A Quarter Century of Data Protection

Today, NetWorker turns 25 years old. To put that in perspective, NetWorker was released a few months before the test of the World Wide Web’s first website! And, NetWorker is not only still relevant, it’s gaining in momentum with new and life-long customers.NW10_PressRelease

We took a quick poll and discovered that 46% of our customers have used NetWorker for 10 or more years. This is an indication of just how many enterprises have partnered with EMC to achieve a transformation of their backup from simple backup-to-tape, to disk-centric backup, to Protection-as-a-Service and now cloud data protection.

Nothing reflects the extent of change within the IT industry more than the evolution of Data Protection, since no other part of the IT portfolio touches the components and datasets in the way that Data Protection does.  Whether that’s going back in time, when a 40MB enterprise-ready hard drive was a thing to admire or, today, where multi-petabyte arrays and massive VM farms are ready-to-go in minutes – sometimes in less time than it used to take to boot a workstation.

Since the launch of NetWorker, we’ve NetWorker2been through so many developments: from breaking the TB/hour barrier in the 90s, to the first industry standard NAS protection solution, to introduction of backup to disk; and we’re now introducing Storage Integrated Data Protection. Of course, we re-architected NetWorker several times to keep pace with the times – and the change does not stop here.

NetWorker 6 User InterfaceNW61_ScreenshotCurrent NetWorker Interface (Beta)NW90_Screenshot

Although Moore’s Law was conceived 50 years ago, it is still in effect today. And, when applied to data, it means growth over time. While a priority might appear to be the need to move and store massive quantities of data, a real challenge is to understand it – and that’s where the next frontier lies.  Without the ability to interpret it, more data could mean less value.  Not only do we have to protect data, but we have to make sense of it with visibility, governance, analytics and management.

NetWorkerBackup started as an outside-looking-in, expensive insurance policy against disasters but, over the lifetime of NetWorker, it has become an intrinsic part of every infrastructure.  Today, businesses need protection to help accelerate growth and generate value through technologies such as instant data access.  You’re right to ask for more: If your backup is too complex or slowing down your business, demand change!  Data Protection should be agile, enable direct access to data, enable IT-as-a-Service, protect any data regardless of its location and provide full visibility into all copies of data.  And do all that without negative impact to core applications.  100% of the time.

NetWorker has been a big part of making EMC one of the top vendors worldwide in Data Protection. And the journey continues!

About the Author: Valdimir Mandic