IT computing environments diversify as the digital transformation of enterprises continues. Besides traditional physical terminals and servers, as well as virtual servers, there are also container and hybrid cloud architectures to complicate data protection issues.
According to Li-Wei Chen, Senior Technical Consultant of Commvault Taiwan, to exploit the advantages of cloud computing and create greater flexibility, enterprises actively categorize application services and data to keep some on the ground and migrate others to the cloud to form data streams beyond the ground and cloud. While enterprises increasingly also store data on different cloud platforms, making data backup a major challenge, many enterprises are seeking better ways of data protection.
Hence, Commvault has for many years been devoted to integrating the advantages of on-premises, cloud, and virtual environments, hoping to extend data protection to various cloud platforms beyond data centers. For this, Commvault has created APIs that support multiple cloud platforms to enhance efficiency through simplification for users to easily solve problems in data backup, restoration, and migration across platforms with a single Commvault platform and single interface.
According to Chen, when talking about cloud data backup, the simple tools from cloud service providers will be the first thing that comes to mind. Although a large number of copies can be made through snapshots and reproduction, the downside is that enterprises must learn how to use the tools from each provider, and they generally do not support deduplication. Therefore, the more copies are kept, the more the storage space enterprises must buy, and they have to bear with management complexity.
Doubtlessly, some backup solution providers have entered the cloud data backup market. One method they offer is to transfer data to the cloud via a gateway, another method is to install an agent on the cloud platform. However, none of these methods can fulfill the expectations of the majority of enterprises; because the goal of cloud computing is to pursue greater flexibility, methods similar to those of on-premises operations are thus against the very intent of cloud computing.
In contrast, Commvault supports several cloud backup methods. For example, users can carry out disaster recovery (DR) from the cloud. As long there is a working network connection, enterprises can easily achieve disk-to-disk-to-cloud (D2D2C) through authentication. Afterwards, enterprises can at any time perform on-premises data recovery as necessary without the need of a gateway. In addition, enterprises can split some services and move them to the cloud having to implant an agent, because Commvault supports the largest number of public cloud platforms. By simply calling the API, enterprises can easily make backup copies of virtual servers on the cloud platform, while switching between clouds is also supported. Restoring either an on-premises backup onto the cloud server or a cloud server A backup onto cloud server B, there is no need to spend time on manual VM reconstruction or data migration.
“Besides providing enterprises with highly flexible data protection modes, Commvault can also help save storage cost,” said Chen. Although the snapshot function of most cloud platforms does not support data deduplication, it is a standard feature of Commvault solutions, helping reduce data by more than 95% on average. Therefore, enterprises will not need much space to store backup copies at different restoration times.
Commvault also demonstrates industry-leading support for popular containers and Kubernetes (K8s) applications. According to Chen, although many people consider that no backup is needed for container services which are “stateless” and quickly produced or removed on a task basis, “stateful” container services like MySQL have become increasingly popular in recent years, and the protection of corresponding data is thus necessary.
Unlike VMs, data and applications in K8s are separated, and no data can be backed up even if the complete pod is backed up. To solve this problem, Commvault uses a snapshot API called CSI in K8s to generate the association between the storage locations of applications and data. Take restoration for example, after the enterprise has selected a pod for restoration, CSI will associate it with the designated data segment to restore both the applications and data at the same time. This means that Commvault customers do not have to record the storage locations to ensure that the backup and restoration of container applications and the associated data is achieved at the same time.
Furthermore, enterprises can perform one-button restoration of on-premises production K8s apps to the cloud K8s environment to meet verification or development needs. After completion, enterprises can redeploy it in the on-premises production environment. This entire process can be achieved with Commvault’s standard interface. It is worth noting that Commvault supports all K8s platforms and storage equipment that support CSI in the CNCF-accredited list. From backup and restoration to migration, no agent is needed.
Stateful data can also be accessed when using stateless container services to continuously gather data and write it in a specific storage space. In this case, Commvault can use CSI to call the persistent volume claim (PVC) stateless service to make snapshots and attach them to the pod to perform application and data backup at the same time.
Chen revealed that Commvault has recently added a new member, “Metallic,” to the product lineup. It is a cloud-based backup as a service (BaaS) that requires no installation on the customer end. After completing the subscription process, customers can quickly erect their data defense to make backups of databases, files, VMs, containers, public cloud apps, Office 365 services, or operating environments of endpoint equipment in Metallic.
According to Hao-Hsiang Tsao, Senior Sales AVP of Commvault Taiwan, natural disasters, hardware failures, human error, and ransomware attacks are persistent threats to enterprise data, and a comprehensive data recovery plan is the key to minimizing the impact of these incidents. Enterprises should be ready to handle potential accidents or crises at all times to ensure business continuity.
However, as the above threats increase, enterprises are forced to ensure that a DR plan is in place for immediate implementation. As a world-leading data backup management service provider, Commvault has advanced technology and professional knowledge to help enterprises activate the required data protection plans and quickly resume normal operations, from planning and deployment to management.