This is a follow-on/update to a blog entry from June 30, 2008.
At TriAxis, we have been working more and more with Colorado Springs-based vendor, STORServer. They have an interesting value proposition: eliminate all, or as many as you would like, of the various data protection ‘point vendors’ and let us be the “one throat to choke”, or, if I may, 1T2C.
They do this by providing a tested suite of standard products in a mix that meets clients’ needs. It can range from as much as the backup software (Tivoli Storage Manager), their own TSM management software (changes the CLI interface to an easy-to-use GUI), their own reporting utility (Reporter for TSM), VMware Consolidated Backup (native VCB), the server(s) to run the software (IBM), the array to store the backup on (IBM DSxx00), and the library for tape (IBM). Or any logical combination of these where the client has already too much invested in a particular tool, to replace. They, STORServer, then take ownership of the turnkey installation and ongoing maintenance, hence: 1T2C.
Now, obviously, any components that aren’t supplied by STORServer are supported by the particular supplying vendor, which erodes the 1T2C paradigm. But it is interesting, nonetheless. Arguably “best of breed” components (all IBM along with their software offerings), fully qualified, integrated, installed and supported by one mature organization. This value proposition is one we have been working with since 2008 and, as multi-point solutions are becoming less and less desirable, this has really taken off for us.
Let me not forget why I was talking with them in the first place. Credit where credit is due: they were introduced to me by Ken Ryan, then of Spectra Logic, and currently with Starboard Storage Systems. I invited them in because, at TriAxis, we were not providing as much value in existing TSM environments when it comes to data protection. Since then, we have had much more luck in offering STORServer tools, both software enhancements to TSM and complete TSM-based appliances. As a matter of fact, we recently put up a “micro-site” that allows TriAxis customers and prospects to quote their own STORServer solution.
Also, we’ve just provided a very cool solution for another client, not STORServer-based (not to be a tease, but I can’t yet release the name) for a TSM environment that I will chat about in the near future. But, back to STORServer.
I liked what I saw at first glimpse and I continue to like the value and expertise a STORServer solution is bringing our clients. It continues to interest me that this whole appliance approach is replacing multi-vendor approaches for backup software replacement opportunities. Here are your choices:
- the 1T2C approach, as described above, or
- the ‘traditional’ multi-vendor approach: “Data Domain says the problem is on the CommVault side…” followed by “CommVault says their application is providing the data as fast as it is receiving it, the problem is with your backup server…” followed by “Dell says the backup server is fine, call Microsoft to get the latest patches…” and so on.
Not to get too far off the subject concerning 1T2C, but I recently had a discussion with the CEO of another vendor/business partner of ours, Srinivas Yalavarthy of Indmax. We were chatting about a few accounts we collaborate with and how, in a multi-vendor approach, especially in the data protection space, we are achieving 1T2C. We are finding increasingly that the complexity of legacy (read: NetBackup, Networker, TSM) backup applications is helping fuel his outsourced remote IT management services growth. This continues to present itself as an area of growth to TriAxis as well and it is one of our TriAssist Services offering. More to come on this topic as I continue to look at managed services to provide measurable value and supplement our current storage-related offerings to our existing clients as well as to assist new ones.
“1T2C” — it doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it is a growing model, nonetheless.