In my previous blog, I discussed the concepts of a Cloud First approach and the strategies that need to be explored before stepping into the Cloud. With the strategies examined, I wanted to move forward with the next key to victory in Cloud adoption: Integration. This is critical to the execution of any Cloud First Strategy your organization wants to implement as it pertains to how easy or hard it will be for you to manage the ebb and flow of data to/from the Cloud.
Before moving ahead, let’s take a quick glance into the not so distant past. In the dark days, when legacy software solutions were incapable of writing to disk natively, the VTL was born to fill in that need. When those products of old caught up and integrated with the disk more tightly, folks didn’t really need VTLs anymore. Next came deduplication, and the dedupe appliance was created for those solutions that needed it. Then everyone started doing it themselves in the software, and those specialty appliances weren’t really needed anymore either as deduplication was integrated into most software solutions with varying degrees of effectiveness. Now we have the Cloud and not everyone can talk to the cloud without help, thus gateway appliances have been invented to facilitate the movement of data to/from the Cloud for applications and hardware that aren’t integrated with the Cloud such that they can execute these operations themselves.
What is common across these tales of yore? Complexity. In each case, a stop-gap was required to allow for solutions to do what they should have been doing already. Added hardware, added siloes, added segregation of the data that organizations were trying to consolidate. It’s easy to look back and see how having a solution that provided these integration points natively would eliminate redundant and costly specialty equipment from the stack.
This is where Commvault comes in. In all three of these areas Commvault has paved the way by simply providing these features natively as part of the Commvault Data Platform. We always were able to write to disk, we’ve had our own deduplication (source and target) for several generations of the platform and we’ve been talking REST for years. That’s integration! Direct communication with the Cloud, and not just “a” Cloud, but more than 20 Cloud providers and solutions.
Why is that important? With the evolution of IT and the modernization of the data center, agility has become the key “feature” that most organizations are looking for. How adaptable is my infrastructure? How quickly can I adjust to new requirements and needs from the business? Take a gander over at what George Crump recently discussed on this subject and you’ll find a great perspective on why integration, among other things, help mobilize organizations to the Cloud with greater ease. Having a solution that is natively integrated with the Cloud drives this simplicity and flexibility. Not being bound by a black box makes it much easier to speedily embrace change as needed. In the context of Cloud, portability is pivotal. Without integration, your paths to the Cloud, and your overall freedom of options, become much more limited.
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Colin Powell speak. His central message focused on embracing risk, which in this case was new technology. The underpinnings of his message were simple: If you have a resilient, flexible, and trusted solution underneath you, then you have the confidence to step forward and not fear what others may see as “risk.”