Atempo plots course to containerised backup with S3 storage

Containerised modularised backup services will allow integration with third-party systems and backup storage unified onto S3 object storage for cost and analytics purposes

French backup product supplier Atempo plans to offer its Miria, Tina and Lina software as containerised modules that can integrate with other services. The company also recommends customers standardise backup storage in S3 object stores, according to Atempo product chief, Louis-Frédéric Laszlo.

Atempo will offer versions of its Miria software – aimed at data migration between different storage systems – in containerised modules that can be integrated into storage-as-a-service (SaaS) applications or commercial infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) services. That will allow for charging by use during migration, which will be from data backups to S3 object storage services.

The background here is that Atempo is convinced the software market – including applications and infrastructure systems – will standardise data protection as an integrated function and in S3 object mode.

“Because we believe in backup as a commodity, we are developing it in containers, which is a format that allows for integration of our solution via an API [application programming interface] as if it was part of the software or service you want to protect,” said Laszlo, during the recent IT Press Tour event.

“It will be a module expressly conceived of to save this application or that data format to S3,” said Laszlo. “Those who write applications, or integrators or cloud hosts, can even commercialise this module into their own offer,” he adds. Here, Atempo modules would integrate into admin consoles of solutions to be backed up as options that can be activated on demand.

One supplier has already taken that step. Namely HPC-focussed scale-out NAS maker Panasas, which will integrate Miria as its PanMove (migration) and PanView (monitoring) admin tools. However, this is not yet implemented as a containerised module or as backup to S3.

Containers allow for applications to be broken up into microservices. Each of these corresponds to a functional subset but which from the point of view of the user is an integral part of the application. From the developer point-of-view, however, it is a discrete module and can be deployed separately and possibly from another source and that it is easier to separate areas of functionality.

S3 as a single format for backup storage

Until now, Miria has been mostly used by enterprises for regular migration of very large volumes of data between branch locations, and Atempo points to media companies and research organisations that handle big datasets among its customers. The company has also broadened its approach to migration by playing to the need to convert to object mode.

“The needs of migration have changed,” said Laszlo. “Today, the subject is a concern to the majority of enterprises that want to consolidate all backups of files, emails, applications, their systems and their NAS onto S3 object storage.”

Atempo believes the market will move towards a unified backup at the target, whatever the source. Whether from databases, stored data in block mode, file shares on NAS, emails or document management systems, all their backups will be stored in S3 object format.

According to Laszlo, there are lots of benefits to storing backups in object mode. “Object storage capacity is more easily scaled up than NAS,” he said. “And it allows for data from many different applications to undergo analytics together.”

Laszlo acknowledges that increasing numbers of customers have made the choice to save data directly to S3. Whether as a cloud service or an on-site solution, the majority of products now recognise the protocol.

However, without dedicated tools this method of storing backups – although simple – is not going to be optimal.

“You have to bring a traditional backup dimension to object storage,” said Laszlo. “Our modules implement on object storage all the high-level functions you usually have on a NAS dedicated to backup. I’m thinking particularly of automated backup integrity verification and data deduplication to reduce the cost of storage and transfer.”

Behind the modules, a global platform

Miria isn’t the only product Atempo has in mind on the road to its containerised offer. Its Tina server backup software and its Lina workstation product will also be implemented in such modularised format.

That said, the form that the modernised Atempo offer will take is not clear. That’s because products are in development with launch planned for 2023 and 2024, although the company is sparing with details. That could entail integration of the new modules and the historic versions of Miria, Tina and Lina as Atempo aims for “360-degree” management of backups.

It is possible that Atempo is developing a centralised control console for service resellers, integrators, MSPs etc as well as enterprise customers. That would simultaneously allow control of backups between on-site and cloud locations, and to easily invoice for backup even within complex application and infrastructure estates

“Our goal is to offer IT admins turnkey disaster recovery capability, but also a way of reducing storage costs, in a context where the size of backups is continually growing,” said Laszlo.

Also, a centralised management console will allow for interaction with third-party services that enrich its functionality. Atempo points to cyber security services that eliminate malware from backups, automated labelling of videos, and automated migration after analytics processing.

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