55% off [$2,250 per TB],” Grant said. “Customers don’t always like terabyte pricing because it gets expensive when they get big. That drove our discounting. We want to show the market not to be scared of capacity pricing.”
The pricing indicates that the suite is aimed at larger customers. With the TB pricing model, Dell is stressing that customers can get better business alignment by using the specific product best tailored to the recovery requirements of a given asset. For example, users might initially leverage AppAssure to perform snapshots of mission-critical data every 15 minutes, and once that data ages, use NetVault Backup to move it to tape for long-term retention or archive.
Consolidating backup products into suites makes sense on several levels, which is why some other vendors have already made the move. Grant said that in addition to the desire to do market research, there were a couple additional practical reasons which delayed Dell’s move until now.
“AppAssure was licensed by agent and the host, so had to be rejigged to license it by TB, and there was some backend work to make it come together,” he said. “We also wanted to get to the newest level of products. NetVault 10 was its biggest investment in the last 10 years, and the new AppAssure release and vRanger Microsoft support all came together in May. So this was as fast as we could go to get the new releases together in one package.”
The Dell Backup & Disaster Recovery Suite will be available worldwide in the third quarter of 2014. AppAssure, NetVault Backup and vRanger all remain available as individually priced, standalone offerings.