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Are there backup software products that support object storage?

Have you heard of any backup software products that support object storage? Do you expect more will eventually? Why or why not?

The best example of a backup vendor that supports object storage is probably CommVault. Its Simpana backup software supports cloud-based archives that use object storage. It is worth noting, however, that Simpana does not support object storage in a generic sense. Instead, it is specifically designed to work with Quantum Lattus.

In my opinion, I seriously doubt that we will see a rush of backup software products that will offer comprehensive support for object storage any time soon. There are a couple of different reasons why.

First, object storage tends to be proprietary (hence CommVault's support only for Lattus). As such, it would be really difficult for backup vendors to create a general-purpose object storage interface.

Second, object storage is geared toward petabyte-scale environments. In those types of environments, the sheer volume of the data can make traditional backups impractical. Data is more likely to be protected through hardware level snapshot and replication mechanisms.

It is worth noting that some vendors market their object storage systems as backup targets. EMC marketing material suggests that its Atmos object storage can be used as a target for backing up the C: drive on enterprise desktops, for example.

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This was last published in December 2014

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When do you think backup vendors will offer comprehensive support for object technology?
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Well, Mr. Posey gets a lot wrong in a short article. First, any number of backup software products can use object storage as a target as along as it is AWS S3 compatible object storage. AWS S3 is the defacto standard for object storage. Whose backup software can do this? CommVault Simpana, ARCserve, Symantec NetBackup, PHD Virtual, Veeam, CloudBerry Lab Backup and Ctera to name a few. Quantum Lattus is using object storage technology from Amplidata, whose Himalaya object storage software is also AWS S3 compatible. Second, object storage clusters can scale-out to PB size but they can also server the needs of customers that only need tens or hundreds of TB of object storage. Cloudian addresses this market with their HyperStore Appliances and Cloudian is also 100 percent AWS S3 compatible. So when looking at object storage as a backup target, it is clear that AWS S3 is the defacto standard and software backup vendors generally support it. You also do not need to start with a PB scale cluster to make use of the technology.
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