Commvault: Containers will enable unified data and storage management

Commvault and its new subsidiary Hedvig anticipate future production use of containers, with unified data and storage management.

CEO Sanjay Mirchandani and his chief storage strategist, ex-Hedvig CEO Avinash Lakshman, made this clear in briefings at Commvault GO in Denver this week.

They see enterprises making production use of containers in the near future – it is just DevOps use at present. Commvault sees a coming hybrid on-premises and multi-cloud environment. Containers and  heir data will move between on-premises and cloud environments. 

Customers will want an integrated system framework or control plane  that abstracts data from the infrastructure and manages it and the storage on which it resides. A data management facility separate from the storage management facility will lead to complexity and inefficiency. They need to be combined, and provide freedom from lock-in from storage players or cloud suppliers.

Primary storage

This is why Commvault bought Hedvig last month. And why it is saying it will move into primary storage. But there is no direct competition with Dell EMC, HPE or NetApp right now. Instead, in this coming container-centric future, customers will need unified and integrated storage and data managing software that runs across the hybrid multi-cloud environment they occupy. 

Commvault and Hedvig is ready to satisfy this need. And ready to satisfy it better than anyone else; Dell EMC, HPE, NetApp or others, because Commvault is preparing for this future now, Mirchandani claimed.

Hedvig news

In line with this idea, Hedvig is adding Container Storage Interface (CSI) support for Kubernetes management, erasure coding to use less space for data integrity than RAID, multi-tenancy and multi-data centre cluster management. Specifically:

  • Container Storage Interface (CSI) support, which enables enterprises to use Commvault for the management of Kubernetes and other container orchestrators (COs). Built-in data center availability, which helps enterprises improve data resiliency.
  • Support for erasure coding, which improves storage efficiency.
  • Support for multi-tenant data centres, including the ability to manage tenant level access, control, and encryption settings, which will allow managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver storage services across hybrid cloud environments.
  • Multi-data centre cluster management, alerting and reporting, so enterprises and MSPs can configure and administer all their data centres’ software-defined storage infrastructure from a single location.

Lakshman said in a prepared quote that these “new capabilities converge many of the latest storage, container and cloud technologies, allowing enterprises to automate manual infrastructure management processes and simplify their multi-cloud environments.”

By this line of thinking the separation of primary data and secondary data will reduce and that in turn will reduce the separation between primary storage and secondary storage. There is just data and it resides on whatever storage is necessary for data use at any particular time. 

We might also consider the notion that data lives in a unified data space, with a Hammerspace-like abstraction layer integrated with the Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform software enabling this.

We can expect a continual flow of developments as Commvault prepares Hedvig for this unified data and storage management future that embraces containerisation. It will also be integrating Hedvig’s technologies into its own portfolio of data protection offerings.