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

Thursday, 19 December 2013

CommVault Simpana - A holistic approach

Data protection and recoverability is a hobby and a real interest to me;  I decided all those years back when I encountered the concept that it was something I could genuinely enjoy doing as a 'job'. It enabled me to jump into other positions, analysing the components of applications and learning to protect them in their entirety. Not a lot of jobs allow you to do that today.

I'm sure like any product out there offering protection, its the way you choose to use it based on the circumstances you're in and the experiences you've had. You're either familiar with the product or you're not, and this arguably shapes you. You might even be a HP or Dell or Oracle shop and therefore you're in a camp to begin with as far as procurement is concerned.  (No more handshakes on the golf course for you, er, matey) ;) Whatever your experience, if you're good at your job you'll be able to get just about any product to work in any environment. Full stop. There really is no argument.

From what I have seen, Simpana gives you all the tools for data protection in a well marketed campaign. I've seen and used products that offer 'backup/recovery' capability, but I'm impressed by seeing a well presented holistic approach to data protection. Now, I haven't used it in a production environment and don't know how well it scales, but I'm interested to find out more. It appears to me that you can pick it up, allow it to dictate its model to you, and get data protected without too much fuss. Wintel vs UNIX wars ... yes, they still exist, and some swear blind that a 'games' computer has no place protecting data; the Commserve or main workhorse has to reside on a Wintel platform. Well, my thought is if it works, it works, move along now, there's more important stuff to worry about, like protecting the actual data! The product, like so many others out there, is riddled with rich features; checkboxes offering you the world. Naturally the world always seems to come at a cost, so its over to how valuable the data you're planning to protect is, to your company. The template policies instruct you to protect, protect, protect, with a wealth of online help explaining each and every option available; its this offering that re-enforces the full data cycle neatly coupled with retention specifications. This cements the fact that the ageing process of your data and its associated copies, whether integrating snaps, aux copies or long term archiving, is fundamental to whether your boss lets you go for forgetting to think about the bigger picture. Its this bigger picture that constantly guides you, allows you to call up a wealth of reporting tools that are sweetly integrated. A lot of problems I've seen over a period of time comes from users in multiple locations doing 'stuff', aka: friendly fire. Well, 'naa draaamas' (as I've recently moved to Aus, forgive me, I AM trying to be serious here!) Simpana allows you to make people accountable for their actions by including a very rich security layer based on entities (simply: stuff you can or cant do based on who you are). So no more unexpected 'who just removed the path to our silo?!' problem.

You decide whether it works for your data and your environment, because at the end of the day its all still about understanding your data, your environment and doing the research to determine whether it'll work for you or not.You'd be a fool not to look at it ... or anything else for that matter ... but I say it again: holistic is a good.

Anyone want to invite me over for tea to have a look at your CV environ? Feel free, I'm harmless and friendly and will supply biscuits :)

Happy New Year all, and happy data protecting; whatever product you use, make it a good one by making the vendor accountable for the product they sell you. If you want a feature, tell them, involve them and keep talking.

Lastly, feel free to add your comments as always.


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