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Dell Technologies is expanding its data backup portfolio to include its first midrange integrated backup appliance as well as more cloud data protection options for customers.
Dell's backup portfolio now includes a new PowerProtect appliance with PowerProtect Data Manager software for midmarket customers looking for an all-in-one data backup device; PowerProtect Cyber Recovery, which includes an isolated cyber vault, is now available in Google Cloud; and Dell Apex storage as a service now includes a backup target option. Early next year, Dell will start to offer a Cyber Recovery Guarantee of up to $10 million.
Dell's emphasis on data protection coincides with its survey findings of 1,000 IT decision-makers from companies with more than 250 employees. More than half of the respondents weren't confident in meeting backup service-level objectives. About two-thirds reported concern that their companies would experience a disruptive event, such as a ransomware attack, and that their data protection measures would be insufficient. And 70% felt that remote work has increased threat exposure.
Fast-deploying protection appliance
The Dell PowerProtect Data Manager appliance is now available from 12 TB to 96 TB, a series that's aimed at midsize companies with limited IT resources, according to the vendor.
Krista MacomberAnalyst, Evaluator Group
"The packaging of PowerProtect Data Manager into an appliance gives Dell another arrow in its quiver for customers looking for a more turnkey experience," said Krista Macomber, analyst at Evaluator Group.
Dell has been the No. 1 vendor for purpose-built backup appliances with its Data Domain series for the last decade, according to Phil Goodwin, analyst at IDC. Now, Dell's midmarket integrated appliances, which combine software and hardware for protection, round out the vendor's portfolio and put it in better competition with Veritas, which has been a market leader in integrated appliances, he said.
"Customers buy integrated appliances because they are easy to deploy by being pre-configured and qualified," Goodwin said. "This is a 'plug them in and be up and running in 15 minutes' ease of use."
Nature Fresh Farms in Leamington, Ont., recently replaced its Data Domain backup appliance with the new Dell PowerProtect Data Manager integrated appliance. Nature Fresh IT had the appliance up and running in about 30 minutes and successfully integrated with critical technology, including its hyper-converged and VMware deployment, according to Keith Bradley, vice president of IT and security at Nature Fresh.
"The [PowerProtect Data Manager] tied in to our VxRail and vSphere vCenter and just made everything a lot better -- a lot quicker, a lot smoother and a lot more interactive," Bradley said.
Rounding out cloud support
Dell's Cyber Recovery Service, which debuted at Dell Technologies World 2022, is expanding its backup targets to now include Google Cloud. The service provides customers with an air-gapped, isolated cyber vault in the instance of a ransomware attack, and customers can now deploy isolated cyber vaults on all three hyperscalers.
Supporting all three public clouds is important for customers that have needs for specific clouds, Macomber said. Customers don't want to add an additional cloud vendor only to use one service, she said.
"The business might have a preference for compliance, cybersecurity, certain features or pricing due to an existing relationship with a certain cloud provider," Macomber said.
IDC's Goodwin saw this as an area Dell was lacking. While Dell had the strength of providing appliance-based storage protection, he said, it was behind the curve in adopting cloud protection capabilities, but this expands Dell's market coverage.
"Most organizations are multi-cloud anyway, so they really need to have data protection capabilities across all the major cloud vendors," Goodwin said.
Adding guarantees, backup targets on demand
In January 2023, Dell will provide customers with a data protection guarantee, a warranty that helps to cover costs if Dell-protected data cannot be recovered. Dell's Cyber Recovery Guarantee is for up to $10 million.
The guarantee could put Dell on par with other vendors offering similar guarantees, such as Druva and Rubrik, according to Goodwin.
"Some customers do not want to do business with a company that doesn't offer a cyber recovery guarantee," he said.
Nature Fresh Farms' Bradley said the guarantee wasn't the deciding factor in choosing to continue with Dell, but was nice to have.
Dell is also now offering backup target as a service as part of its Apex portfolio.
Backup target as a service isn't new -- it falls under the backup-as-a-service umbrella, Goodwin said. If customers have an Apex subscription, they can set up a backup target instantly without needing to manage infrastructure provisioning, he said.
Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at StorageReview.com.