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CommVault's VMworld 2011 Blog

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Guest post by Phil Curran

 

While VMworld 2011 Las Vegas is behind us, VMworld 2011 Copenhagen is fast approaching and the CommVault team is hard at work with final preparations for the show. The CommVault team will be in booth #100C and will be showing off the latest CommVault Simpana 9 software capabilities for protecting and managing data in growing VMware environments, including our SnapProtect integration for virtual servers.

 

One of the big hits for us at VMworld Las Vegas was the demo of one the newest capabilities in Simpana 9 SP3, which is the ability to perform mailbox and individual email restores from a snapshot of a virtualized Microsoft Exchange environment.

 

Email platforms like Exchange typically have specific long-term retention and recovery requirements. As more organizations look to virtualize Exchange, the ability to retain email for compliance and discovery remains extremely important. Methods are needed to ensure efficient retention of this virtualized data and enable this data for eDiscovery. But there is really no need to archive redundant data from virtual machines and operating systems for compliance. A more efficient method is to extract just the email data that's required. The duplicate data on VMDKs and operating systems often does not need to be retained.

 

So, the secret sauce in the CommVault approach is the combination of CommVault's SnapProtect capability for driving and managing hardware snapshots with our Virtual Server Agent (VSA), which leverages deep integration into the virtual environment (VMware vSphere 5 in this example). The VSA orchestrates the virtual platform (leveraging VADP) to perform initial backup operation including the quiescing of VMs and applications as well as log truncation for application consistency. SnapProtect will then drive the creation and management of array-based snapshots of VM datastores. Simpana can then manage secondary copies of these snapshots and, in this example perform information mining operations which can extract out specific Exchange mailboxes and email for long-term retention.

 

If you're attending VMworld 2011 Copenhagen and want to learn more about CommVault's backup and archiving solutions for Exchange, swing by the booth and check out our demo. Hope to see you there!

 

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.


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Post by Phil Curran

 

VMworld Las Vegas 2011 wraps up today and, needless to say, it was great to see so many  current and future members of the CommVault family — customers, partners  and IT professionals — gathered together around our booth, chatting  about virtualization, deduplication, data protection, backup &  recovery, and throwing around terms that only those of us in the IT  industry can actually use in everyday conversation. Lots of us literally  weathered storms to get to the conference, but after four days of  sessions and demos we must finally pack up and head home. But first, a  quick recap.

 

Over the past few weeks, CommVault has made several advancements in how we can help customers and partners manage and protect virtual servers:

 

 

It's been a busy and exciting week for us, but the  opportunity to speak with many of you to hear about your challenges,  success stories, and to answer your questions about data protection was  well worth it. Thank you for joining us this VMworld — both in person  and online.

In the words of @paulmon:

Please stay in touch! Follow @CommVault on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and join our PartnerAdvantage group on LinkedIn.  Don't miss out on the exclusive content available on these channels and  the chance to connect with the greater CommVault community. See you at  VMworld 2012!

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.

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Post by Phil Curran

 

Back in June, NetApp and Cisco announced that more than 150 customers have implemented infrastructure solutions  based on the FlexPod private cloud architecture.  Meanwhile, Dell has  made some noise about developing virtual infrastructure solutions to simplify the design and deployment of private cloud environments.

 

The benefits of these approaches are pretty clear in  that they can deliver a pre-defined reference architecture that provides  predictability in design, deployment and performance of the  infrastructure for private cloud deployments. This helps to simplify and  accelerate not only the initial deployment but also offers guidelines  for scaling out the infrastructure.

 

In spite of these benefits, we're still seeing a  significant data protection and management gap in these solutions. For  example, the Enterprise Strategy Group recently reported in its Market Landscape Report that two of the top five Virtualization Spending Initiatives for 2011  include addressing concerns around backup and disaster recovery. This  continues to be a challenge for many customers.

 

A Virtual Infrastructure Reference Architecture with Purpose-Built Data Protection


In order to address this gap, the CommVault team has been working with  key technology partners to develop a set of virtual infrastructure  reference architectures that include purpose-built data protection from  the ground up. We introduced our first generation of this reference  architecture approach at the Dell Storage Forum back in June with our joint introduction of Converged Virtual Infrastructure  Building Blocks based on Dell servers, storage and networking, and  incorporating CommVault Simpana software for integrated data protection.

 

One of the brilliant aspects of this building block approach is that it extends well beyond a simple reference architecture to  define the performance characteristics of the solution. This ensures  that customers truly get a predictable infrastructure that behaves in a  pre-defined and pre-qualified manner. It's one of the main reasons we're  seeing a lot of interest around the reference architecture and around  our VIRAL initiative.

