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In the not-so-distant past, an organization's IT business continuity and data protection efforts were relegated mostly to backup and recovery activities. Firms these days looking to bolster resilience in the rapidly evolving cyber risk landscape must go beyond archival and storage to improve operational reliability. Chiefly, they must support the protection of multiple varying workloads and enable quicker, more efficient recovery capabilities that allow for instant access—even as IT infrastructures grow more diversified and complex.

Organizations today require data protection strategies that address the complex IT architectures of today, including the cloud and virtualization/container technologies. Dell's Global Data Protection Index Snapshot provides key statistics around today's enterprise data protection needs: 94 percent of organizations have cloud deployments of all models—public, private and hybrid—for new applications, 71 percent of firms say that emerging technologies increase data protection complexity, and 48 percent of businesses have difficulty in finding container data protection solutions.

The Dell EMC PowerProtect portfolio was designed to address the data protection needs of the modern enterprise with battle-tested, purpose-built software and integrated data protection appliances.

What is Dell EMC PowerProtect?

Dell EMC PowerProtect is a portfolio of data protection and backup solutions designed for the diverse workloads and requirements of today's enterprise IT environments. The software and hardware in this product line cater to various consumption models and use cases, allowing for organizations to custom tailor an adaptive, adequately protective solution suite for their unique environments and requirements.

On the hardware side, the PowerProtect appliances are integrated systems that offer data protection software and storage in a unified solution; users can access backup, replication, recovery, analytics and search functionality via a single pane of glass interface. This allows for ease of deployment and management for both small business IT administrators and large enterprise corporate IT departments.

Dell PowerProtect features several series in its family of hardware appliances; for organizations looking for a cost-effective, integrated system, the PowerProtect DP series appliances are designed to deliver accelerated backup and recovery, replication, deduplication, and immediate access and restore via its close integration with VMware

The PowerProtect DD (Data Domain) series appliances are battle-tested target systems already in use by many small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises alike—the solution is capable of advanced deduplication while performing at scale, providing consolidated backup, archive and disaster recovery functionality at petabyte scale.

On the software front, the portfolio includes PowerProtect Data Manager, a software-defined data protection platform that covers both traditional and modern cloud workloads, from the data center to the edge, writing to all PowerProtect appliances. 

Dell EMC PowerProtect: Key features and benefits

Dell EMC PowerProtect was designed to deliver next-generation data protection that enables faster IT transformation while providing capabilities to safeguard and quickly unlock data's value. Data Protection Suite, which delivers the widest breadth of data protection workload coverage, can be deployed as standalone or in conjunction with PowerProtect appliances.

The following are some highlights of Dell PowerProtect's key benefits:

Windows NTFS and Linux Support

PowerProtect provides block-based and file-based file system support for Windows (NTFS, ReFS) and Linux (Ext3, Ext4 and XFS). For more information regarding supported operating systems, please refer to the vendor support matrix.

Database protection

Despite the popularity of big data and NoSQL database technologies, traditional relational databases management systems (RDBMS)—structured databases—are still broadly in use by enterprises, with Oracle as the leading contender in this category. Dell PowerProtect's Data Manager offers comprehensive protection of traditional Oracle workloads, as well as SQL and SAP HANA, to name a few.

Support for VMware apps and Kubernetes containers

VMware has long been a staple item in the enterprise IT toolkit, allowing for a myriad of applications and supporting a variety of mission-critical workloads. Dell PowerProtect simplifies the management of virtual infrastructures through tight integration with VMware; for example, the solution can be used to manage backup, replication and restore operations for virtual machines (VMs) deployed on VMware vSAN data stores. 

Along with comprehensive support for VMware, PowerProtect also offers data protection for Kubernetes workloads and cloud-native applications running inside of containers; in fact, PowerProtect Data Manager leverages project Velero—the leading open-source tool for the backup and restore of Kubernetes cluster resources—in providing a data protection solution capable of application-consistent backups and restores.

Automatic discovery and backup

Autonomous operations mean the system is capable of automated discovery and protection of databases, virtual machines, file systems and Kubernetes containers, as well as self-service backup and restore from native applications. Dell PowerProtect automates all this and more through a common policy engine that automates compliance and governance across workloads.

Administrators can instantly access protected virtual machine images to support new use cases such as quickly deploying development and test environments; in fact, PowerProtect is the only solution to provide native vSphere Storage support. With policy-based management integration for VM protection, storage and backup administrators—as well as VM owners—have the ability to choose a storage policy that will be applied to every VM automatically when it is instantiated.

Ideal use cases

Backup, replication and recovery

Users can easily access backup and recovery options through the Dell EMC PowerProtect Backup Service, a cloud-based data protection service for endpoints, hybrid workloads and SaaS apps. The solution deploys quickly—typically in a matter of minutes—and offers an intuitive web interface for centralized management and comprehensive visibility. PowerProtect provides metered, unlimited scaling to support dynamic workloads with backup, long-term retention and automated compliance functionality.

Data duplication

Data deduplication is critical for eliminating extraneous copies of data and reducing unnecessary storage capacity usage. This is especially crucial for large datasets that typically house a significant amount of duplicated data, which in turn increases storage costs. Dell PowerProtect offers software-defined data protection with integrated deduplication for bringing down the overhead of data protection, regardless of the workload type—from scaling down redundancy in virtualized application environments (e.g., test/staging/production) to de-duplicating virtual desktop environment data.

Search and analytics

Dell PowerProtect offers powerful querying capabilities through its Search feature; using it, backup administrators can quickly locate and restore copies of files in question. The solution also indexes VM file metadata in its searches—once the indexing is added to protection policies, data assets are automatically indexed as they are being backed up. On the analytics side, PowerProtect Cyber Recovery augments PowerProtect's data protection services with machine learning and analytics for monitoring data integrity and quality, as well as other forensic capabilities for helping organizations detect and thwart malicious attacks on their data infrastructures.

Cloud tiering

Cloud tiering offloads infrequently used data (i.e., cold data) from on-premises infrastructure to data storage in the cloud. Easy-to-configure policy-based file tiering to clouds is included with PowerProtect—backup administrators can access integrated cloud tiering features for protecting multiple clouds' data, all from one unified interface.

Learn more about Dell PowerProtect

To find out how the Dell EMC PowerProtect can help your organization's data protection efforts, launch WWT's PowerProtect Data Manager lab. Additionally, you can read our article about Kubernetes backups with PowerProtect or follow our Data Protection topic.