Hermain Cain
Hermain Cain, Rick Perry, & Backup Appliances

[Warning: This is a non-political blog post.  I’m using the Florida straw poll as an illustration of a point.  I’m in no way endorsing Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Barack Obama, global warming, Morgan Freeman, or whether Miller Beer tastes great or is less filling.]

Most commentators are stating that Herman Cain did a great job in the latest GOP debate.  Cain’s winning of the Florida straw poll would seem to endorse that view.  With that said, I found it interesting that Rick Perry is spending an enormous amount of time explaining to potential voters that it’s not important who is a good or a bad debater – and taking a few shots at Mitt Romney – while Perry is largely ignoring Cain.  In the meantime, both Perry and Romney seem to triangulate to positions held by Cain.

What the heck does this have to do with backup appliances?

I couldn’t help but see a parallel between Perry and Romney, the current GOP frontrunners, and the vendors of unintegrated backup software.  As hard as they try, they want to ignore the explosive growth of backup appliances and instead focus on sniping at each other.  However, we’re starting to see the first steps at understanding that a vertically integrated appliance model is a superior way to deliver backup.  Symantec with the Backup Exec 3600 and the NetBackup 5520 are an admission here.  I’m looking forward to seeing more vendors offer appliances.

Why would I look forward to this when these are competitors?  Because integrating the software onto the backup server and backup storage is only the first step.  There’s an awful lot of technology required to make the various functionality work together.  And beyond that, there’s an all-in-one pricing model that has to be adopted that smashes the “backup tax” – the nickel and diming for functionality and per-server charges traditionally levied by software backup vendors.  It’s awfully hard to be “simple” in your offering when for years you’ve charged for complexity.

This should be fun, don’t you think?