There is work to be done! There's a war to be won!

Friday, 20 September 2013

3 minutes with .. Chris Gondek.

I met Gonzo many years back while working at UBS in the UK; solid, passionate, damn hard working (put the rest of us to shame!). Chris came in as was working for SYMC at the time to help with some issues we were experiencing after the NBU 4.5 to 6.0 upgrades. Lots of bugs as I remember. Great to have Chris and team on board to facilitate and iron out the estate for us :)

Chris now works at Commvault and is doing a terrific job as usual. I was able to view a demo and am very impressed by the offerings of this product; CommVault are lucky to have him!

Thanks for your thoughts and time Gonzo.

What are the limitations/problems in backup & recovery at the moment?

I think the primary limitation right now is the automation or ease of recovery, specifically with complex combinations of Physical / Virtual Infrastructure, Operating system, and application layers. Combine this with the growing number of distributed applications that have interdependencies on one another (Sharepoint is a perfect example) and no one can agree on what the best practice should be irrespective of an automated process. Bare Metal Recovery concept springs to mind, but this has a long way to go.

If you're a vendor, how does your company plan to deal with the problem?
Our focus has always been a holistic one that transcends traditional backup and recovery into a wider data and information management solution. Have you ever sat back and thought about recovery / restores? Who drives them? These days end users are IT savvy enough to find and recover their own data, so we provide the access from any device to the relevant information in a secure manner, freeing up IT resources to focus on the protection and management components.
If you're a customer, how are you hoping the vendor will deal with the problem?
The only comment I can make here is that application developers really need to provide better API’s or at least engage the storage software vendors to seek advice at the development stage for the best possible protection and recovery approach for when it is realeased.
What are the best things in backup/recovery at the moment?

Definitely the integration of the backup software with array based snapshots. This allows for the largest data growth while maintaining recovery point and recovery time objectives.

What was your journey into backup & recovery?
I have to admit I was in the sys admin side of things until I dealt with a backup and recovery software vendor support team, I admired the technology and their superior knowledge of every layer of the stack. You see in backup and recovery land, you touch EVERY layer of the IT stack, from the application your protecting (or restoring), to the operating system it runs on, the network you transfer data across down to the storage you write to and retrieve from. To be a Storage expert is to be an all round IT expert and this is what inspired me to move into Storage / Storage software.
Where do you see backup/recovery going in the next 10 years?
I see it continue to blend into more of a wider Data and Information management story as the consumers of information and the “audience” moves towards this holistic approach, we will see the convergance of Backup, Archive, Replication, Deduplication, Snapshots etc into a single approach and platform or unified architecture.

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