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Dell EMC adds cloud-based backup to PowerProtect lineup

Dell EMC has expanded its PowerProtect portfolio with the launch of Backup Service, a cloud-based data protection product for SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads.

Dell EMC has added a cloud-based backup service to its PowerProtect portfolio of data protection products.

The new Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service protects SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads. Customers can use it to protect data in Salesforce, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, as well as data in desktops and laptops. This service doesn't require customers to invest in hardware infrastructure to provide storage for the backup, as it is powered by cloud-based backup vendor Druva. Customers won't need a Druva license to use PowerProtect Backup Service.

PowerProtect Backup Service has a handful of benefits by virtue of being a cloud-based subscription service. Customers can scale it on demand and manage it from a web-based interface, and the cost barrier of entry is much lower because there's no hardware component. Dell EMC said it is working on integrating Backup Service with PowerProtect Data Manager to give customers full visibility and management of their PowerProtect infrastructure on a single console.

Dell EMC's PowerProtect platform first launched in April 2019 as an entirely new data protection product, separate from Avamar and NetWorker. It consists of software and integrated appliances such as the X400, but its only cloud-based product prior to Backup Service is Cloud Snapshot Manager, a SaaS backup and disaster recovery product for AWS and Azure environments.

IT transformation projects have accelerated toward the cloud over the last year, said Rob Emsley, director of product marketing at Dell Technologies. There has been less reliance on the data center and greater adoption of SaaS applications, but customers are still figuring out how to protect their SaaS data from accidental or malicious deletions.

"Customers are starting to realize SaaS vendors don't protect their data," Emsley said, adding that there's a persistent myth that data in the cloud is safe because SaaS and cloud providers automatically back it up.

Screenshot of Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service
Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service covers SaaS apps, endpoints and hybrid workloads.

Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service will be metered on a per-user basis for SaaS application and endpoints backup. For hybrid workloads, the service's cost is based on how much capacity the customer consumes on the backup service cloud. The product will become generally available on May 18.

Previously, Dell customers couldn't protect SaaS application data through a PowerProtect product and would be directed by sales representatives to Spanning, a company with which Dell EMC has a reseller partnership.

Druva filled that coverage gap and more, Emsley said. Druva provides capabilities besides backup, such as e-discovery, data governance and secure file sharing, which are all made available to Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service customers. Druva is also a "proven product," with more than 4,000 customers and 200 petabytes of data under management, pushing Dell to partner with it instead of its competitors, Emsley said. Other backup vendors that offer Microsoft 365 support include Clumio, Veeam and Acronis.

Customers are starting to realize SaaS vendors don't protect their data.
Rob EmsleyDirector of product marketing, Dell Technologies

Dell EMC's partnership with Druva is a timely, strategic move as more customers turn to the cloud, said Christophe Bertrand, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a division of TechTarget. A vendor as massive and resourceful as Dell certainly has the resources to build out its own cloud data protection service offering, but the space is hot now, and a partnership with Druva lets Dell bring a product to market faster, Bertrand said.

"It immediately gives Dell something it didn't have. There was a market need, and a portfolio gap," Bertrand said.

SaaS backup still has a lot of room to grow, Bertrand said. More customers adopting popular SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce logically translates to more customers needing ways to back them up, but there's a long list of SaaS applications that many businesses rely on.

Products such as GitHub and Shopify are critical to some businesses, but there are very few third-party backup products supporting them. Coupled with the persistent myth Emsley alluded to, the SaaS application backup market still has a long way to go in terms of products and customer education, Bertrand said.

"The cloud data protection space is in an intense competitive mode right now. There's still plenty of road to cover," Bertrand said.

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