Backup is Broken, Here’s Why : IBM Edge 2013

At IBM Edge 2013, theCUBE hosted a director from one of IBM’s partners, Jeff Guenthner of CMI. Jeff thinks IBM needs more conferences like Edge, specifically around storage, because Big Blue is a huge player in storage but it’s only an afterthought compared to EMC and NetApp. CMI has been selling IBM storage for 36 years, which is pretty much since they started business. As Jeff said, “IBM is embedded in our DNA.”

CMI is located in San Francisco Bay Area. They specialize in midmarket, IBM’s defined space, targeting companies with less than a hundred employees up to 10,000 employees. They have three practice areas: 1) business continuance 2) storage management 3) datacenter optimization. Everything they do is backed by principles of strategic consulting, assessment, CIO-as-a -Service, and implementation of strategy. They help clients not only develop their plan, but also perform implementation through tactical employment of IBM technology.

Jeff shared two big patterns he’s been hearing from the client-base. The first one is backup and recovery, which he thinks is fundamentally broken as clients neglect it and they are often scared to do restore. Second is flash systems, because there’s a lot of growth in the space and CMI has done a great deal of flash implementations at the end of 2012 and ingress of 2013. Flash is a hot area for CMI right now.

Why is backup broken?


When Dave Vellante asked why back-up is broken, Jeff said this is something he’s been hearing from his company’s customers. He finds it true for any vendor. He said: “I always tell people that back-up is an application and you might say ‘duh,’ but it really is an application and the data center gets neglected. And people take for granted data just getting backed up, nobody does a restore.”

  • Backup methods

Jeff cited multiple methodologies on how to do back-up: incrementals forever, flat file back-up, continuous database protection. There are a few other ways that has to do with N Series, NetApp, stack managers, disk-to-disk etc.

There’s plenty of talk around cloud back-up too. Cloud back-up allows customers to get their data off-site but still provide enough data protection, as well as allow them to move away from tape.

“People hate tape but fundamentally, economically, for your storage environment it plays a critical part. I don’t think you’re ever getting away, fundamentally, all the way from tape but people are really trying to do it.”

Check out the video below to watch the entire interview!