Aptare, WysDM and Bocada provide multi-vendor backup reporting and that software category is called data protection management - only it isn't. It is backup reporting. Consider what you could include in a data protection management report:-

- Snapshots
- Mirrors
- Replication (async and sync)
- Fixed content reference storage (like Centera, RISS)
- virtual tape libraries
- tape autoloaders
- tape libraries
- off-site electronic vaulting
- file archiving
- e-mail archiving
- database archiving
- encrypting data.

Does any software product do this? Obviously not. Should it? Suppose you had an enterprise-wide view of all the data in your organisation. You also have a data protection policy for all the data. Then such a report would enable you to measure the effectiveness of your data protection policy's implementation.

If you think that having an enterprise-wide data protection policy is coming your way, either by desire or regulation, then a universal DPM reporter would be a very good thing.

It seems to me that such a uDPM would be an essential part of any information infrastructure management scheme, such as those being promoted by EMC and IBM. No doubt HP won't be far behind.

The universality of such software would require a standard interface to all data protection software so that it can be quizzed about its activities. The SNIA's SMI-S looks the obvious interface for such a need.

I wonder if it will come about and if Aptare, Bocada and WysDM share the view that DPM has to evolve into uDPM so as to cover all the electronic data protection activities of an enterprise.