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

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

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

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