/ photo by Robert Scoble CC
The ever-changing demands on cloud infrastructure lead to the need for new business models and architectural solutions to increase data security and improve infrastructure manageability.
Today we want to talk about Commvault v11, a solution for managing data and organizing data backup and recovery to the cloud IaaS provider. We’ll discuss the components of the platform and look at possible scenarios for using Commvault.
Commvault v11 is a software- and hardware-independent platform that performs the following tasks: backup of data and virtual environments, virtual infrastructure control, data archiving, databases, etc.
The main components of Commvault v11 are CommServe, ContentStore, Data Agent, and Media Agent. CommServe is a management server and ContentStore is a single set of storage resources, which includes storage, cloud storage, file servers, and tape drives. The Data Agent is named for applications and file systems, capable of performing data compression, deduplication and encryption at the source, and as for the Media Agent component, it is the agent that receives the data stream coming from the Data Agent.
According to the vendor, Commvault v11’s approach to data protection and management has remained the same, but there are new features and expanded functionality.
The concept of Role Based Security was introduced. Role-based security goes beyond the limitations of traditional users and security groups.
The following entities now appeared in the service :
- A user or group of users;
- Roles – define a set of permissions with no reference to a specific user or user group;
- Object – a component that binds a user (group) to the appropriate role.
This division allows a user (or group of users) to have different permissions depending on what their role is in the activity of a particular object.
Suppose a user needs permissions to perform a backup and restore on the file server and permission to restore mail server data. In this case, the user is associated with the file server object, and the "restore"/"backup" role is defined for it. The same user is then associated with the mail server object and given the "restore" role.
Further, it should be noted that Commvault v11 introduced the concept of "new generation indexing v2". The newfound functionality reduces the size of indexed files in caches and repositories.
Indexing v2 works as follows : indexed data is placed in an index database. One index database manages the records of all objects within a backup set. Therefore, all subclients, and therefore all backup and setup datasets within the same backup set, are written to the same index database.
The third feature of the new version is "content-based deduplication". Commvault supports content-based deduplication of databases and logs. Application databases often use inline compression, which compresses blocks before Commvault generates signatures for those blocks. Application-level compression causes inconsistent blocks to be deduplicated multiple times when the backup runs.
Using Commvault compression during backup instead of application compression, the application agent determines that the database backup process is running and then "signs" the uncompressed data. After signing, the data block is compressed. This results in an improved deduplication score.
It is also known that log files are constantly being updated with new information and replacing old data with new data. Since this is an ongoing process, deduplication offers no gain in terms of disk space savings. However, at the start of the log backup process, the application agent is able to determine that it has a backup of log files in front of it – in this case it will not expose signatures, which saves memory and CPU resources significantly.
In addition, changes affected storage policies, disk and tape libraries, as well as a new interface in the form of an administration console that supports virtualization. Additionally, it is now possible to manage virtual machines running on the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor and password protect shared files and folders. You can read about these and other features of Commvault v11 in the official manuals ( here and here ).
Commvault solutions help manage growing business demands, saving organizations from excessive costs and complicated processes. Not for nothing, according to Gartner results, Commvault’s solution was the fifth consecutive hits in the top quadrant of the Enterprise backup and integrated appliance study. Next, let’s look at three major scenarios uses Commvault.
Backing up or archiving to the cloud
Several options are possible here. The first is offsite storage, where it is not necessary to restore data to the cloud, but if necessary, this option is provided. The second is a direct connection to a storage object, and the third is a situation where the target storage object is provided by a public IaaS provider or service provider as part of a BaaS service.
Disaster recovery in the cloud
When using the Off-site Storage Requirement Cloud DR Site in the Cloud scenario, the cloud infrastructure is used only when a DR event occurs, saving time and money (as part of an IaaS, DRaaS service).
In the case of the VM Provisioning scenario, the client uses its own tools to deploy virtual machines to the cloud until they are restored.
Commvault v11 provides recovery of active workloads and data within a vendor’s external cloud. Among the possible usage scenarios here is data protection in the context of workloads. In this case, active workflows (Production, Dev/Test) within an existing IaaS cloud are protected.
Another scenario is copying to another cloud or "onpremium", when full data mobility is provided and replicated to a geographically remote IaaS provider site, sites of different IaaS providers or back to the customer site.
In conclusion, we would like to add that the Commvault v11 platform provides a unified approach to managing data, which is one of the main business assets of companies. With flexible integrated data management, Commvault v11 is responsible for organizing backups and disaster recovery to the cloud service provider, ensures the protection of cloud sites, and controls the workflows that take place in the cloud.