Bocada is the name of a company supplying data protection management products. 'Bocado' is also a Spanish word. Here is what an on-line dictionary says it means:-

bo·ca·do - mouthful as in 'un bocado de pan' meaning a mouthful of bread

It may also mean a morsel or bite and, from riding, it means a bridle or bit. Idiomatic uses include:-

bocado de Adán - Adam's apple
bocado de cardenal - choice morsel
bocado sin hueso - colloquial speech for a cushy job
bocados - dried preserves
con el bocado en la boca - while swallowing the last bite
no tener para un bocado - colloquial speech for being broke or penniless

Dried preserves has a nearly serendipitous relationship to backup data and backup tapes or disks gulp data. Bridles are used for controlling a horse and data protection management (DPM) products are used for controlling backup software applications. All-in-all Bocada is a neat name for a DPM company.

Techworld spoke to Drake Pruitt, Bocada's VP for products and marketing, about the company and its products. This interview neatly complements the conversation with Crosswalk we had recently, also a talk with WysDm.

Drake said Bocada provides secondary storage services management: "Data Protection Management is an analysts' category. It's a new category and we're going along with it. Our platform is a software layer designed to aid the management and validation of the data protection management process and result."

Starting point
Bocada was founded in 1999 by two ex-Legato people who had been working on a Legato product-only Gems console. One was Cory Bear, now chief technical officer, and the other Liam Scanlan. The company was capitalised in 2001 and its first customer ship of a product took place in the same year. It signed its first 6-figure customer order, with Agilent, in January 2002. It now has over 180 customers world-wide and the largest customer has 30,000 hosts managed by Bocada software, such as Backup Report.

Pruitt said: "The focus of our company has been the enterprise. It recognised a common challenge cross heterogeneous backup structures and we've built a scalable enterprise product. Our customers characteristically have heterogeneous backup environments. But we also have customers who represent the top five largest single (backup) vendor environments, such as all-Veritas or all-Tivoli. We offer something that neither Veritas nor Tivoli have focussed on delivering."

Deep and wide
"Bocada is providing both a deeper insight into the, for example, Veritas environment and across a wider scope. It will get you the information you need, an enterprise view of your Netbackup operations and a detailed view. Without it you are left with a point-to-point report biased towards operations data. Business needs additional information for DPM, beyond whether or not the workflow is being done by Veritas."

TW: What do you mean by this?
Drake Pruitt: To comply with Sarbanes-Oxley processes you don't need operational availability. It's being able to validate the safe-keeping of data. A series of backup log files isn't sufficient for a SarBox audit. They want to know that you can recover data from a certain date and that (proper) policies were followed."

"It's the decision support or context information rather than the operations support. We supply both. Our product is enabling technology for people in the data centre."

Product background
We asked Drake Pruitt about Bocada's product development background.

Drake Pruitt: There are specialised products for third party software, products from the (backup) incumbents. These are focussed on a single platform, such as Veritas products. They are unlikely to leverage the value of an IBM Tivoli backup product. This provides the opportunity for a heterogeneous product looking across all the individual backup silos.

We architected our product to be enterprise-class from the ground up. It's a patented architecture that is agent-less and collects and stores information. The use of agents is a non-starter. Without them there is no nightmare need to roll out updates across tens of thousands of servers in an enterprise.

The repository is a SQL database with an open schema. Several hundred people can hit the Bocada database at any one time.

We see continued growth going forward. We think we'll be scaling to in excess of 100,000 hosts as we look at our roadmap.

Bocada is the pioneer of this business and has the largest number of products out there and the largest customers, such as Exxon and JP Morgan.

Bocado de cardenal
Bocada is the DPM market leader. It with Crosswalk and WysDM has established a new software market sector. Surprisingly this sector has been established because the three main players listened to what backup customers wanted whilst backup software incumbents and storage resource management (SRM) suppliers did not.

It is intuitively obvious that DPM is really an aspect of SRM. It is also obvious that, while customers stick with their many backup products and virtually never migrate from one to another, there is no pressing need for backup vendors to answer a call for heterogeneous and business-level reporting.

One thing is changing that. It is that Bocada and others partly thrive because tape-based backups are so unreliable. The advent of disk-based backup and virtual tape libraries is cutting the umbilical cord linking backup hardware and backup software. Will Bocada and its companion suppliers still thrive in a disk-based backup environment, if that ever becomes the norm in enterprises?

As ever with terrific niche software developers the response of major suppliers is, first, to supply their software, though partnering, secondly, to supply it through OEM deals and, thirdly, to develop their own version or buy their supplier.

How long will it be before EMC, HP, IBM and Sun roll their DPM products through a make or buy decision? When they do Bocada founders and stock option holders would no longer be able to say: "No tener para un bocado." Instead their holding would have become transformed into a "bocado de cardenal".