This post is live-blogged from the CommVaullt presentation at #VFD4. The structure and organization will undoubtedly be poor, since this is all captured on the fly from our chat.
This is not CommVault’s first time at Virtualization Field Day – I also saw them at #VFD3. It’s good to have them back! They specifically called out that they had made some major changes since the last time they were here. CommVault has historically been known for data protection and recovery. At this stage in the game, there’s more than that though! The major value in CommVault over another similar product is not just their ability to back up or recover your data, but the ability to index at catalog that data, and make it available to end-users in a “versioning” sort of way. The backup target possibilities are pretty diverse – tape, disk, public cloud storage, private cloud storage, and so on. Another big offering is the ability to convert and move workloads from VMware to AWS, or from VMware to Azure, or various other configurations of the same type of migration. At this time, this migration is one-way, but the goal for the future would be able to move workload OUT of public cloud and into your data center with ease as well.
I have often been known to talk about the idea that if you don’t provide a service that users want as an IT organization, they will go to an external public organization to get it. Right off the bat, we saw CommVault offering a Dropbox for enterprise sort of solution. That already exists in places like OneDrive, but the difference here is that you can utilize the other features of CommVault with it, like the content indexing or backup/versioning. I do see this as being something that would satisfy both end users’ needs an IT’s needs from a manageability, compliance, and security standpoint.
We talked at length about the steps CommVault takes to make application-consistent backups efficient and fast. Then we got into the “searchability” of the content store, as well as immediately doing file-level restores from VMs. It sounds like the way it works is similar to the way vPower NFS works with Veeam. It will essentially stage the VM to be restored in a temporary location, mount a temporary NFS volume and power on the VM. We can then reach in and pull out the file we’re looking for. There’s other ways of getting the data out, like mounting an entire VMDK back to the VM in question. This may be a better method for large file recovery, like a database for instance.
Lastly, they showed us a “cloud provisioning portal” and I can’t quite figure out why I’d want to use that as opposed to something mature and well-known like OpenStack of vCAC. Maybe it’s easier? Maybe it’s because I’m already a CommVault shop and it’s an addition to something I already own? I wish we had more time to talk about this, because I’d like to be more clear on the direction here. Overall, great job by CommVault and as suspected, it was great to have them back!
That’s it for today! Back tomorrow for the last sessions of VFD4, with Dell and Scale Computing! We’ll start at 8 AM Central. Here’s the full schedule.