Data centers are drowning in data. The unprecedented growth comes from a variety of new sources like data generated by Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as well as from traditional sources like user data. But the biggest area of data growth for most enterprises is not this new data; it is copies of existing data. While the research varies as to how much of the data within an organization is redundant most of the studies point to upwards of 60 percent is copy data. The copy data reality is resulting in the creation of a new market: Copy Data Management (CDM). While it is not the first organization to enter the CDM market, EMC promises to meet the demands of the enterprise.
Two Types of CDM
EMC, never an organization to leave a base uncovered, offers two CDM solutions depending on the needs of an enterprise. Integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM) is a solution that solves the CDM problem on the array by leveraging efficient copy technology on all-flash platforms such as XtremIO Virtual Copies or VMAX SnapVX to provide high-performance, zero-impact copies on a scale-out platform with consistent and predictable performance, as well as application integration, automation, and open APIs using EMC’s AppSync to natively integrate with applications such as Oracle and SQL.
Enterprise Copy Data Management (eCDM) brings copy data management to EMC’s primary and protection storage systems, such as VMAX, VMAX All Flash, XtremIO, and Data Domain, to enable global oversight into copy ecosystems across the data center. Furthermore, users can define service level objectives for their copies and eCDM will attempt to automate protection compliance to meet those objectives. Using eCDM, users can ensure that the right number of copies are on the right type of storage to effectively mitigate risk, automate SLOs, and reduce cost.
Where Do The Copies Come From?
Copy data can meet a variety of needs, the most obvious being data protection, which creates multiple on-site and off-site copies. In addition to data protection, copies are made to feed other processes like analytics, test-dev and business operations. It is not uncommon for a single data set to be copied dozens of times in an organization and those copies are either identical or have slight changes from the original.
What Does EMC Enterprise Copy Data Management Do?
eCDM enables self-service through non-disruptive global oversight. Self-service copy creation means that users who need copies of data to service a use case can get a copy without having to involve the storage or data protection administrators. For example, an application owner creating an Oracle backup through RMAN would be considered self-service. eCDM provides global oversight to ensure that the right number of copies are on the right tier of storage to meet service level agreements.
The EMC Solution Provides Three Primary Functions
First, it discovers all available copies of data throughout the enterprise. The discovery process will identify copies of data across primary and secondary (protection) storage systems. This process is non-disruptive, meaning that it will continue to allow organizations to create copies using native utilities within an application. Again, there is no change to the infrastructure nor is there a change to the copy creation process. The solution provides an organization with the ability to visualize their copy data, identify redundant or outdated copies, and effectively re-use copies as needed.
Secondly, the core of eCDM is its automation through user-defined service plans. These plans can ensure that the right number of data copies are stored on the right storage type and are eliminated when they are no longer needed.
Finally, eCDM allows organizations to leverage a cloud based analytics engine, eCDA. Organizations can use eCDA to provide details about their copy data and the status of aggregate service level objectives across all sites throughout the organization.
One of the challenges of a new market like CDM is identifying which vendors are doing what as it relates to the term. There are some CDM vendors that want to replace your entire infrastructure so they manage all the secondary copies of data. This process requires a complete overhaul of secondary storage, data protection processes and copy data processes. Other organizations want to extend the existing services offered by array manufacturers, leveraging the current investments. While less disruptive, support for the specific storage may take a while.
EMC‘s approach is unique. Instead of replacing the existing copy creation processes and procedures, the solution works behind the scenes to non-disruptively discover, automate and optimize copy data to ensure the organization doesn’t drown in copy data while maintaining compliance with organizational expectations.