 

The VIRAL Program: accelerating cloud deployments


As interest around our first virtual infrastructure reference  architecture has increased, the CommVault team has extended the basic  reference architecture framework into an overall VMware channel  enablement program in the form of VIRAL. The VIRAL program is designed  to help partners and VMware end-users simplify and accelerate the  deployment of scalable virtual infrastructures. This program leverages  the elements of the reference architecture and delivers additional tools  for channel partners focused on delivering joint CommVault-VMware  solutions for scalable virtual infrastructure deployments.

 

The first reference architecture available under the  VIRAL program is based on Dell servers and networking and Dell  EqualLogic storage along with CommVault Simpana software.

 

However, we won't stop there. This reference  architecture is the first of several to be developed over the coming  months and we'll be providing updates as new reference architectures  become available.

 

What about the SMB space?


Clearly the VIRAL program and our reference architecture initiatives  will be of huge interest and benefit to our enterprise customers looking  to deliver public cloud deployments but, we certainly have not  forgotten about the SMB and mid-market space. When I speak with our SMB  customers, I hear many of the same challenges around backup windows;  explosive data growth and the need to deliver restore times that meet  their SLAs. However, the scope of the challenge is, of course, different  and cost can be an even bigger issue. For these folks, we have  introduced an SMB-focused bundle offering.  Jerome Wendt for DCIG does a nice job of covering this offering in his blog.

 

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.

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Post by Phil Curran

 

Last week, we kicked off @CommVault's #VMworldCV Twitter Contest.  We asked you to share what you would like to learn at our "Customers on  CommVault" booth sessions during VMworld. We have been thrilled with  the response!

 

Over the last 10 days, we received your tweets with  questions about CommVault solutions as well as best practices and  applications. We are taking your tweets to VMworld with us and integrating the best of them into our customer booth  sessions where our guest hosts will share their experiences with  CommVault as well as exchange best practices.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated!

 

Today, we are happy to announce the winner of our  #VMworldCV contest and soon-to-be proud owner of a brand new iPad.  Congratulations, @jdoz22, for submitting the following tweet:

@jdoz22, we'll answer your question at VMworld during  our Q&A session on Tuesday. We've been making news around vSphere 5  recently. Check out this week's announcement for more information on CommVault's support for vSphere 5.

 

The contest winner was selected at random from all contest entries. Please read our official contest rules here.

 

Don't forget to follow @CommVault on Twitter and stay tuned to the #VMworldCV hashtag for all our  #VMworld updates and more chances to win swag during the conference.  We're off to Las Vegas!

 

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.

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Post by Phil Curran

 

With the recent launch of vSphere 5, VMware introduced the concept of the "Monster VM."  As Andre Leibovici points out in his blog, this "is VMware's ultimate move to help organizations to  virtualize business-critical applications."  I couldn't agree more. The  fourfold increase in supported CPU, memory, network and I/O will go a  long way toward enabling customers to deploy larger workloads within a  VMware context.  Review all the details on vSphere 5 support.

 

There is little doubt that with support for this type  of workload more businesses will consider virtualization as they deploy  critical applications going forward.  I have heard several people point  out that customers are no longer asking "why virtualize?" Instead, they  are now asking "Why NOT virtualize?"

 

One consideration that continues to be pushed to the  background in this drive for bigger and faster virtual servers is data  protection. The ability to build a single VM with 32 vCPUs 1 TB vRAM,  and 2 TB of disk sounds great, and it sounds even better if this Monster  VM is going to support a critical database app. But how in the heck are  you going to back that up? If you are of the "just dedupe it" school,  you might want to think again – particularly for transactional DBs.  Likewise, even the "virtualization-specific" tools on the market are  going to struggle if they are still streaming backups and users  considering these tools should seriously reconsider given the new  paradigm that vSphere 5 presents.

 

So what's the answer? Simply put: indexed hardware  snapshots. Consider that a snapshot can grab a persistent copy of very  large virtual machine datastores in a matter of minutes (including the  VM and application quiesce/un-quiesce process), thereby minimizing the  impact on application performance. But, to be really useful, a snapshot  by itself is not enough without a detailed index of the contents of the  snap. A fully indexed snapshot can make all the difference when it comes  to restores. The index allows an admin or user to skip the time  consuming process of mounting snaps, restoring VMs and searching for the  file they're looking for. By integrating snapshot technology with a  full index, you can automate this entire process to deliver restores in  minutes or hours rather than days.

 

This is exactly what CommVault Simpana software  delivers for VMware environments.  I suggest folks interested in  learning the details of this approach, check out our detailed demos: 500 Virtual Machines Protected in 17 Minutes, File Level Restore from Inside VMs and Auto-Protection Capability.

 

Our recently announced support for vSphere 5 proves once again that Simpana software was purpose-built for exactly  this type of environment. Monster VMs?  We've got them covered. We'd  love to hear your thoughts.

