NetApp partners with software vendors to integrate data protection tools

Due to better integration with software partners, NetApp's data protection tools can be managed with CommVault's Simpana software. The data protection tools can also recover Mimosa's archive and Exchange applications.

NetApp Inc. is moving its filers' snapshot data protection features closer to applications through new integration with backup and archiving vendors CommVault and Mimosa.

Each of the companies have done their own joint development and API integration work to tie the products together. There are no reselling arrangements, but NetApp and its partners will have comarketing efforts, reference selling and bundled offerings through joint channel partners. Pricing and configuration information for any bundles from these partnerships will be decided by value-added resellers (VAR).

Both Mimosa's NearPoint and CommVault's Simpana can now set retention and disposition periods for data that NetApp's SnapLock WORM file system will follow. "Without integration with SnapLock by the partners, end users would be unable to have WORM support, as the application contains the logic for retention rules," wrote Chris Cummings, NetApp senior director of data protection solutions, in an email to SearchStorage.com.

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When it comes to NetApp's snapshots, each partner has a different goal and level of integration. CommVault's Simpana 7.0 will take over scheduling the snapshots, while substituting its heterogeneous replication for NetApp's system in remote office environments.

"There are unique advantages to CommVault's replication," over the advantages NetApp already provides, according to CommVault vice president of product and segment marketing Michael Marchi. For example, Simpana can manage data through multiple phases of the backup lifecycle, including managing tape copies, which NetApp doesn't directly support.

This particular integration has remote offices in mind, Marchi said. The new integration also allows Simpana to index data on NetApp filers that it hasn't already been backed up or archived.

Mimosa: Disaster recovery for Exchange and archives

Mimosa is taking a different approach with NetApp. NetApp's filer will manage the snapshots, but NetApp's SnapManager for SQL and SnapManager for Exchange products will fold into Mimosa's NearPoint disaster recovery option. That allows users to recover transaction-consistent Exchange instances and Mimosa's SQL-based archive index from a disaster recovery site.

"People don't want to protect just Exchange anymore. It's Exchange and the archive," said Scott Whitney, Mimosa vice president of product marketing. Mimosa's console would handle recalling snapshots for recovery, but the NetApp system would schedule and administer them.

"Without integration with our data protection products, failover of Exchange email environments for disaster recovery purposes by Mimosa would be a more complicated manual process managed through multiple interfaces," Cummings added.

More efficient product development through partnerships

Mimosa and CommVault are integrating with what NetApp calls cascading snapshot copies. Cascading copies allow a snapshot from one application or component of an application, such as the SQL server index within Mimosa's NearPoint, to kickoff snapshots of dependent components. Each component's data is often stored on different storage tiers, usually high-performing Fibre Channel storage for the index and database and high-capacity SATA drives for the archival data itself. NetApp can also coordinate snapshot copies across LUNs on the Fibre Channel drives and objects in file systems.

"Each archiving application is a little bit different," said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau. "Snapshots allow you to back up the archive with some efficiency and make sure you can recover it in a reasonable period of time."

NetApp has also certified Quest Software's high-availability and monitoring products for Oracle with its filers. NetApp is also in the early phases of integration with Quest's Archive Manager, Cummings said.

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