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Commvault refreshes HyperScale backup appliances with Hedvig

Backup player set to replace Fujitsu/Red Hat-based backup appliances with new hardware and storage software from Hedvig, which it bought late last year

Commvault is set to give its HyperScale backup appliance family a refresh, replacing the current Red Hat software with its Hedvig software-defined storage.

This will manifest itself in the introduction of two Commvault HyperScale X appliances that will scale from 10s of TB into the petabyte capacities, with Hedvig as their storage software built on SuperMicro hardware.

These will supplant the existing Fujitsu hardware/Red Hat software-based HS series products. According to Commvault EMEA VP Mark Jow, these will be supported until the end of their three-year subscription period and then be replaced by HyperScale X appliances. “The first of these should be in about 12 months,” said Jow.

HyperScale X appliances will comprise the HS2300, with nodes that will scale from 48TB to 168TB, and the HS4300, which will go from 288TB to about 0.5PB. Both are clusterable, up to three nodes and two nodes, respectively. Beyond that, customers can deploy Hedvig on commodity hardware to build much larger clusters, said Jow.

Both models will mainly comprise SAS spinning disk capacity, but there will be some flash and NVMe capacity – up to 6.4TB and 19.2TB, respectively.

Commvault’s HyperScale backup appliances represent the company’s efforts in a growing field of hardware-based backup products that grew on the back of the trend for scale-out storage and hyper-converged infrastructure. Rubrik and Cohesity were pioneers here, where backup appliances were reinvented as clusterable nodes with storage software and media on board easy-to-manage backup products.

So, why the shift to Hedvig from Red Hat for Commvault? Well, obviously the company had bought Hedvig – a very scalable software-defined storage system – and Red Hat became IBM property not long after.

Meanwhile, said Jow, it became obvious that Hedvig is better than the Red Hat Gluster file system.

“In terms of performance results and resilience and in the ability to repair itself, Hedvig came out on top compared to what we’ve seen with Red Hat,” he said. “Hedvig is better performing in larger environments and we didn’t see that with Red Hat.”

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Commvault bought Hedvig late last year for about $225m. Hedvig can build clusters of distributed storage nodes which can be storage arrays or server storage – and even network-attached storage (NAS) boxes in departments or cloud capacity in AWS or Microsoft Azure – and which can all be presented to hosts as a single storage resource with block, file or object access.

This single pool can be subdivided into tiers, each with its own physical characteristics and set to policies defined by the customer.

Meanwhile, Commvault has also announced enhanced Hedvig support for Kubernetes-based container environments with the addition of container storage interface (CSI) application programming interfaces (API)s.

CSIs are a plugin for Kubernetes and other container orchestrators that allow storage suppliers to expose their products to containerised applications as persistent storage.

There are dozens of CSIs available for a wide range of file, block and object storage in hardware and cloud formats.

CSI is essentially an interface between container workloads and third-party storage that supports the creation and configuration of persistent storage external to the orchestrator, its input/output (I/O) and advanced functionality such as snapshots and cloning.

Finally, Commvault has announced customers can buy its backup and recovery and disaster recovery products as a single bundle called Complete Data Protection, or separately, while new features have also been added to each component.

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