Cherry picking

By Juan Orlandini
6/19/2012

You might recall that we’ve been hard at work on a managed backup service for our customers. To build that service, we took some hard-earned lessons (I call them scar tissue) and distilled them down to repeatable solutions.

One of the many things we learned is that having some of the smartest people in the world was a good start, but we also needed to give them the best tools or they'd end up beating their heads against the wall and managing each customer as a one-off. Our customers use NetBackup, arguably one of the best enterprise backup tools in the market. However, we wanted to expand beyond what the tool offered from a monitoring reporting perspective. Granted, OpsCenter is a good start and exceptionally good at alerting on critical events. But we wanted to push the envelope even more and offer greater flexibility or ease of reporting. When we built our service, we decided to leverage OpsCenter for what it’s best at and use our existingStorageScape service for the reporting aspect.

You’d think that two tools would be enough, right? Not so. Neither OpsCenter nor StorageScape are very good at monitoring the infrastructure itself. You see, the master servers, the media servers, and the backup devices (tape libraries, dedupe appliances, etc.) also need monitoring and alerting. For that, we leveraged our managed monitoring service.

What we've found is that by cherry picking the best solution for each element, we're able to deliver the best quality service. Rather than managing each customer individually, we're able to leverage the collective wisdom of the entire customer base for the benefit of everyone.

Our really smart folks can now focus on making sure we deliver the best processes and services.