Dell strengthens data protection portfolio with enhanced PowerProtect Data Manager and Power Protect appliances and expanded managed service

The new offerings are being announced in conjunction with the 2021 Dell Technologies GDPI survey, which shows considerable customer doubt about their ability to protect their data, particularly against ransomware.

Today, Dell Technologies is announcing three enhancements to their data protection portfolio. The big one is the addition of Transparent Snapshots to their Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, to provide a a simpler, faster way to protect VMware virtual machines at scale efficiently. They also announced the addition of Smart Scale capabilities to Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances to improve their management, and the expansion of the Dell Technologies Managed Services for Cyber Recovery Solution to cover the recovery process as well as basic management.

In addition to the software and service enhancements, Dell released their 2021 Global Data Protection Index [GDPI] findings on the latest trends in data protection resulting from the constant threat of ransomware and growth of data.

“It’s like a broken record as far as how quickly data is taking over the enterprise,” said Rob Emsley, Director of Product Marketing, Data Protection at Dell Technologies. “We’ve been running this survey for seven years, since 2014, but the sample of customers we surveyed claimed they now have 10x the amount of data that they needed to protect compared to five years ago. The enormity was a surprise.  That’s one reason it’s in our customers’ best interest to run these surveys.”

The survey also found that 82 of respondents lack confidence in their current data protection solutions and their ability to meet future data protection challenges.

“We thought that many customers would have felt better about their ability to recover their data, but it’s a constant technology struggle because of the increase in data,” Emsley said. “This year we asked some very specific questions about cybersecurity because of concerns they can’t recover when they have a ransomware attack.”

The two enhanced software offerings and the new service are designed to address these issues with Emsley emphasizing the significance of adding Transparent Snapshots to Dell EMC PowerProtect Data in rethinking VMware data protection.

“Since the introduction of vSphere APIs for Data Protection, vendors have used it as the core of VMware data protection for literally a decade, but here we are introducing something new,” he said. “Transparent Snapshots are a game changer for VM machine data protection in the way that it simplifies the process with near zero impact.

“The new plug-in Transparent Snapshot Data Mover provides a dramatically lighter weight process for DR and recovery,” Emsley added. “Rather than creating virtual machine snapshots or needing to integrate with storage array-based snapshots, we maintain an in-memory bitmap of production changed to VMs, which is maintained as long as the production VM is in operation. It’s an incredibly lightweight way of backing up data of all virtual machines. It reduces latency caused to the backup process to less than a ms, and there are no proxies for data movement, so it is storage agnostic.” It is available now.

“We think the industry will look at this very closely, as it is something that will stand on its own in the market for some time,” Emsley said.

Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances have been enhanced with Smart Scale capabilities designed to help organizations manage multiple data protection appliances at exabyte scale.

“Smart Scale enhances the manageability of our PowerProtect appliances, and is  delivered as a new capability within the PowerProtect management centre,” Emsley said. “They key is a single federated namespace that enables appliance pooling in the data centre to put up to 32 appliances into a data pool. Smart Scale  services lets you manage those as a loosely coupled appliance pool, with each appliance being leveraged independently.”

The intent is for Smart Scale to eventually support any and all Power devices. The initial Smart Scale services will be available for customers to deploy in the first half of next year.

Finally, the Dell Technologies Managed Services for Cyber Recovery Solution expands the Dell Cyber Recovery Solution with day-to-day cyber management of recovery vault operations and support recovery activities.

“This is a services announcement expanding the Cyber Recovery Solution we have been selling for about five years to also provide full support of recovery,” Emsley said. “It is a managed services contract to cover not just the operation of their offering, but also recovery into a clean room environment.”