 

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.

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Guest post by Jeanna James

 

CommVault has been working with service providers for many years, but  until recently service providers have not been eligible to participate  in the PartnerAdvantage program. By opening up the PartnerAdvantage program to our service providers, CommVault seeks to better enable them to  deliver higher margin revenue to their clients by expanding their  managed services portfolio to small and medium businesses.  The program  is comprehensive, offering a flexible pay-as-you-grow rental model and  providing access to enhanced technical tools and marketing and training  support through the InnerVault portal.  CommVault service providers have  access to the following features, all available as part of the Simpana  software platform, the leading data management software:

 

  • Data Protection
  • Archive for Space Management
  • e-Discovery
  • Edge Data Protection
  • Remote Office Data Protection
  • Cloud API's

 

What do these changes mean for service providers?
Service  providers get improved profitability utilizing CommVault software by  gaining access to revenue-generating features and reduced operational  costs by using one, unified software platform instead of multiple point  products to accomplish the above managed services offerings.

Service providers can choose their initial data  management offerings while having on-demand access to add or remove  additional offerings to their portfolio on a pay-as-you-grow rental  model.  In addition, CommVault Simpana 9 is cloud ready, so service  providers launching new cloud platforms will benefit from a data  management platform that already supports industry standard cloud API's.

 

Why CommVault Simpana Software for Service Providers?
Supporting  multi-tenant environments, preserving revenue streams, and meeting  customer demands are just a few challenges facing service providers  today. Cobbling together multiple point products to deliver these  services or to scale the business makes these challenges even harder.  With CommVault Simpana software,  we help service providers deliver enterprise-class, highly scalable,  diverse data management solutions under one software platform.  In  addition, we offer service providers the following advantages:

 

  • Secure, multi-tenant technology designed for a managed service offering
  • Native Integration with cloud storage via Simpana software's seamless REST/HTTP integration
  • Simplified Subscription Billing designed to work within your existing billing model
  • SLA Monitoring and Management via CommVault's patented Remote Operations Management (ROMS) platform

 

Feedback?
Your feedback is appreciated.  If  you'd like to ask a question or get more information about the service  provider program, please email jjames@commvault.com.

 

Jeanna James is Senior Manager of Cloud Business Development for CommVault.

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Post by Phil Curran

 

The countdown to VMworld, Las Vegas has started. Have you worked out  your conference schedule yet? Have you looked into ways of cloning  yourself so that you can attend two sessions simultaneously?

 

We know how hectic VMworld can get, so we decided to create as many opportunities as possible to  meet you during the conference. CommVault will not only speak at VMworld  but we will also be hosting sessions at our booth (#801) where we will  set up four different stations to address specific data management  solutions:

 

  1. Virtual Server Data Protection
  2. Cloud Enablement
  3. Customers on CommVault: Case Studies and Best Practices
  4. Scalable Virtual Infrastructure

 

Check out CommVault's schedule of VMworld events  below, and stop by booth #801 for exclusive VMworld demos,  presentations, and discussion forums hosted by our experts and  customers.  And don't forget to participate in our #VMworldCV Twitter Contest where you could win an iPad by telling us what you would like to learn  or ask during our "Customers on CommVault" booth sessions. Contest ends  tonight!

 

The contest winner will be selected at random from all contest entries. Please read our official contest rules here.

 

Which CommVault VMworld event are you most looking forward to?

 

Monday, August 29

  • 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Virtual Server Data Protection live demos and presentations
  • 6 p.m.: Customers on CommVault discussion forum to talk about experiences and best practices

 

Tuesday, August 30

  • 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.: Virtual Server Data Protection live demos and presentations
  • 12 p.m.: Introducing VIRAL: VMware Infrastructure Reference Architecture Leaders with Dell-EqualLogic
  • 1 p.m.: CommVault SnapProtect:  Integrated VMware protection with NetApp
  • 2 p.m.: Cloud Enablement live demos and presentations
  • 4 p.m.: Customers on CommVault discussion forum to talk about experiences and best practices

 

Wednesday, August 31

  • 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.: Cloud Enablement live demos and presentations
  • 12 p.m.: CommVault SnapProtect:  Integrated VMware protection with NetApp
  • 1 p.m.: Introducing VIRAL: VMware Infrastructure Reference Architecture Leaders with Dell-EqualLogic
  • 2 p.m.: Virtual Server Data Protection live demos and presentations

 

Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.

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CommVault Systems

CommVault Systems

Member since: Aug 24, 2011

CommVault is the only independent software and service company focused exclusively on data management. We are 100% dedicated to arming our customers with comprehensive solutions to protect, manage, and access information enterprise-wide.

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