Modernize Your Data Management Capabilities in 2021 and Beyond

If you’re not in the business of exploiting your own data then you’re falling behind your competition. Data is all around us more than ever in today’s digital age and to thrive you need to be getting the most from your data.

“Today, more than 5 billion consumers interact with data every day — by 2025, that number will be 6 billion, or 75% of the world’s population. In 2025, each connected person will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds. Many of these interactions are because of the billions of IoT devices connected across the globe, which are expected to create over 90 ZB of data in 2025.”
Seagate —The Digitization of the World

Data management is the practice of collecting, keeping, and using data securely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Every organization with a data footprint should have a data management practice defined. Many organizations when questioned simply don’t, or they do the bare minimum, such as buying more storage to house the data, but they don’t harvest the data. To get the most from your data a modern data management practice should be defined and continually updated.

With Catalogic ECX we can, with zero hardware, vastly modernize your data management and data mobility capabilities. ECX enables data management capabilities such as automated DevTest, comprehensive data protection, instant recovery, scheduled disaster recovery and offload to cloud. With LDAP integrated role-based access control, self-service too can be enabled for all these killer capabilities via a single pain of glass, enabling fresh and fast data copies to be delivered when and where the business needs it.

A common home for data is within databases due to the fact they can store a large number of records very efficiently and make the records easy to search, find and sort.

Catalogic ECX is a powerhouse when it comes to orchestrating data management for databases, fully supporting Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA and InterSystems Caché databases running on virtual and physical servers.

We can deliver the following 5 key capabilities for enabling an effective, modern data management practice for databases:

  1. Database cloning in a flash
    Enabling fresh and fast copies of production data to be provisioned within minutes for DevTest, reporting, analytics, DR purposes and more.
    These databases can then be automatically refreshed as required.
  2. Complete copy data management
    Enabling the scheduled creation of snapshots, snapshot offload to Cloud storage or NFS targets, replicas and clones with SLA based retention policies associated with the schedules. This ensures copies are only stored as per the needs of the business to ensure RPOs can be met.
  3. Secure data masking
    ECX fully supports secure data masking meaning it can be used to obfuscate sensitive data. With ECX masked data copies can be created which can then be distributed to any number of users. Meaning a single masking operation can service the needs of multiple data consumers.
  4. Simplicity
    We have built ECX to ensure it is incredibly simple to deploy and configure. Copies created via ECX have a zero external hardware footprint required with no need for golden off box copies, ensuring we maximize your existing investment in your primary storage. ECX is fully agentless with zero agents involved, all application integration achieved via a dynamic injection of code without any pesky agents and the associated maintenance that comes with them!
  5. Maximum output
    With ECX you get the maximum output from your data sat within databases via harvesting the data and creating production performant copies for your needs in a flash. All this via a single HTML UI with granular role-based access control for self-service via your DBAs allowing you to control what data management functions inside ECX they can drive.As you can see ECX brings modern data management capabilities to database owners and infrastructure teams to enable effective data management practices for databases. Check out our Catalogic YouTube videos around ECX’s capabilities with databases.

    If you are keen to give these benefits a test drive upon your data let us know and we can happily assist with the setup of a proof of concept for free.

    The next question I hear you asking is how much does this cost? It’s surprisingly cost effective with prices starting as low as $450 a month per controller. We can run you a total cost of ownership calculation to show how much ECX could save your business. Please contact us if you want us to run a TCO analysis for you.

Thanks for reading and if you want to learn more about how you can enhance your business’s data management capabilities or discuss anything in relation to data management or ECX please do get in touch with us via info@catalogicsoftware.com.

 

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04/16/2021 0 Comments

Modern Data Protection with Heritage – Eradicating Data Loss

Every organization needs a data protection solution in place to ensure that in the event of security breaches, corruption, human error, hardware faults, or environmental disasters data can be recovered to ensure continuation of the business.

Data is a business’s lifeblood and fuels development and growth. With ever-evolving digital transformation nearly all organisations are now wholly dependent on data. If you’re not analyzing, consuming, and creating data to push your business forward, then in most industries these days you are falling behind.

Given the importance of data, a plan to ensure you can cope with data loss is required. Approximately 50% of small business will not re-open after data loss. We want to ensure data loss is a thing of the past for small businesses. If you are a small business, take a look here at our Free Hyper-V agentless backup option covering protection of up to 5TB and 25 VMs free of charge.

Hardware failure accounts for the majority of data loss, with approximately 40% of cases being caused this way.  Human error is also high on the list, with approximately 30% being caused accidentally.

