Tuesday, December 18, 2012
In CommVault's Modern Data Protection blog, Liem Nguyen recently touched on the Simpana ContentStore from the Dell Storage Forum in Paris. He referred to the technical "wizardry" of the embedded intelligence of the ContentStore as fascinating. Indeed, it is. I'd like to play the role of Toto in The Wizard of Oz and open up the curtain behind some of that wizardry and show you why it's so great and powerful.
Let's start with a definition. The Simpana ContentStore is a virtual repository of CommVault managed data that provides a flexible and efficient way to store, access and understand your information regardless of physical storage tier or geographic location. It spans across heterogeneous and commodity disk storage, tape and into public or private cloud. It offers a radically different approach to data and information management because once data is ingested into the ContentStore, it becomes a usable asset that can be accessed by anyone in the organization, from any device. Instead of going into a virtual "black hole" after data has been protected, it can be mined by various stakeholders to enable activities like data analysis, eDiscovery or compliance. Ultimately, information at your fingertips leads to better productivity, improved collaboration and smarter decision making that can transform your business.
How does the ContentStore work? I like to think of the ContentStore as the brains behind Simpana software's brawn. Simpana software retains data in a federated, managed state across the industry's broadest collection of sources, from applications, files, collaboration data, even to data at the edge or in the cloud. That's some serious muscle. But just like the ruby slippers, muscle means nothing if you don't know how to best use it, information is wasted if you can't get to it. A single, deduplicated index of all this information lives in the ContentStore that spans backup, archive and replication copies and tracks all objects under management. Organically developed, Simpana software has a single index across the ContentStore, making it the only enterprise class solution like it in the market. The implications of this are far-reaching because users can effortlessly find and access information for Recovery, Reporting, eDiscovery, Compliance and Data Mining. Other solutions add cost and complexity because they rely on loosely integrated point products to search multiple silos of data. The ContentStore also saves you from being locked into any particular hardware for long-term retention. Additionally, data analytics and reporting can be performed from the index to help you gain insights across your environment, including better classifying data and implementing archive policies for data tiering to lower cost media, which can help you further reduce total cost of ownership.
Figure 1: Perform Data & Information Management functions using the ContentStore.
While the ContentStore (see Figure 1) has been in our product since Day 1, you'll see us talk more and more about it as a revolutionary tool that is transforming the way the enterprise can consume, understand and use information. From an information management perspective, it offers an efficient and scalable foundation for a host of eDiscovery and compliance related activities. It streamlines the collection, preservation and discovery of data across a wide variety of sources spanning email stores, documents and even laptops at the "edge." Having a reusable, common repository facilitates better control of applications, processes and data workflow across an enterprise.
Hopefully this has helped articulate both the value of the ContentStore and how it works. Keep checking back for more information.
Wizardry? Not so much.