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Monday, May 14, 2012
Guest post by Robert Brower
Information, like knowledge, can be power. However, information without context is just data. Organizing data into meaningful or actionable content requires time, effort and familiarity with the subject to achieve meaningful value. The analysis of the multi-element aspects of large-scale data movement could consume an enormous amount of resources — resources that most enterprises have in extremely short supply. When a repeatable operational task fails to function, a background process — data backup — rapidly becomes a forefront issue, and one that may consume multiple resources, across multiple disciplines to resolve. Through the automation of data analytics, these processes can more rapidly resume background status, increasing the efficiency of enterprise operations.
Backup "eats like a canary and can excrete like an elephant." Enterprises expect backup to be a utility, always on and running in the background, it's there when needed. This expectation frequently collides with the reality that data growth can quietly and relentlessly overwhelm infrastructure to the point of catastrophic failure. Emerging technologies in virtualization, deduplication and snapshots have increased the level of expertise required to complete an effective triage and root-cause analysis of issues that impact data movement and protection operations. These key technologies highlight the advancement in both protection capabilities AND the need for improved analytics to resolve functional issues when they occur.
By its nature, backup touches every element of an enterprise environment. System resources, file system layout, application integration, network architecture and storage elements are all integrated with data protection operations. It is universally accepted that backup is a daily stress test on a healthy enterprise environment. Given the pervasiveness of backups' view into these enterprise components, effectively leveraging the logs and outputs associated with both successful and failed operations can be an enormously valuable tool in creating rapid insight into the root cause of an operational failure. By mining the metadata associated with these operations immediately, cogent information is made available to operations and administration personnel regarding the aggregate health and well-being of these multiple layers of enterprise complexity.
Rule-based reporting offers this analytic mining to appropriately alert relevant personnel with INFORMATION enabling rapid pinpointing and resolution of error causes. CommVault is continuously enhancing its monitoring application products to provide this contextual data analysis to operations and administration personnel so they have more time to work on strategic projects. Through the provision of enhanced integration with ROMS® (Remote Operations Management Service) and CommServe® content, CommVault software and services provide more and more accurate information, and not just data, to create operational efficiency.
Robert Brower is vice president of worldwide customer support and training at CommVault.
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