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Adding value with data management

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Kathy Gibson at Fujitsu World Tour, Bryanston — As the world moves to digitalisation, a new approach to data management is needed.
A good example of these changing needs is data backup and recovery, where customers make big investments but don’t always see the value.
Michiel von der Crone, chief technology officer: EMEA at Commvault, thinks organisations could add value by using this data in different ways.
Talking to customers, the company found they don’t want vendor lock-in, especially when it comes to recovering data.
They also want protected data to be always available in an always-on environment. “Currently the environment is so complex that people don’t want to use us,” Von der Crone points out.
This ties in with a need to make data backup and protection keep pace with data growth, velocity and variety.
A good way of adding value would be to add embedded, extensible search and analytics to the backup data. This would take the load off production data.
This data needs to be available and accessible, Von der Crone adds, so seamless and universal access is key.
Cloud adoption is a huge topic within all organisations and this relates to protected data as well. “So data management needs to fit in with your cloud strategy.”
Commvault wants to remove data management out of the backup and recovery arena, allowing it to become a second data source that can add value to an organisation.

Open standards-based infrastructure
Customers want this because it offers greater agility and flexibility by providing standards-based native access. It eliminates vendor lock-in and obsolescence, which helps to reduce costs and operational expenses.
Commvault addresses this with a universal data services platform that provides standards-based access, while embedding management, reporting and analytics capabilities. This means that all of an organisation’s users will be able to access data through network sharing and APIs.

New recovery mandates
This would just about eliminate downtime and business disruption by providing a faster time to data. By shrinking the number of secondary copies of data required by the business, infrastructure costs will be reduced, while storage efficiency will be improved.
Commvault makes a secondary copy of data available almost immediately, and it is natively readable.
“This gives additional options to add value to the organisation,” Von der Crone says. “Users don’t see the value of backup and recovery and until they do they won’t see the point.”

New technology to meet today’s demands
There is a huge potential to reduce data loss by creating application-consistent recovery points, Van der Crone says. Companies would be able to shrink the data loss gap dramatically through block-level capture. This would also reduce infrastructure demands via almost continuous data capture and movement.
Commvault offers realtime change capture that captures data and fully indexes it, as it is written. It will monitor, track, index and transport changes in source data at the storage level while maintaining application consistency.
This offers a consistent approach to all data types — virtual, file system and application. It is a highly efficient and attribute-rich way of turning the archive into usable data.

Extensible analytics built in
Customers would be able to search and query data without having to federate it into a lake. This will help them to achieve new insights based on federated combinations that are not available today.
If we have the data in a data management system we can start making correlations, says Von der Crone. Commvault offers a business analytics foundation for extensive analytics that support rich content awareness.

Access and collaboration
This would help organisations save significant amounts of time in locating critical information normally buried in separate silos. There would be no need to change user behaviour to access historical and production copies in a single view
Universal access and collaboration from Commvault offers direct access to production and historical copies of data, making it available in familiar user interfaces. This lets users view, modify, share and synchronise production and historical copies of data.

Cloud strategy-ready
Cloud adoption is now one the highest priorities for organisations, and data management is one of the key areas that companies are looking at. But workloads on the cloud also need data management, Von der Crone points out.
The solution is to consider cloud as an additional platform next to virtualisation, legacy systems and laptops. It shouldn’t be considered as a separate entity as this just creates another silo. Increased adoption to the cloud can be achieved with use cases like backup to cloud, disaster recovery in the cloud and dev/test in the cloud. This means that IT will be able to manage data from, to and between clouds.