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Bocada expands, customizes backup reporting and monitoring

Bocada gives its Prism, Vison and vpConnect backup monitoring and reporting software new features, including customizable dashboards.

Bocada today launched a new version of its backup monitoring platform, adding support for more data protection applications and greater report customization.

Bocada's products include Prism for traditional backup monitoring, Vision for virtual machines (VMs) and vpConnect for mixed environments. vpConnect uses VM application programming interface (API) integration and correlates backup and snapshot activity with VMware vCenter configuration data.

The new release is called Prism 8.0, but its features work throughout the Bocada platform, according to CEO Nancy Hurley. She said the vast majority of new Bocada customers use vpConnect.

With Prism 8, Bocada updated its CommVault Simpana, IBM Tivoli Storage Management (TSM) and VMware vCenter 5.1 plug-ins to provide enhanced reporting in virtual environments. It also upgraded its standard VM support for the latest versions of EMC NetWorker, NetApp SnapVault and SnapMirror, and Microsoft System Center DPM.

Along with new reporting for Simpana, TSM, NetWorker and Symantec NetBackup, Bocada added a volume finder report that shows customers where backup jobs are located. The volume finder reports also track library and media use to help minimize resource conflicts.

Other report enhancements include a VM protection analysis; asset reports on the largest servers, clients and targets based on occupancy, media or backup data for load balancing; and the ability to render dashboard reports independently to improve performance. VM protection analysis reports show whether a VM is unassigned -- meaning its API isn't being used -- and the number of snapshots for that VM.

Prism reports also include error analysis, service-level agreement management and change analysis for traditional physical backups. Bocada Vision correlates backup activity with VMware vCenter information to help admins determine whether VMs can be recovered and locate the recovery points. It also shows how much capacity snapshots and backups are using, and what performance impact the data protection has on VMs. Customers can customize these reports through Prism's dashboards.

"No two customers are the same, and no two customers want to look at their data the same way or present it to others the same way," Hurley said. "Anybody can do reporting, query a log file or an API. The difference is how you present that information and allow a customer to customize that information."

Bocada also added VM universal unique identifier (UUID) mapping for its VM API plug-ins, enabling VM recognition regardless of the backup application's naming convention. This was done mostly to better recognize VMs with Symantec NetBackup, which uses several IDs for its VM backups and makes it difficult for backup monitoring applications to correlate the VMs.

"The correlation of VMware VM UUIDs with the Symantec VM naming conventions is unique and huge for Bocada," said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting. "I also found the mashup point-and-drag capability a substantial new feature. It gives users the flexibility to see whatever they want in whatever way they want to see it."

Bocada's main competition is EMC Data Protection Advisor (DPA), which received a major overhaul last month. Backup vendors also offer better reporting than they did when Bocada first launched 12 years ago, but they report only on their own application. Bocada's Hurley noted that EMC has broadened DPA to monitor other storage systems besides backup since it acquired WysDM, which created the original application that DPA is based on.

"Our competition has gone more into the SRM [storage resource management] space. We don't," Hurley said. "We find our customers want depth in data protection, and we give them that."

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