Security breaches also have a huge impact—it seems you cannot go one day without hearing about another major security breach.  Each security breach now costs an average of over $3.8 million and there were over 1,120 security breaches reported in the mainstream media in 2020. That’s over 3 a day, and those are only the high-profile cases. At an average cost of $3.8 million, the cost of security breaches in 2020 was over $4.2 billion! Sadly, this figure will only continue to increase given cyber-crime is a growing industry with more and more talent being added to these criminal gangs with the lure of large pay packets.


Our Smart Data Suite has the power to put multiple data loss prevention and cyber-security protection measures in place. Take a look and ensure closure doesn’t happen to you due to data loss.

In relation to all these types of Data loss we are here to help, with Catalogic DPX we can ensure your business can enable instant recovery and continue operating.
Catalogic DPX is different to all the other vendor backup solutions in the market for 3 reasons:

 

  1. We have a heritage in the data protection industry – delivering data protection solutions for over 25 years.
    This means we have a vast array of support for all operating systems, applications and media types and offer better backwards compatibility and media integration than most of our rivals.
  2. We are a software company.
    This means we have no interest in selling you expensive hardware appliances alongside our software. Everything we do is fully software-defined and our product is a simple and flexible cost model. There are no additional licensing costs for additional modules, backup (vStor) repositories, offloading, or archive like there are with a lot of the other players in the data protection market. DPX is all inclusive.
  3. Our solutions are modern.
    With our heritage in Data Protection we understand people want simple and modern data protection solutions. That’s why DPX uses Docker and allows modules or containers to quickly be added for supporting new solutions. Our new HTML interface is being continually improved to make admins lives easy to protect and instantly recover data with Catalogic DPX.

Worried about data loss, or even worse, have you recently experienced data loss?
Are you an SMB with no defined data protection solution in place?
Fed up with your legacy data protection solution underdelivering?
Think you are paying too much for your existing data protection solution?
Want a modern data protection solution without proprietary hardware and tons of add on costs?

Then you need to talk to us about what we can do for you with Catalogic DPX and the Catalogic Smart Data Suite.

Get in contact with us—we can quickly set up a conversation to discuss your needs, run product demonstrations, show pricing examples and enable a free proof of concept.

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04/08/2021 0 Comments

A Winning Partnership – Catalogic ECX for Pure Storage

Here at Catalogic Software we won’t settle for second place; winning is part of our DNA.

However winning is something that isn’t done by simply putting the fastest engine on the grid or fastest storage device in your datacentre. You need to ensure you have the complete package. In Formula One there are 3 core components to a championship winning car:

  1.  The Engine
  2. The Aerodynamics &
  3. Reliability

All 3 of these areas are critical to the success or failure of a team. You could have the fastest engine in the world but with poor aerodynamics or reliability you will never win a race or championship. Something the Arrows A22 driven via Jos Verstappen pictured below definitely never managed! The third aero wing was quickly banned by the FIA after Arrows’ attempt to use it in practice around Monaco.

If you look deeper into the history of F1 you will find a whole host of banned aerodynamic developments as the designers always try to bend the boundaries and rules to deliver a competitive advantage and ultimately reduce lap times.

In the current day and age aerodynamics are arguably the most important factor in Formula One car performance. It has become the key to performance gain due to the often very marginal gains that can currently be made by engine changes or other mechanic component development.

Switching lanes back into the datacentre in here you again have 3 core components for a winning storage setup:

  1. The Storage, a.k.a. the Engine
  2. The Management, Orchestration and Automation, a.k.a. the Aerodynamics &
  3. Reliability

Here the management, orchestration and automation (the aerodynamics) are in my opinion the most important factor in having a winning storage setup.

This is because most storage vendors can deliver the speeds, feeds and data functions needed to run data as quickly as possible. However, lightning fast storage doesn’t mean optimal performance and utilisation. The management, orchestration and automation tools are what enable IT teams to deliver optimal data performance and utilisation.

This is the exact reason all Pure Storage customers need Catalogic ECX to enable a winning storage setup. Pure storage is a leader in the Gartner magic quadrant, and therefore undoubtedly have the engine capabilities. With Catalogic ECX you can enable optimal utilisation of Pure Storage environments. We deliver an efficient architecture to enable effective management, orchestration and automation within the Storage environment. Some of the key game changing benefits we deliver are:

  • A centralised catalog of all IT storage objects such as arrays, volumes, snapshots, virtual machines, datastores, databases, and file systems. Meaning these can be reported on as needed and the inventories are dynamically updated, so you always have a clear picture of your storage environment.
  • Self-service role-based access control. Meaning business departments can report upon, create and consume copies of their data as needed. This results in fresher and faster secondary copies being available for DevOps, testing, development, reporting, analytics and disaster recovery.
  • Abstraction of the underlying infrastructure enabling copies to be scheduled for both secondary copy creation, offload to alternate arrays for longer term retention if wanted and recovery.
  • A proven enterprise solution that can deliver instant access to portable secondary copies of large databases, virtual machines and file systems.
  • A dramatic reduction in storage waste and IT spent on copy data management and servicing business users.

