Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Since cloud storage is not backup in and of itself, anyone wanting to use cloud for backup needs additional software smarts. One of the smartest data protection and archiving suites out there is CommVault's Simpana. Mixing their intelligent software with the benefits of cloud storage for data protection makes a killer combination!

This is precisely what CommVault announced this morning. CommVault's cloud integration brings seamless access in Simpana 8 to public cloud storage from the leading providers as well as local tape and disk. CommVault's traditional strengths in archiving and data management are magnified by the addition of cloud storage. For example, customers can use Simpana to identify and move certain data types to off-site cloud storage for enhanced protection and availability and to take advantage of the lower cost and higher flexibility and scalability of these services. Or they can use the cloud as a disaster recovery location, saving weekly copies to the cloud and leaving everything else local.

CommVault's Simpana includes powerful encryption, data deduplication, and enhanced indexing capabilities, and these work great with cloud storage. The first two will ease two concerns many have voiced about public cloud storage: Privacy and performance. Encryption kills deduplication and vice versa, but by integrating these functions the negatives are removed. These save money, too, since less data is stored and no additional hardware or software is needed.

But it is CommVault's indexing capabilities that really get my imagination going. Simpana knows exactly where all data is stored, whether it's on local disk, offline tape, or online cloud storage. This alone will improve efficiency, but let's take things further. Cloud storage is smart, and capabilities can eventually be moved into the cloud. Imagine a protected deduplicated archive that is accessible on demand. This would be awesome for business intelligence, electronic discovery, or disaster recovery. Future cloud services could really make hay with this capability!

This support is thoroughly engineered and integrated, and CommVault will soon support all of the major cloud platforms. They announced Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Nirvanix, and their logo page shows Iron Mountain and EMC Atmos, too. This broad support should help cloud storage adoption. Simpana can easily copy data wherever customers feel most comfortable hosting it, whether it's on-site tape or disk or a public cloud service or any combination of the three. There is no need to install any other software or roll out any hardware - it's all built into Simpana.

This kind of integrated solution is a major step on the way to the storage revolution I've long demanded. An archiving system that can intelligently manage data and move it between disk, tape, and cloud is one thing, but this one really makes use of the programmable and portable nature of cloud storage. I'm looking forward to the creative solutions customers come up with in the near future, as well as the advancements introduced by companies like CommVault!

Read more over at Network World, DGIC, or my personal blog!

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Stephen Foskett has provided vendor-independent end user consulting on storage topics for over 10 years. He has been a storage columnist and has authored numerous articles for industry publications. Stephen is a popular presenter at industry events and recently received Microsoft’s MVP award for contributions to the enterprise storage community. As the director of consulting for Nirvanix, Foskett provides strategic consulting to assist Fortune 500 companies in developing strategies for service-based tiered and cloud storage. He holds a bachelor of science in Society/Technology Studies, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.