Recently I read a blog by Curtis Preston of Storage Switzerland addressing the question of ‘What is Backup?’ For established IT organizations it seems that backup should be like ‘Mom and Apple Pie.’ It should be safe, secure and with NO drama. And yet, Curtis’ commentary clearly highlights the struggles that many organizations have with backup – because for most organizations it is easy to have a safe copy of data that they can be secure about. But in looking at the solutions on the marketplace, there is way too much drama involved in the available backup solutions. So for many, rather than find a backup solution that is safe, secure and drama free, they look for other technologies like replication, snapshots, RAID protection or erasure coding to substitute for their backup needs. It really doesn’t feel like it should be that hard!
Why all of the drama? It is true the dynamics have changed to meet today’s data protection needs: individual users need a simple interface to self-recover their data; for system failures we might need the portability to move that application’s data elsewhere (to a different hypervisor, from physical on-premises hardware into a public cloud, etc.); for a site failure we might need automation and various replication and SLA options to provide the business the recovery options it needs; and we might have to recover workloads running natively in a public cloud, or a key SaaS application (Salesforce, Office365, etc). So backup is harder than it once was. Solutions that were developed 25-30 years ago and only implemented five or 10 years after that will never meet one’s needs without drama. Everywhere you look there are point products to help for these various scenarios, increasing complexity, manual process management and DRAMA. More products to manage, separate IT teams and separate data silos. How do you get back to simple, safe, secure ‘Mom and Apple Pie?’
But if one is looking for backup and recovery capabilities, snapshot management, replication capabilities or replication management, orchestrated disaster recovery, migration capabilities and dev and test automation, it can be accomplished from a holistic platform regardless of where the data is located. And even when something does go wrong, deal with a customer support organization that eliminates the drama (with a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate). There are clearly options for a no drama solution with Commvault!
If you would like to get a better understanding of Commvault’s philosophy that provides NO drama, the keynote address by Al Bunte, Commvault’s Chief Operating Officer, at Commvault GO 2016 touches on this:
The other key attribute of something that should be ‘Apple Pie’ is realizing the benefits from the fruits of your labor. For backup solutions, those labors might provide a modernized, automated disaster recovery strategy; a platform for sharing content; or the capital and operational efficiencies that open up doors to transform other aspects of IT.
The idea of backup data providing value-add functionalities to a business is such a foreign concept to most organizations looking at replication, snapshots, RAID protection, or erasure coding for a solution. Yet for so many Commvault customers, the ‘Mom and Apple Pie’ benefits (safety, security and NO DRAMA) are what they live every day. I can hardly imagine a world where the dream of ‘Mom and Apple Pie’ seemed out of reach – it shouldn’t be out of IT’s reach either.