Bocada Takes Backup Analysis up a Notch

By Heidi Biggar

At first glance, Bocada's BackupReport software may appear to be just another backup reporting tool, but don't be fooled. Analysts say the software provides a level of data protection from a reporting perspective that is unique in the industry.

"I don't know of any other software products with this depth," says David Hill, research director, storage and storage management, at Boston-based Aberdeen Group, an industry consulting firm. "Others can do parts of what BackupReport can do, but nothing nearly as comprehensive."

The software, which became available last week, is a cross-vendor backup reporting, analysis, and billing tool that provides a single, consolidated view of backup activity in multi-server (Unix or NT) DAS, SAN, or NAS environments.

Bocada officials say that because BackupReport supports CA ARCserve, HP Omniback, Legato NetWorker, Microsoft NT Backup, Veritas Backup Exec, and Veritas NetBackup, it is designed to complement, not compete, with existing storage management software products.

"Products from Veritas and Legato do a very good job at actually doing backup and they report on if there is a problem, but they (don't address) key questions like 'How do I (back up data) across the board?', 'Are there systemic problems (with my backup)?', and 'Is all the data that needs to be backed actually being backed up?'" says Hill.

The BackupReport is designed to answer these questions and others associated with the day-to-day management of backup operations and with planning for future backup needs, explains Mark Silverman, CEO of the two-year-old start-up. "We're focusing on the fundamental issue that if data isn't backed up, it can't be recovered." This is in sharp contrast with storage resource management (SRM) and virtualization products, which focus on efficiency, not the reliability, of the backup process, he says.

BackupReport is an agent-less architecture that, unlike SRM packages, sits on top of -- not behind -- the backup application. This placement has a couple of key benefits over agent-driven tools, he claims. "It reduces installation time to less than one hour and reduces to almost nothing the impact the backup reporting tool has on the infrastructure."

The software has three key modules: Reliability & Diagnostics, Backup Resource Management, and Backup Billing & Compliance. The reliability and diagnostic module identifies backup failures and their causes; the resource management tool graphically displays backup performance to help users efficiently manage and predict backup resource requirements; and the billing and compliance feature tracks and automatically bills users for services on a per-backup and per-megabyte basis.

Bocada says it will distribute BackupReport outside the US principally through value-added resellers (VARs). Primary targets inside the US include VARs, system integrators, and storage service providers, though the company also plans to sell direct to users. The software starts at $5,500.

This article was originally published on October 03, 2001