All these benefits are delivered with zero storage footprint as Catalogic ECX is deployable as a software only solution running as a virtual appliance that utilizes Pure’s REST APIs. All these game changing benefits leverage the existing awesome Pure Storage functionality with no need for a golden copy on an alternate storage array like our competitors.  

With Catalogic ECX suddenly you go from having a fast engine (or storage environment) with lots of potential to having the complete championship winning package in partnership with Pure Storage.

Utilising these benefits can dramatically cut time to create data copies, speed up and increase development quality and reduce time to market – getting you round the corners quicker to beat the competition.

Lewis Hamilton in the championship winning Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance #Winning

Since 2015 Pure Storage have had a very close relationship with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. The customer story on the improvements Pure Storage has made for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport including significant performance gains to reduce key database queries by 95%, reducing rack space required by 68% and reducing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications runtimes by up to 15% is well worth a read here

I know I mentioned this in my last blog but worth re-iterating, we currently have a special array offload offer for Pure FlashArray //C, Cloud Block Store and FlashBlade when you license EXC for the source array you get the target license for FREE.

Meaning a free UNLIMITED CAPACITY ECX license for FlashArray //C, FlashBlade and Cloud Block Store with any ECX License purchase for Pure Storage FlashArray.

As always thanks for reading and if you want to learn more about Catalogic ECX, the current offload promo or simply just have a chat about Formula One please do get in touch with me via wbush@catalogicsoftware.com. Roll on Bahrain in March!

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02/24/2021 0 Comments

Catalogic ECX and Pure Flash ahhhhhrrays saviour of the data management universe

Here at Catalogic software we love to make architects, administrators, developers and managers lives simpler.
We know storage management can be a pain and more often than not the investment made in the storage isn’t being fully utilised because you can’t consume all of the cool features and functions without one of the team creating some complex scripts to get the most out of it.
That’s the reason we believe all organisations running Pure Storage should have Catalogic ECX for snapshot automation and orchestration.
The core focus for us with ECX is delivering a simple and efficient architecture to enable snapshot automation and orchestration.
We do that for Pure Storage via integrating using the Pure Storage Rest API. This means you get all the goodness of Pure’s snapshot engine and we simply act as the brain cataloging the metadata, orchestrating the snapshots and enabling the instant recoveries back onto the FlashArrays.
We do not store data on a separate dedicted proprietary storage appliance like some vendors do in this space. We disagree with this approach as we are software defined and requiring a separate dedicted proprietary storage appliance increases timescales to move data, increases complexity in terms of architecture and needs a bigger budget for additional external storage arrays and the cost to implement and manage these.
With Catalogic ECX we deliver the following 5 key benefits for Pure Flash arrays:

  1. Software only Copy Data Management capabilities that deliver additional value from your Pure investment that is deployed in minutes
  2. Integration with leading hypervisors and applications such as VMware, Oracle, SAP HANA and SQL to provide data owners with instant data access
  3. Instant data copies for value use cases such as Test/Dev, DR testing, Reporting, DevOps, Analytics and Patching
  4. Increased ROI from Pure storage platform
  5. Orchestration and automation of data between Pure devices – FlashArray, Cloud Block Store and FlashBlade

Whilst primary copy data management on Pure Flash Ahhhhhrays (sorry I will stop it now 😊) is our bread and butter we also have some strong use cases and benefits around offloading to FlashArray//C, Cloud Block Store and FlashBlade.
Let’s take a look at those in a bit more detail here.

Offload to FlashArray//C with ECX

Offload to Cloud Block Store with ECX

Offload to Cloud Block Store with ECX

Pretty neat eh! But wait here’s the best bit ….

 

We currently have a special offer running where for FlashArray//C, Cloud Block Store and FlashBlade when you license the source you get the target for FREE. Meaning a free UNLIMITED CAPACITY ECX license for for FlashArray//C, FlashBlade and Cloud Block Store with any ECX License purchase for Pure Storage FlashArrays. This promotion is currently active until the 30th April 2021.

