Dell and CommVault have taken the wraps off a new PowerVault DL appliance that is squarely aimed at businesses looking to use private or public cloud
environments to manage and protect their data. Featuring CommVault's Simpana 8 software
and a wizard-driven setup and management utility, the new Dell appliance also can be paired across geographically distributed sites to protect remote or branch-office data and applications.
Almost everyone these days is shifting to virtualized infrastructures, but the huge shift from physical to virtual is creating a big strain on the management side, noted Jeff Echols, CommVault's senior director of cloud strategy and alliances. "Having to protect and access everything in a virtual environment is very challenging," he said.
Echols observed that the Simpana 8 software that ships on the PowerVault DL is designed to address these concerns. "CommVault is way ahead of our competition about how to protect data in a virtualized environment," Echols said. "The Dell DL is a great package that can be dropped into a customer's environment to protect and manage the data that resides in a virtual infrastructure."
Managing Virtualized Servers
Offering up to 24 terabytes of internal storage capacity as well as scalability to more than 300TB, Dell's backup-to-disk platform offers fast throughput and optimized deduplication in a smaller 2U form factor. To streamline disk-to-tape data protection while increasing disaster recovery capabilities, Dell's PowerVault TL2000, TL4000 or ML6000 tape library can be integrated into the platform.
One of the top challenges that enterprises face in managing virtualized server environments is the inability to back up all virtual machines reliably and in a timely manner. CommVault's technology enables the PowerVault DL to restore physical as well as virtual environments -- with both VMware and Hyper-V protection options on tap.
Unlike other data-storage vendors that have grown their product lines through acquisitions, CommVault has built all its data-management offerings from the ground up so they all share the same code base, Echols observed. "We have built a cloud connector into that platform that integrates the APIs of public cloud vendors" such as Amazon, Iron Mountain, Microsoft Azure, and Nirvanix, Echols explained. "So all of our products can now move data straight into those clouds."
Public cloud storage is now very cheap, so customers can take data currently stored at a cost of two to three dollars per gigabyte and put it in the cloud at a cost of just 15 cents per gigabyte, Echols noted. "Having it in the cloud also makes it more accessible," he added.
Potential Cost Savings
The PowerVault DL reportedly delivers end-to-end block-based deduplication at throughput rates up to 3TB/hr when performing weekly backup operations. CommVault said the deduplication technology aboard the machine can potentially reduce storage by up to 95 percent by replacing duplicate data files with a reference to a shared copy.
CommVault's archiving capabilities also enable the appliance to further optimize storage resources, lower risk, and improve operational efficiencies, Echols said. In this case, archiving refers to the space optimization that can take place when an administrator defines policies pertaining to the types of data being stored, such as a file's age, size or application type.
This enables CommVault's software to look across an organization's storage and pull out the data that the administrator considers to be low priority while leaving placement stubs behind. "Many customers will shoot it out to the cloud if they don't want it to go on tape," Echols explained. This can reduce the size of the organization's primary storage by 70 to 90 percent, which means "their data backups are going to run a lot faster," he added.