"The real question though is what are businesses doing?" Russell said in an interview Friday. "Typically, organizations take a nightly backup every 24 hours, so augmenting their data recovery capabilities to hourly versus daily is still an order of magnitude [improvement]."
Although Microsoft's DPM is the least competitive product in terms of both its features and functionality, the software giant's move into CDP is important, according to Russell. "Microsoft was the first to start discussing CDP, they raised the conversation and awareness in general [about the technology]," he said. With the release of DPM, a company the size of Microsoft effectively legitimizes the whole technology concept, Russell added. Partners like EqualLogic will fill in the holes in Microsoft's storage strategy, he noted.
Other partners announcing support for Microsoft's DPM include Advanced Micro Devices, Computer Associates International, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Quantum.
Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows Server Division, is set to talk up the DPM software and its place in the company's overall storage strategy in a keynote address at Storage Decisions Tuesday evening. Microsoft is also announcing the beta release of its Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, with the completed product due to ship by the end of 2005, according to a company release. The software giant's ultimate goal is to make Windows-based storage management cheaper than non-Microsoft environments, the release stated.
In combination with DPM, EqualLogic can help streamline file backup and cut the costs of storage management substantially, according to Joseph. Users can create a replica of the information contained in their data center at their primary location and then transport that replica to a new site, he said. Should the primary site fail, customers can then restart the data center in the primary site using the replica they created. "It only takes five to 15 minutes for the system to be mounted," Joseph added.
"It's been possible to do all this before, but it just took a much greater amount of times," Bulens noted.
Looking ahead, EqualLogic expects to announce its 600th customer next month, according to Bulens. The company is continuing its push into vertical markets and will also announce an initiative to target the health-care market in October, Joseph said. EqualLogic is already a player in the higher education, government and financial sectors, adding a focus on the legal services market last month.
The challenge the company faces is to grow with the market and scale its organization accordingly, according to Bulens. "The vast majority of our business over the past two years has been in the North America market," he said, although the company does have some customers in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
EqualLogic is looking at establishing an operation in Europe and stepping up distribution partnerships in both Europe and Asia, Bulens said. The company has yet to decide where to base itself in Europe, but the three largest markets -- the Netherlands, Germany and the U.K. -- are likely possibilities, he added.