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Catalogic integrates VMware APIs in ECX 2.1, eyes IBM, EMC support

Version 2.1 of Catalogic ECX copy data management software uses VADP to tell storage systems to move array-based snapshots to a supported Catalogic platform.

Catalogic Software has integrated VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) in an upgrade to its ECX Copy Data Management platform, signaling the vendor's effort to expand support for more than only NetApp storage.

VADP support in version 2.1 allows ECX to provide off-host copy data management to go with the in-place copy data management it handled from the start. For in-place copy data management, management takes place in production storage through VMware and array APIs. No new hardware is required.

Off-host copy data management uses VADP to capture virtual machine (VM) images and copy them from production storage to an ECX-supported storage system. VMware's changed block tracking keeps copies up to date.

The upgrade is designed to support any VMware environment running heterogeneous storage. Previous versions of ECX handled snapshots on NetApp arrays only.

Roadmap includes certification to support IBM, EMC storage

Catalogic vice president of technology evangelism Steve Kenniston said the vendor plans to support IBM storage in an ECX update later this year. That rollout is expected to support IBM FlashSystem V9000 all-flash arrays and the IBM Storwize family of arrays, including its VersaStack storage reference architecture that includes Cisco compute and switching.

"Today [we support] only NetApp, but our architecture lets us grow the number of providers," Kenniston said. "Our provider model has proven to be a robust way to deliver [ECX] on different storage platforms."

EMC could be next after IBM. Kenniston said Catalogic is in discussions with EMC and could add support for its platforms by the end of the year. The follow-on to ECX 2.1 also is expected to include plug-ins for virtual storage in Microsoft Hyper-V.

Update includes Docker implementation of ECX for Linux

Catalogic Software was launched in 2013 as a spinout of Syncsort. ECX Instant Copy Data Management is a downloadable virtual storage appliance (VSA) that gets layered atop NetApp's snapshot technology. The VSA creates an automated index of backup copies and mount points across storage tiers, including virtual and cloud storage.

Today [we support] only NetApp, but our architecture lets us grow the number of providers.
Steve Kennistonvice president of marketing, Catalogic

Version 2.1 adds an option to install an ECX VM instance directly on Linux servers via a Docker container. Kenniston said it enables customers to tap Docker microservices such as multithreading and sharding databases.

George Crump, president of IT analyst firm Storage Switzerland, said the product enhancement is a sign of Catalogic's future game plan.

"This announcement is more of an incremental upgrade. While adding VMware support is a big deal, it sets up bigger things to come," Crump said.

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