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Wed 1 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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Streamlining storage

CommVault urges CIOs to learn from Western mistakes.

Streamlining storage
Deduplication potentially saves a great deal of the space. Sometimes it can save an enterprise up to 90%. - Vince Blackall, EMEA director at Commvault.

CommVault urges CIOs to learn from Western mistakes.

When it comes to the direction the Middle East networking market is going to migrate, it is a fair bet to look West to assess best practices and trends that dominate more mature regions.

This is the case when viewing back-up and archiving, if Vince Blackall, EMEA director at CommVault is to be believed. He suggests that in the near future enterprises will face potentially dangerous situations when it comes to the archiving, backing-up and recalling of emails.

It is going to be more like it is in North America where if you can’t get an email back from the system within 24 hours you may be at severe financial or legal risk.

"As we go forward the requirements of finding emails to settle legal and financial situations to all kinds of corporate events are going to be vital," warns Blackall. "It is going to be more like it is in North America where, if you can't get an email back in 24 hours, you may be at severe financial or legal risk."

Were this to come to pass, it would mean that there is an even greater need to store all emails that filter through the system. It is a need that is apparent to any CIO. As is the worry about the terabytes of storage that logging all of those documents can demand. This is coupled with the fact that the budget for storage is unlikely to be bumped up anytime soon.

Arguments about the likes of virtualised storage aside, CIOs have to come up with efficient strategies to alleviate the stress on the system that the massive body of emails of an average work day can exert. One way to do that is deduplication, claims CommVault.

"What [deduplication] does is, if we are sending an email with an attachment, and then that email is forwarded to other people in the company, within a few seconds there are loads more copies of the same email," explained Blackall. "Now when you are backing up the system you will have the original email, but you will have backed-up all the copies as well. Deduplication sees that it has been copied. This potentially saves a great deal of the space. Sometimes you can save up to 90%. "

CommVault also claims that among other vendor's offerings in the market, its solution is unique because it is part of one architecture that also includes back-up and archiving.

"If you look at some vendors they will sell deduplication as a separate thing and they have normally been developed in different code bases, devoid of a natural technical relationship with each, so they are not very compatible," asserted Blackall.

It is, in this way, that CommVault hopes that its enterprise offerings are adept at meeting the financial concerns of today's CIOs, versus their need to protect the integrity of the information on their IT network.

Returning to the assessment of Western markets as an indication of future Middle East trends in storage, there are also some valuable lessons that can be learned and mistakes that can be potentially avoided. According to CommVault, in response to the explosive growth of business data, many companies in Europe and the US have already invested in storage technologies. But these technologies may have been installed prior to new innovations in data management and the bolting-on of new technologies has meant that the resulting systems have been "patchy" and not the most ideal solutions.

The vendor suggests that CIOs in the Middle East region are in the unique position of being able to put in place plans to effectively manage the growth of data and, by doing so, circumventing the mistakes that they have seen elsewhere in the world.

"If you invest in the technology like ours, which is all encompassing, you need only one code base, you will need less systems administrators and it will also take less time for them to control and manage the system," said Blackall.

CommVault may be clear in its message that it can optimise document management, back-up systems and storage. But as far as virtualised storage goes it says that, although it can back-up virtualised environments, it has yet to record serious customer wins in this field in the Middle East region.

The vendor indicated that storage virtualisation and hosted services, the latter being something it has been trialing in the US, are areas where it hopes to see growth in the Middle East in the near future.

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