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Micro Focus Data Protector gets Express, Premium treatment

Version 10.10 of Data Protector marks a new chapter in the backup and recovery product's long history, which goes back to years under Hewlett-Packard.

A veteran data protection product has changed its focus.

Micro Focus Data Protector now comes in two editions: Premium and Express. Both are generally available.

Data Protector Premium is for virtual, physical and cloud workloads, while Express protects virtual environments. The sweet spot for Premium is the enterprise, while Express is geared toward SMBs and the enterprise, said Balaji Venkatraman, senior director of product management at Micro Focus, based in the U.K.

Micro Focus integrated Data Protector Premium with its IT operation tools, including its Business Value Dashboard and Operations Orchestration products. Native integration can speed the backup and recovery processes, and it provides common reporting and analytics.

Data Protector Express provides agentless protection for VMware and Hyper-V workloads, virtual machine recovery, and integrated reporting and analytics.

A 'Focus' on streamlining

Data Protector is part of Micro Focus' IT operations management group. Micro Focus also has groups for DevOps, security and data management, and predictive analytics.

Features such as encryption, which were previously sold as stand-alone services by Micro Focus, are now bundled with Data Protector, Venkatraman said.

Those services that used to be "a la carte" are now part of a product set that's reasonably priced and easy to understand, said Steven Hill, senior analyst of storage technologies at 451 Research.

"They're trying to pull everything together," Hill said.

Version 10.10 of Micro Focus Data Protector contains the two new products.

Micro Focus Data Protector dashboard screenshot
Micro Focus Data Protector contains several features previously sold 'a la carte.'

Being able to pull off data protection across all platforms -- virtual, physical and cloud -- is tricky, Hill said, but Micro Focus offers all of the services a customer would need for backup.

Customers are looking for a simple way to deal with data protection and their infrastructure, Hill said, adding that Micro Focus Data Protector would be a good fit for any environment that involves a number of different platforms.

How Micro Focus Data Protector fits in the market

They're trying to pull everything together.
Steven Hillsenior analyst of storage technologies, 451 Research

Data Protector has been on the market for more than 20 years, first under Hewlett-Packard, then Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and now Micro Focus.

The new Data Protector launch comes a year after Micro Focus closed on its acquisition of HPE's software business for $8.8 billion. That merger brought HPE's longtime Data Protector backup app over to Micro Focus.

Venkatraman cited Veeam, Commvault, Veritas NetBackup and Rubrik as top competitors to Micro Focus Data Protector. Veeam especially has been pushing its capability to protect virtual, physical and cloud workloads, a hallmark of the Data Protector Premium edition.

Data Protector Premium has capacity-based licensing, while Express features socket-based pricing. Customers can upgrade from Express to Premium, if necessary.

Venkatraman said Micro Focus will continue to support the prior product and pricing structure, although that product set will have an end of life. He said he didn't know the exact date yet, but it's typically four years out from general availability of the new product. In addition, Micro Focus offers a migration path from the previous iteration of Data Protector to Express or Premium.

Micro Focus claimed it has 6,500 Data Protector customers worldwide.

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How important is it to use a data protection product that can support different types of workloads?
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Extremely important because a data protection strategy, and the product used to deliver that strategy, is not a short term affair.  With the huge variety of workloads in today's IT world you need a product which can handle all of your requirements today in addition to the ever-changing requirements you may have in the future.  Changing backup products is far from a trivial exercise because not only is the process of migration typically complex in itself, but then the ability to recover legacy backups becomes a huge, and very expensive, challenge.  Thus it is important to choose a product which is going to grow and scale with your organisation.

Blueskies, Paul Carapetis, Micro Focus, Australia
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Very important.

No enterprise wants to have multiple products for different workloads. eg: One for virtualization, one for Microsoft Applications, a different one for Oracle OR SAP HANA, or yet another one for Cloud workloads.

It's very important for the data protection product to support different types of workloads. It not only reduces the capex but reduces the opex as well.

Data Protector is the perfect example of such a data protection solution which provides enterprise grade backup and disaster recovery for a heterogeneous environment.
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Thank you for the comments! It's true - there are lots of different kinds of workloads these days. It should be interesting to see how many new products/product updates in the near future make a point of being able to protect this variety.
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