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Get CommVault’s Cloud Backup Benefits Without Ever Leaving the Data Center

Get CommVault’s Cloud Backup Benefits Without Ever Leaving the Data Center

The cloud has become an increasingly popular backup target as backup vendors have continued to implement cloud-enabling capabilities into their products and as IT architects have become more comfortable with the thought of using cloud-based storage as a key part of the company’s overall data protection plans and processes. There are many reasons that companies choose to use cloud as a tier, but for many others, the potential benefits of the cloud are either simply not present or there are external factors that prevent cloud adoption, such as internal policies or regulatory requirements.

At the end of the day, for many, the desire to use cloud storage comes down to the fact that the world’s biggest cloud storage vendor – Amazon – uses eminently scalable object-based storage technologies. After all, for most companies, the amount of data being protected isn’t shrinking and every new byte of primary storage requires more bytes of backup storage capacity. Moreover, Amazon’s storage services provide companies with a relatively low cost way to enable long-term archiving.

Both of these needs – the need for scale and the need for reasonable-cost archiving capabilities – can be met without data ever having to leave the data center. For those that have chosen to make the move to CommVault Simpana 10, there are some key capabilities included in the product that make this data-center centric data protection paradigm possible. These two features are called Policy-Based Copy Management and Metadata Search.

Although CommVault generally discusses some of its features in the context of Amazon storage, there’s no reason that a local on-premises object-based storage system couldn’t replace the cloud tier and leverage the two capabilities discussed below.

Policy-Based Copy Management

Although Amazon Glacier is cost-effective, one of the primary challenges around its use is the introduction of very poor recovery times when using certain kinds of cloud-based storage systems, such as Amazon Glacier. Amazon S3, while enabling faster recovery time objectives, will still impose bandwidth-induced challenges that must be overcome.

By using CommVault’s Policy-Based Copy Management with local object storage systems, customers can take a needs-based approach to data recovery that takes into consideration the criticality of data when it comes to recovery. Local object storage can be used as a responsive, fast-recovery data protection tier while continuing to use Glacier for archival data protection needs for which there is less urgency. This can be especially useful for organizations that are required to keep copious historical data.

Further, multiple copies of backup data can be created using this mechanism. For example, an organization may choose to keep a data backup copy local for fast recovery while keeping a second copy in the cloud to protect against data center loss.

Regardless of storage location, all of the data remains protected and managed by CommVault.

Metadata-Based Copy Management/Reduction

One of the problems that organizations face when protecting data is the “no holds barred” approach that is often required. In many cases, backup tools back up every source system with the same level of priority assigned to everything. While this accomplishes the goal of protecting the data, it complicates processes when recovery operations need to take place as IT staff are left searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

When you can focus on the right data, you can reduce costs. Not everything stored in the data center environment needs to be retained. For example, as people back up their personal iPhones at work, does the business really need to spend money keeping those backups in long-term archival storage? Probably not.

With CommVault’s data reduction capabilities, the backup software can query across all managed backup jobs in search of specific and deliberate metadata. Based on specific content types and metadata, CommVault can archive very select pieces of content.  From there, an administrator can configure a policy so that only items that needs to be retained are retained. Based on the object’s metadata, items could be retained in local object storage or in a cloud-based storage environment for long-term retention. CommVault has seen cases where this approach can reduce storage costs by up to 70%. Administrators can make informed decisions about where to store data in an effort to manage costs.

From a cost standpoint, data reduction enables companies to cost effectively keep data on site. The more cost effective that local data can be kept onsite, the better recovery can be, which increases the potential future value of that data. Reduction also helps to accelerate replication that has to traverse the WAN. By replication reduced data, it’s easier to establish secondary sites more cost effectively.

Summary

Before you jump into decisions around how to approach your backup needs as they pertain to CommVault, make sure that you fully understand the breadth of options available to you and don[t discount private on-premises solutions. If you’re using Simpana 10, there are a number of features that you can leverage with local object-based storage targets that can help you reduce the overall cost of the data protection need. Make sure you’re always “looking into the latest upgrades” from your backup provider, which may include cloud storage features that work just the same on local object storage.

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