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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Catalogic Software Talks Copy Data Management, Pure Storage and Game of Clones

Interview Catalogic 

I first met the team from Catalogic Software at VMworld 2015 US and I've been following them ever since.  Catalogic Software helps organizations worldwide gain visibility, insight and control over their data with an actionable catalog.  With its software products, Catalogic helps clients Manage, Orchestrate and Analyze their Copy Data across their enterprise and cloud in support of mission-critical IT functions including disaster recovery, test/dev, DevOps, next generation data protection, and business analytics.  Today, the company made news with a new partnership announcement with Pure Storage.  To find out more about what they are doing and to find out more about their upcoming VMworld sponsorship, I reached out to and spoke with Peter Eicher, Director of Product Marketing at Catalogic Software.

VMblog:  I understand that Catalogic Software is partnering with Pure Storage to bring Copy Data Management to the Pure Storage FlashArray family.  Let's talk about CDM for a moment and what Catalogic's CDM will bring to Pure?  

Peter Eicher:  Copy Data Management that works on top of the storage array - what we call "in-place" CDM - is becoming a critical IT modernization and transformation technology. What it delivers is an enterprise control plane for storage array copy services, providing policy-based automation of processes that are currently mostly manual and script-based, and which consume a great deal of IT time. By automating these operations, you not only save a tremendous amount of time, but you also increase reliability because you take out a lot of human error. This applies whether you are using copy data management for core data protection, or if you are using it for one of the many non-recovery use cases it supports, like dev-test automation, DevOps, hybrid cloud integration, better reporting and so on.     

VMblog:  What does your technology partnership with Pure Storage entail?  And how will the technology integration be completed?   

Eicher:  An important thing to note about in-place copy data management is that we don't replace the storage stack. We don't bring in another set of disks and ask you to copy your data to them. We use the copy features - snapshots and replication - that are on the storage array. In the case of Pure Storage, we make use of their FlashRecover functionality. Economically, this makes a lot of sense because you don't need to buy and manage an entirely new stack of infrastructure. And technically it makes a lot of sense because we can take advantage of all the efficiencies built into the Pure array, such as deduplication, compression, and zero-footprint snapshots. Also, if you're doing something like dev-test for a critical infrastructure application like Oracle or SQL Server, it makes all the sense in the world to do your testing on the same infrastructure that you will use in production. We've had customers tell us they are very leery of doing dev-test on a different hardware stack because you can't really be sure the application will behave the same way when you move it to a new array. So doing the work on the same array model you'll use for production really provides a level of comfort.

VMblog:  Can you share a few customer pain points and how this new offering will address them?  

Eicher:  Copy data management covers a lot of areas, but let's focus on two of the major ones. As it happens, a large percentage of Pure Storage customers are using the FlashArray to drive database workloads. That makes perfect sense since the IOPs are so high and the response latency so low. But databases like Oracle and SQL Server are unique beasts with unique needs. So our recent introduction of Oracle- and SQL-specific functionality was really a perfect mix with Pure Storage. We're seeing a huge amount of interest from users for two things. First, is automating the data protection and recovery process, both locally with snapshots and remotely with replication. Catalogic ECX manages the entire process, from scheduling to copy locations to retention to clean-up. And because it's all database aware, you don't even have to worry about database recovery processes. Everything comes back online ready to roll.  

The second big use case, as we mentioned, is development and test. We also support DevOps tools if you've moved your dev-test into a DevOps mode. Customers are drowning in data copies for dev-test, yet most of the time the data copies are slow to arrive or they end up using fake data. These things greatly affect code development quality. With ECX, you can now get copies of real production data in minutes and distribute them to your dev teams. And with our integrated data masking feature, those copies can be secure and protected.      

VMblog:  What will the Catalogic Software/Pure Storage partnership bring to advance the overall adoption of CDM?

Eicher:  The copy data world got a big shake up back in May when EMC announced its upcoming copy data solutions. They took the same approach that Catalogic did a few years before them, which is what EMC calls "integrated copy data management" and what we've been calling in-place. Same idea: the best place to do the copy data work is on the actual storage array. EMC is a smart company and they are really focusing their CDM on their flash systems. And they are right, that flash is the perfect vehicle for CDM. So, by teaming up with an all-flash market leader like Pure Storage, we do think we'll start to see some major adoption of copy data management.     

VMblog:  Could you discuss the current CDM market and the growth expectations once the Catalogic/Pure offerings are generally available?  

Eicher:  The CDM market is divided into two camps. The in-place camp, as we've discussed, and the companies that do things by moving data to a separate storage stack. This is really still very similar to the old legacy backup model, only with CDM you make more use of the backup data. It doesn't just sit there waiting for a disaster to happen.  

That's all well and good, but it's not changing the paradigm of how things get done in the data center. With in-place CDM you are doing way more than just reducing the numbers of copies. You are getting true IT modernization because we can deliver automation, we can deliver secure user self-service for both data and complete virtual machines, which we can spin up on demand or on schedule from your latest data copies.   

We're already engaged in loads of customer conversations. There's an unfilled demand out there for ways to make the data center more efficient and more effective. Pure Storage is a great example of that. They totally redefined the value proposition of all-flash storage. The economic arguments are unassailable. All-flash is just a better choice, period, and the IT community at large is really beginning to understand that. We think the same level of raised awareness around the value of copy data management is beginning to happen, and our work with Pure Storage is really going to help bring that to light.     

VMblog:  How is the new joint offering being made available?  And when is the new solution going to be generally available?  

Eicher:  Pure and Catalogic are using a meet in the channel model. It's a great fit. Pure is a 100% channel company and so is Catalogic. In fact, Pure is already introducing us to their reseller community. There's also no product conflict of any kind. Catalogic provides a tool that helps you get more value out of your Pure Storage investment, and for only a fraction of the cost of that investment. What's not to like?   

The solution will be generally available at the end of September this year. Although, we have working versions today and are able to demo the solution.     

VMblog:  I first came across your company last year at VMworld.  Are you going again this year?  And if so, will you have a demo at the show?  Any special giveaways at the Catalogic booth that you can talk about?  

Eicher:  Boy, are we ever going to VMworld this year! We are hitting it big time with our Game of Clones theme. We will have Pure Storage demos running in our booth (Catalogic booth #721), and we'll also be doing presentations in the Pure booth (#923). And as a great partner, Pure is also presenting in our booth. So there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to learn about our new solution. You can see the full schedule on our landing page.   

As for giveaway, as the Game of Clones theme suggests, we are giving away a lot of Game of Thrones themed schwag, from tee-shirts to special chalices for the vExpert community, which we are referring to as vMaesters. And then there are a couple of grand prizes of a Game of Thrones prize package.  In fact, if you're not able to attend VMworld this year, you can still register on our VMworld landing page for a chance at the Game of Thrones prize.

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Once again, thank you to Peter Eicher, Director of Product Marketing at Catalogic Software, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com.  And a special kudos on your GoT theme which looks very cool.

Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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