However, Tivoli has specific open-file support for a number of applications, including SQL Server and Exchange, but also Oracle, DB2, Lotus Notes, and SAP for those who don’t buy all their software from the state of Washington. DPM covers any file or volume sitting on a Windows server, but as of yet it doesn’t support open-file backups for specific applications. Microsoft seems to have that functionality in mind for the near future -- although, much like my prom date, it won’t commit to it. But even if those features should see the light of day, I’ll bet that same prom date that the company will service Microsoft products only, leaving third-party applications to those same vendors via some kind of SDK.
DPM is also supposed to be cost-effective, but Redmond is still quite a ways from announcing a formal pricing structure. Judging from Microsoft’s marketing stance, DPM is aimed at the midtier market, so I’m looking for something at about $500 per server -- but I’ll probably wind up pitching a fit when Microsoft prices it at two or three times that number. Of course, Tivoli runs slightly more than $10,000, and that gets bulked up quite a bit more by the cost of the NetApp infrastructure. But even for midsize businesses, it’s worth the cost to have a storage platform that supports heterogeneous OSes. Now I’m implementing a solution on top of my other solutions instead of re-architecting something that works so it can include DPM.
I’m not complaining about On-Demand -- yet. It’s an exciting concept, but certainly one molded in quick reaction to a market shift rather than one backed by any specific technology play. But as long as IBM keeps delivering solid enterprise IT infrastructure, such as Tivoli, underneath the marketing fog, I’m a happy camper. It may cost more than anything coming out of the Northwest, but at least you know it’s there if you need it. I just wish IBM had a Haze Free button on its Web site.
Read more about storage in InfoWorld's Storage Channel.