In one of those moves that will make some IT professionals groan while others rejoice, CommVault this week, with the release of version 10 of the Simpana data management platform, is giving end users direct control over the data they have rights to access.
While some IT professionals may welcome the prospect of giving end users control over data in a way that lessens their administrative burden, just as many are likely to view this capability as yet another unwarranted intrusion into the prerogatives of the IT administrator.
CommVault COO and CTO Al Bunte says this capability is really a natural extension of the self-service trend that has become a hallmark of modern IT systems. The system works by allowing end users to store data in what CommVault has dubbed a ContentStore, which allows each user to create a virtual repository for their data. That data can then be accessed from anywhere using a broad range of devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Longer term, Bunte says CommVault envisions making those virtual repositories available to systems integrators and application developers via application programming interfaces that would allow them to create applications based on specific sets of data housed in the virtual repositories.
The end goal, says Bunte, is to ultimately increase the value of data inside any organization by making it both easier to manage and more accessible.
Other new features in Simpana 10 include enhanced snapshot management tools for backup and recovery, tighter integration with Microsoft Exchange, and a wide range of virtualization environments. In addition, CommVault has added automated workflow routines that the company claims could reduce the amount of time it takes to manage IT operations by as much as 50 percent. At the same time, CommVault claims to have doubled performance using a new parallel deduplication capability that is based on a new grid architecture in Simpana 10.
At the heart of Simpana 10 is an indexing engine that CommVault developed to help manage large amounts of distributed data years ago. As the amount of data in the enterprise continues to grow, Bunte says that indexing engine is now proving its worth because it doesn’t encounter the same scalability issues that rival systems based on databases have to contend with. That indexing engine not only allows the overall architecture to scale better, it also provides a format through which large amounts of data can be quickly searched.
While it may have started out its IT life as a backup and recovery tool, Simpana 10 shows that CommVault’s data management ambitions now lie well beyond serving only the needs of storage administrators. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the majority of IT organizations will have a real appreciation for an architectural approach to managing data. But for those that do, it’s apparent that a new era of indexing engines and eventual metadata servers is upon us.