EMC is releasing the latest version of Data Protection Advisor (DPA) today, version 5.5
DPA has been with EMC for a while now, and it is one of those quiet little overachievers that probably doesn't get the recognition it deserves. One big reason for that is the chronic perception of backup as the most unwanted, and unloved, discipline in the IT organization. And it can be hard enough for backup folks to get funding for infrastructure and software, never mind a piece of software that is (in some senses) secondary to the whole process: software that monitors and reports on backup.
For better or worse however, this stuff is important. Simply put, the native reporting capabilities of most backup applications is not good.
As a result, most backup admins--and their organizations--benefit a lot from software that helps them monitor, report, trouble shoot, do trend analysis and so on. What is maybe not clear is just how much this stuff can help: we have found that it is often the case that DPA is so helpful that it pays for itself in a year or less. DPA can save so much administrative time and effort that it cost justifiable in a very short time frame.