Just after announcing a new joint Big Data and Cloud initiative, EMC and VMware are tag teaming on a new backup Relevant Products/Services and recovery solution for VMware vSphere 5.1. Dubbed VMware vSphere Data Protection, the solution is built on EMC Avamar deduplication backup software Relevant Products/Services technology.

Delivered as part of VMware vSphere 5.1, VMware vSphere Data Protection replaces vSphere Data Recovery. The latter was previously available with vSphere. EMC said the new solution is more cost-effective, more reliable and easier to use.

"Backup and recovery is a critical element of virtualization implementations," said Bogomil Balkansky, senior vice president of Cloud Infrastructure Products at VMware. "Our selection of EMC Avamar technology enables us to deliver better backup and recovery capabilities directly from the VMware vSphere platform."

Tapping Avamar Tech

VMware vSphere Data Protection leverages EMC Avamar software's technology, which includes variable-length deduplication, full support of Changed Block Tracking and single-step restores to minimize storage Relevant Products/Services resource consumption, reduce backup windows and enable fast recovery. Customers can manage VMware vSphere Data Protection directly from the vSphere Web Client and takes advantage of the vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection to make possible agent-less backup.

Vmware isn't resting on EMC's technology, though. VMware said it plans to continue investing in the vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection with the goal of enabling seamless integration of third-party backup and recovery with the VMware vSphere platform.

"The inclusion of Avamar technology into VMware vSphere 5.1 delivers a robust and highly integrated virtual backup and recovery capability that's easy to use," said David Vellante, an analyst and co-founder of The Wikibon Project. "Smaller businesses and departments within larger organizations are the primary beneficiaries of this initial release, as well those who are at the outset of their virtualization journey. VMware has clearly taken virtual backup and recovery to the next level with this valuable addition to its platform."

A Big Data Spin Off?

Meanwhile, VMware and EMC are committing key existing technology, people and programs from both companies focused on Big Data and cloud Relevant Products/Services application platforms under one virtual organization -- the Pivotal Initiative. Paul Maritz, chief strategy officer of EMC, will lead the initiative. The companies expect to formally unite these resources by the second quarter of 2013.

Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said the Pivotal Initiative was a good move for both companies.

"EMC and VMware have overlapping technology in the area of Big Data analytics Relevant Products/Services. I think it makes sense for the companies to work together to find a unified way to go forward," Kerravala told us.

"In fact, I've heard rumors that if it goes well they may spin this out as a separate company. It's certainly better than both companies trying to go it alone with offerings that may wind up eventually overlapping one another. It creates a little bit more R&D efficiency and plays on the strengths of both companies. You wonder why they didn't do it a while ago."