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Catalogic hopes to bury backup with ECX copy data management

Software maker believes backup can be a thing of the past if users leverage snapshots for data protection using copy data management products

Catalogic has announced general availability of its ECX version 2.0 copy data management software.

Catalogic operates in broadly the same area as Actifio, which this week added cloud functionality to its product, but takes a different approach – one it hopes will make traditional backup redundant.

While Actifio slims down the amount of copies of data held across the organisation to the fewest possible, Catalogic simply indexes the data that is there on – currently only NetApp – snapshots.

It can provide a high-level view of an organisation’s data from agentless virtual machine-deployed software within 15 minutes or provide a file level analysis overnight.

Catalogic’s focus is on data held on snapshots, charges by the storage controller and is currently limited to customers that run NetApp hardware and snapshot functionality.

What it promises customers is that they can automate copy data workflows from creation, through usage, to expiration and reclamation, as well as leveraging snapshots to recover data from them and to orchestrate, for example, disaster recovery functionality such as failover and recovery.

CEO Ed Walsh said the Catalogic view is that customers should be able to use snapshots that they already take and retain as the basis of data protection and disaster recovery (for recently changed data) while tape is used as a longer-term medium.

“Tape’s not dead – it’s a good archive medium but it’s not a good backup and recovery technology," he said. And now disk has been put in front of tape for backup and we’ve often got a situation that’s as complex as primary storage. So, why not use snapshots?”

Walsh said Catalogic plans for its software to run in Microsoft Hyper-V by the end of the second quarter of 2015 and for compatibility with two further storage array makers’ hardware by the end of the year. It can already run from Amazon Web Services Docker containers.

Charges range from $5,000 per controller for a FAS2000 series NetApp filer to $20,000 for a FAS8000.

Catalogic claims to have just more than 1,000 customers.

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Antony, first, thank you very much for the coverage. It was really great to speak with you this morning. As you can imagine Catalogic is VERY excited about our ECX 2.0 Copy Data Management Platform launch. I wanted to add a couple of points for clarity for the reader (of which I am a big fan of Computer Weekly).

There were two thoughts I just want to make sure are carried through on how Catalogic ECX actually works. First, one unique value prop that ECX brings to the table over Actifio is the fact that yes, we do catalog your existing data as well as snapshots. The value proposition there is that, no matter how you created your data copies in the past, Snapshots, SnapVaults, SnapMirrors, SnapManager, we have a full index of all that data. This allows you to understand how your environment got to be in the state it is in today. No other vendor provides that kind of insight on the copy data that is or was created with other tools. ECX then provides an additional layer of automation and orchestration on top of the catalog that allows you to create your data copies through our "Copy Data" workflow (which utilizes the storage services; snaps, vaults, mirrors, you have already paid for) and place them in any location you like within your storage infrastructure. This means you don't need to buy more storage, simply take advantage the storage you have. Also, the concept of location becomes important as ECX can orchestrate snaps to be available locally, remotely or in the cloud. Doing so allows you the ability to meet many operational business objectives in multiple locations. This is a very valuable and important concept and core to the new capabilities in ECX 2.0.

Secondly, I would like to mention that, yes, while today ECX 2.0 is released for the following storage operating systems, NetApp ONTAP (7-Mode), Clustered Data ONTAP, Cloud ONTAP and VMware (and one may say 'well that is all ONTAP' - the reality is they are very different from an API set) we support storage as well as hypervisors through ECX's rich provider model. We are currently working on other storage platforms and hypervisors as we speak.

Thank you very much Antony for the great write up and the opportunity to comment on your piece.

The Storage Alchemist.
Steve Kenniston - VP Technology Evangelism, Catalogic Software