 

On a different note Pure Storage made some very cool enhancements to Purity for FlashBlade in 2020 one of the game changers for me being the addition of SafeMode snapshots that enables write protection of snapshots until their expiration date.

This assists in ensuring snapshots are protected from ransomware and mitigates risk when using Pure FlashBlade systems. Sadly ransomware is an ever growing challenge for IT departments and all teams should ensure they have a multi-layered approach to defence and the addition of SafeMode snapshots from Pure Storage is a key layer to ensuring your data sat within snapshots are protected from ransomware. The good news is Catalogic ECX will soon support orchestrating SafeMode snapshots and Catalogic to ensure your snapshots are safeguarded. Thanks for reading and if you want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this blogpost how you can use please do get in touch with me via wbush@catalogicsoftware.com Until the next time stay safe and take care everyone.

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02/08/2021 0 Comments

Improving Data Visibility, Management and Orchestration Using Catalogic ECX

2021 is going to be a key year for many businesses attempting to recover from the tremendous impact COVID-19, political shifts and more had last year. I don’t think many of us will look back on 2020 fondly and hopefully humanity can rise and work together to get us back to normality…. or even better than before.

 

One of the key realisations of 2020 was that businesses that quickly shift to accommodate unexpected changes can continue to operate and even excel despite the unexpected and often challenging circumstances.

 

A lot of organisations had previously feared a negative productivity impact if most, or all of their employees worked from home, and had therefore never tried it. However, for most organisations this shift proved to be a success, with employees not spending unnecessary time, money and energy traveling. This has often resulted in employees having more time to focus in the comfort of their own home and for many a better work/life balance. I still do miss a trip out at the moment though just for the comradery, face-to-face interaction and knowledge sharing.

 

Looking back on 2020, we had a very successful year here at Catalogic. One of the key reasons for this success is that we have the ability to quickly pivot and work in an agile manner, meaning we discuss customers’ requirements and develop solutions to deliver against them – solutions which are often specific and complex.

 

A key talking point many customers came to us with in 2020 was around how we can improve data visibility, management and orchestration.

 

Sound interesting? Let me talk to you about how we can enable you to have visibility in your environment via Catalogic ECX.

 

In every active environment data continues to grow. Data growth often causes a major data headache for IT administrators. The reason for this is growth results in more and more information and often it gets to a point where understanding what data sits where is a nearly impossible task.

Step forward Catalogic ECX.

With Catalogic ECX we can provide data visibility, management control and orchestration of NetApp, IBM Storage, Pure Storage, HPE Nimble, VMware vSphere, Microsoft SQL, Oracle, SAP HANA and InterSystems Caché environments.

Because we inventorise all key data within these types of storage, hypervisors, virtual machines, physical servers and databases we can provide the ability for IT administrators to better navigate their environment. Think of it like a Sat-Nav that tells us where we would like to go (ECX tells us what resources you want to see to show the associated applications, servers and storage)

To put this into context a large NetApp customer with over 300 filers, billions of objects and thousands of snapshots, vaults and mirrors came to us with their data headache.

 

They simply wanted the ability to map their VM storage all the way back to a source storage volume and show the associated Snapshots, SnapMirrors and SnapVaults. They couldn’t find a way to easily do this and had chewed through a lot of paracetamol already! After understanding their requirement we quickly went away and built the customer a custom VM and Storage mapping report in Catalogic ECX.

Below is an example of the VM and Storage Mapping report showing:

  • Virtual machine > Disk(s) (VMDK(s)) > Datastore(s) path containing VMDK(s) > Netapp LUN(s) providing datastore(s) > Netapp Volume(s) providing LUN(s) > Is NetApp SnapMirror in use and replication destination > Is NetApp SnapVault in use and vault destination.

All this data is being updated daily via inventories. The report can be scheduled to run and also called via the ECX API.

Providing this information resulted in a vastly lower management overhead in terms of clear visibility, ability to find data, recover data and better manage the storage, virtual and data protection environments. Like a Sat-Nav for their environment!

If you’re interested in setting your 2021 destination to enhanced data visibility, management and orchestration please get in contact me via wbush@catalogicsoftware.com

Or you can request a demo or trial of any of our solutions here

Thanks for reading and stay safe, I look forward to a beverage with you all in the near future.

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01/26/2021 0 Comments

Enabling Effective Data Management in Your Organization

The time has finally come. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your most recent content piece, and it’s ready to be packaged up and sent to the client to be pushed live. After a few final checks and only…

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08/28/2020 0 Comments

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