Unified Solutions versus Point Products

By Keith Townsend

Scale breaks everything. When considering data protection solutions, it’s difficult to discern which end of the scale problem to address. If you recently expanded into the public cloud, you may find that a native cloud solution better meets your data protection needs. However, if you just implemented a times series database within your data center, you may find a specialized solution meets your requirements. Are you missing the forest for the trees? Data protection is an enterprise-wide challenge and not a collection of point solutions.  

It’s about the operations

Data is emerging as one of the most critical areas of value within the corporate landscape; specifically, the ability to attain data insights. Another analyst asked me how much data would I keep and for how long. My basic answer was, “All of it.” Without consideration for retention policies or regulations, I’d keep as much data as I could reasonably store. However, each enterprise inherits data protection complexities, including retention policies, security, data sovereignty and government regulatory policies.

A mature and complete data protection policy must consider each of these technical constraints. As important, a data protection policy should enable enterprises to take advantage of data backups’ centralized nature. For example, a data protection policy should allow the ability to restore a time-series database to the public cloud for an analytics platform. The challenge is point solutions can’t perform these complex business-level tasks across data protection domains. For instance, if you want to move the workload to AWS from your VMware platform, the system you leverage for time series backup may not have that capability.

Beyond the technical capabilities, the customer must consider operational complexity. The support personnel restoring times-series databases also have the responsibility to convert a traditional SQL database. Increasing the number of solutions increases the complexity of operations – the more complexity, the lower the technical agility.

One size fits all

Enter Commvault. Gartner reviewed each of the significant data protection solutions on the market. Commvault faired well in each of the areas of focus. According to Gartner, Commvault solutions are the best in class in each category. I’d encourage you to read the report to see if it fairs well for your requirements.

There’s an intense temptation to go with a solution such as Commvault. It can manage each area of your data protection policy while enabling data mobility across the various workload silos. The support desk has one solution to administer.

What’s the catch?

There’s always a compromise. Commvault is a big solution. At the last Commvault GO (Commvault’s user conference) that I attended, many customers I talked with echoed many of the advantages of a single solution. Many others poke about the need for training because the solution is so big.

Commvault has a reputation for being complex. However, Gestalt IT’s Stephen Foskett and I sat down with Commvault to talk about the Gartner report, and the complexity of the solution came up in the discussion. I’d encourage you to watch the webinar and judge for yourself. Does Commvault have a winning combination of capability and ease of use?