Commvault and Microsoft are extending their existing relationship to integrate Commvault’s data protection software with Azure Blob Storage.
Azure Blob Storage is a service based on object-based storage optimized for unstructured data. Commvault last year launched the Metallic software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, which provides a cloud-based approach to managing data protection, that runs on Azure.
The two companies have pledged to extend that relationship to not only align engineering efforts but also enable their partners to more easily resell both Metallic and Azure cloud services under the same user contract.
Manoj Nair, general manager for the Metallic service, said the Commvault offering presents IT administrators with a simple graphical user interface (GUI) and exposes application programming interfaces (API). That latter capability enables DevOps teams to automate the backup and recovery process via a cloud service, said Nair.
Rather than having to rely on an IT administrator, the API enables DevOps teams to remove friction from the data protection process, he noted.
The bulk of data protection processes are still managed by IT administrators. However, as DevOps processes continue to mature, data protection processes are becoming more automated. Developers not only want to be able to instantly recover data in the event of system failure but they also often use data protection tools to move data into and out of cloud computing environments.
Nair said Commvault opted to extend its relationship with Microsoft in part because the amount of data being stored in the Azure cloud continues to expand exponentially as more organizations adopt Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams and low-code applications built using Microsoft PowerBuilder tools. Collectively, those applications increase the amount of data gravity the Microsoft Azure cloud exerts. As the amount of data increases in the Azure cloud, the number of applications looking to access that pool of data increases steadily. As that data continues to grow, Nair said there will be a greater need for tools to protect that data.
In general, Nair said many organizations underappreciate the need to back up and recover data stored by cloud service providers. The assumption is the cloud service provider will make it possible to recover data in the event of failure. In reality, cloud computing is based on a shared responsibility model between the end customer and the cloud service provider, under which responsibility for data protection—along with all other data management functions—belongs to the end customer.
Of course, there is no shortage of data protection tools available. Many of those relied on today reside in an on-premises IT environment. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest has grown regarding shifting data management tools to SaaS platforms that are more accessible. The issue many IT organizations will need to decide next is whether they want to rely on dedicated IT administrators to manage those processes versus reducing costs by employing APIs to automate a set of routine tasks that no one in IT especially enjoys managing.